Tag Archives: People’s Republic of Stokes Croft

Stokes Croft 3, gentrifiers 1

Okay, so we lost the battle over Lakota, but it seems like the groundswell of dissent in the area over the massive changes to the cultural and social makeup of our area proposed by developers is finally being heeded by the council… In quick succession the plans to put up apartment blocks and student flats on the sites of Clockwork and the Attic Bar and adjacent to the Bell have all been thrown out!

For more info on this and other developments, stay tuned to the People’s Republic of Stokes Croft and the St. Paul’s Unlimited Community Partnership websites, and check my Nu.Bristol pages.

PS An interesting little vid with Chris Chalkley of PRSC, SC resident Keval Shah and Hogge from the Cube talking about the area and the challenges it faces:

Shirley not!

This past weekend saw the Jamaica Street Studios open up their doors for an open day, celebrating the living art and culture of Stokes Croft and its people. Chris Chalkley of PRSC very kindly has sent round a round robin email complete with pictures from the weekend, and lumme if in one of them it looks like not just one but both Ashley ward councillors! See what you think…

Can it be true? Has the wanderer not only returned, but actually spent time in sunny Saint Paul’s? Or are these actually agency doppelgangers, hired in for the day? Answers on the back of a council expenses claim as soon as possible, please…

(Picture courtesy of People’s Republic of Stokes Croft, which is in no way responsible for this blog!)

Bye bye Lakota, hello yuppies

Just got back from the council committee meeting. They voted for demolition of Lakota and the Coroner’s Court. One committee member voted against, another seemed to have absented himself under instruction from the chair. A further three said they did not think the development proposals were very strong, or expressed reservations about going against conservation findings made by the council itself, but still voted to demolish.

There were passionate contributions from the floor, both in favour and against. Roughly speaking those against demolition focused more on conservation and historical interest, which may with the benefit of an hour or two of hindsight seem a tactical error, whilst those in favour presented it as a benefit to the local community in terms of housing and employment. It was precisely this area that I feel the proposals were weakest – go figure. There were also a handful of paid consultants and silent suits lurking around, and the council officers presented pretty strongly for demolition, despite admitting that the development did not meet various criteria.

Oh well, lengthier post mortems to follow, which seems appropriate for a mortuary. PRSC put up a strong presence in the room, as well as there being various concerned local residents and civilians such as myself, so I imagine the fight is not yet over.

PRSC says: People of Stokes Croft, assert yourselves! (Urgent action required)

Summary

  • The Attic Bar on North Street (right at the St. James’ Barton end of Stokes Croft, formerly the Eclipse) is subject to a planning application which could see it demolished and turned into ‘serviced apartments’.
  • The last day for getting comments and objections to Bristol City Council is this Friday (23rd May).
  • You can see the application online on the BCC website, where you can also have your say.
  • The Attic might not be a great boozer, and it may have been built over the (metaphorical) ashes of rock/goth/pool pub the Eclipse, but it is at least a social space, unlike ‘serviced appartments’, which are creeping up all over the shop, almost as much as yuppie flats and Unite student blocks.


This is the text of an email from Chris Chalkley of the People’s Republic of Stokes Croft, which he is asking people to forward to others with an interest in the changes being made to our local area.

The Planning Process… How we can influence what happens in the Croft…

As you’re probably more than aware Stokes Croft is under massive threat from corporate developers who propose to demolish perfectly repairable and in some cases listed buildings and replace them with unaffordable, unattractive new flats, Currently, PRSC know of 7 separate planning applications of this nature that are being considered along Stokes Croft by Bristol City Council. Proposals vary but all threaten the existence of the great variety of exciting underground / cultural assets we have in Stokes Croft and were they to go through, Stokes Croft would look much like the waterfront does now – bland and monotone, sanitised and gated. The exciting mix of creativity that has attracted people from all over the world to the area for decades would be lost to the mists of time…

All planning applications are published online, and anybody can examine the proposed plans and comment on them… The Council are obliged to take account of these comments.

We will from now on make a point of alerting as many people as possible to all proposed developments within the area. We will endeavour to inform you as best we can as to what’s being proposed and how we can all – from our various individual but connected pressure groups / crews – make our feelings about such developments known.

