Flats plan for Salvation Army church in Bedminster approved

Developer agrees to hand over £65,000 to local community

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

A developer has received planning permission to convert a closed-down community building in Bedminster into flats - but on the condition he hands over £65,000 to the local community.

Bristol City Council last week approved plans from Mark Bedford to turn the Salvation Army hall in Dean Lane into seven apartments. The building has been empty since 2019 and more recently has been boarded up to stop people getting inside.

When considering the application for the three-storey building, council planning officers judged if the loss of the community building was acceptable; accessing what was already available nearby and if there was still a need for it.

Papers attached to the granting of permission showed they found there was a need for community floor space. They also found an organisation which was looking to take on a unit in East Street, but needing money to take the plan forward.

As a result, council officers agreed that the matter be resolved by the developer paying £65,000 - the difference in value between a one and two-bed flat - toward the community for the new space.

The former Salvation Army community building which will now be turned into apartmentsThe former Salvation Army community building which will now be turned into apartments
The former Salvation Army community building which will now be turned into apartments

During a public consultation on the planning application for the flats submitted in October, one letter of objection was received. It said the building should still be used for the community ad that the plans did not enhance Bedminster Conservation Area.

But given the graffiti and dilapidated state of the building, council officers said the proposal would clean and restore the building. They also said that the main changes would be internal, and that the main trusses within the church hall were to be retained within upper floor apartments.

Under the proposal, the apartments will all be two-beds, with each having an outdoor space or balcony. Indoor cycle storage will be provided for 10 bikes.

Due to the size of the development, none of the flats are required to be ‘affordable’.

The Salvation Army had been based at the building in Dean Lane for more than 110 years. But, on closure in 2019, the group moved to a new home in Padstow Road in Knowle West.

The group said the cost of repairing and maintaining the site no longer made it viable.