by BBC LDRS staff and Filtonvoice
Five houses squeezed into tiny plot in Filton given go-ahead despite access concerns
Planners have given the go-ahead for five houses squeezed into a tiny plot of land in Filton despite access concerns. Developers now have planning permission to build the four-bedroom houses on a plot in between Charlton Avenue and Charborough Road.
Local residents raised fears that large vehicles, like fire engines, might struggle to access the new houses, given the road leading to the plot will be small and narrow. Council road experts said fire engines could access the site, although parked cars “may be an issue”.
South Gloucestershire Council’s development management committee voted to grant planning permission on Thursday, February 16. The site was described as “overgrown and unused, save for casual storage of builders’ materials in small ramshackle outbuildings”.
Nick Morley, the applicant, told the committee: “The site is located in a densely populated residential area. The houses are traditionally designed, with traditional materials and are suitable for the area. The proposal adds to the housing stock in a sustainable location.”
A narrow lane coming off Charlton Avenue, a small cul-de-sac, will be the main access to the new houses. Residents told the council that they feared their road would see extra pressure on parking and traffic.
Labour Councillor Adam Monk, representing Filton, said: “The biggest concern from residents is around the access. Charlton Avenue is an extremely tight road. Is the parking being proposed sufficient to ensure there isn’t movement of vehicles onto Charlton Avenue?”
One local resident, writing to the council, added: “There are concerns about the accessibility of this development for large safety vehicles, as the access road is narrow and the space inside the development is relatively small. A fire engine or ambulance may struggle with manoeuvrability, for example, potentially endangering lives.”
The site has been left undeveloped for decades, and was previously used as an orchard and a pony was once kept there. Trees and shrubland on the site have recently been removed. According to council staff, if parked cars obstructed fire engines from getting to the plot of land, firefighters could run hoses along the lane to reach the new houses, if needed.
Martin Crawford, council highways officer, said: “Fire engines can get to and from the site safely. Admittedly, there may be an issue with parked cars which restrict fire engines turning in and out. That said, a fire engine would be able to park on Charlton Avenue and run its hoses along the lane anyhow.
“But in terms of fire access, that is a building regs issue rather than a highways safety issue. We’re happy for the proposal to proceed.”