There are a couple of crucially important things to make clear about how we can make use of the planning process:

1) If enough members of the public ‘comment’ on an application once it’s online, the Council are obliged to call an open committee meeting where people can turn up to make their objections known in person.

2) It is our understanding that anybody may speak at the subsequent committee meeting, for up to 3 minutes, to voice their concerns, challenge the legality etc. of the application in question so long as they apply to speak at least 24 hours before the meeting. This is a legitimate method by which residents, concerned parties, activists can directly address the decision makers and show the strength of feeling and raise legitimate objections. It is the first line of resistance, and organisation between concerned groups will make our voice stronger. It is essential to realise that, just because an application has been submitted, the result is not a foregone conclusion…

By using our legitimate rights judiciously, we can bring force to bear… The planners are not used to masses of people demanding to speak…
In essence, engaging with the process by peaceful means, and working together, will buy us all time in which we can form stronger bonds among our various groups and research our objections more thoroughly, making our case for preserving Stokes Croft as the cultural hub it is, a lot stronger.

ACTION REQUIRED NOW PLEASE…

The Attic Bar.. Part of the Full Moon

There is currently a planning application for the demolition and rebuild of the Attic Bar, next to the Full Moon, on North St. at the bottom of Stokes croft.

The deadline for comments and objections has been extended to Friday 23rd May – THIS FRIDAY

Whilst it falls in the curtilage of the Grade 2 listed Full Moon, the Attic itself is not listed, but is subject to Listed Consent, which means the impact of any changes to the Attic has to be considered with reference to the historic nature of The Full Moon. However, The Full Moon will stay as it is. The Planning Application is to fully demolish the Attic bar – originally built in 1715 as the bar for The Full Moon Hotel and coach house. It was probably partially bombed, then altered in 1955 and was fully renovated in 2006/7. While the Attic building has fluctuated in height over the years, and been almost entirely rebuilt, it is said to have retained its ‘character of age,’ in perfect keeping with the Full Moon, the second oldest known pub in Bristol.

The proposed plans show a complete rebuild, with extra height, and space for “16 serviced apartments” above. The design for the new Attic development is modern, with a curved roof and some of the design attempts to follow the style of the original building. The view from the Full Moon’s courtyard in between the two buildings would be arguably less attractive and the general way the open space there can be experienced now will change. The design statement says that this is to extend the backpackers hostel, which would not be a bad thing necessarily. The current owners have a reputable small company with eco-friendly philosophies.

We would like to know why the entrance to the new building faces directly onto North Street? If the building is intended to be part of the Full Moon backpacker hostel, as the plans suggest, then you’d have thought the entrance would be within the curtilage of The Full Moon and facing into the courtyard. The one-bed apartments are being proposed as short term accommodation for visitors, and could not be sold individually unless the owners applied to the council for ‘change of use’ (from commercial to residential). With the entrance facing directly onto North Street, the division of the new Attic from The Full Moon becomes eminently possible and and is a point, in our view, worth considering.

The Full Moon and Attic is advertised for sale subject to planning permission, and is being marketed as a ‘development opportunity’.

Importantly, this case (should the Attic be demolished?) goes to a closed committee (i.e. the council will discuss this case alone, without the public) on 30th May. They have verbally agreed to extend the time in which people can make comments until FRIDAY 23RD MAY (this Friday). Therefore, if you have an opinion concerning this proposal that you would like the council to consider at their meeting, you must add your comment, by Friday 23rd May at the latest. You can read the full planning application for yourselves, view proposed plans and make your comment here [on the Bristol City Council website].

If there are sufficient objections, then there will be a meeting which will be open to the public, to discuss this proposal…

Apologies for the lengthiness – it’s a confusing business!

Peoples Republic of Stokes Croft,
Turbo Island Studio,
37, Jamaica Street,
Stokes Croft,
Bristol,
BS2 8JP

Mobile: 07866 627 052
Email: chris@prsc.org.uk

I’ll add more links tomorrow, interweb’s playing up tonight :(

PS I learned a new word from that – ‘curtilage’ :D

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