Dovercourt Road: Residents still unhappy with 140 homes plan despite council’s £30k spend on consultants

180 objections were lodged despite a £30k extended consultation

Hundreds of residents remain ‘disgusted’ with plans for more than 100 new homes in Lockleaze - as it emerged the city council spent an extra £30,000 on work to solve their concerns.

Housing is currently the main priority for the Bristol, as outlined in its 2022/23 budget, and last year it earmarked an underused compound behind Dovercourt Road for the creation of 140 multi-storey houses and apartments.

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But people living around the site have rallied together against the proposals from the off, their main qualm being the tiny proposed access route which they say will be unable to cope with a surge in hundreds of new residents and traffic.

The lane off Dovercourt Road which according to plans will serve as the main access route in and out of a development of 140 homes.

In an attempt to come up with a solution that everyone would be happy with, Bristol City Council spent £29,863 in an ‘extended period of consultation’ with the community, the crux of which was spent investigating an alternative access route via Petherbridge Way that residents were in favour of.

But this was seemingly to no avail after the idea was found to be ‘unfeasible’ and a whopping 180 objections were still lodged against the outline proposals before they are put to the planning committee.

Rich Dinham, a member of the resident group who oppose the plans, said: “I know that consultation work is ridiculously expensive but it’s difficult to see where all that money has gone.

“The alternative access route would have solved most of the problems we have with the development and we still believe it to be the better option.

“The current access route simply isn’t big enough and will cause more safety issues on Dovercourt Road which already has a high accident rate.

“The apartment blocks will tower over the semi-detached houses that are already packed in across the road, and there isn’t enough GP or schools provision to even meet the needs of the people that are already here.

“We’re always keen to stress that we are aware the city needs more housing, and we’re not opposed to it if it’s done right.

“Overall, minimal amendments have been made to the plans and trust is at an all time low. We don’t feel we are being listened to at all but as our campaign demonstrates we’re not just going to sit here and let it be pushed through.”

Residents met with BristolWorld at the site earlier this year.

A Bristol City Council spokesperson said the Dovercourt Depot sported huge potential in easing the housing crisis the city is facing, and that 50 per cent of the homes at the site would be afforable.

Regarding to the £30,000 that was spent on extra consultation work, it said: “Additional funding was approved to help support the development of an outline planning application for the site. This funding was used to facilitate an extended period of consultation with the local community, as well as to explore in detail additional design options requested by residents.

An artist’s impression of what the new housing estate could look like.

“This included investigating an alternative access via Petherbridge Way, in response to residents’ earlier feedback. This option was investigated in detail but was found to be unfeasible due to the constraints of the site, including on ecological, planning, transport and cost grounds.”

The authority added: “Bristol has a housing crisis, and we need to deliver new homes. Underused brownfield sites like this are ideal locations for new homes.

“While we welcome challenge – and have spent time and money exploring other options at the request of local people, we need people to come forward with workable solutions and to tell us where they think we should build, rather than simply where we shouldn’t, if we are to meet the challenges of the housing, climate and ecological emergencies.”

The outline application is currently going through the planning process and awaiting a committee date.

Following determination of the outline planning application a reserved matters application will be submitted and the site will be handed Goram Homes, which Bristol City Council owns and will develop the site with its partner Keepmoat Homes.