Decision due on knocking down Filton garage and building three-storey student flats

A decision is due next week on knocking down a former garage in Filton and building three storeys of student flats. Developers are applying for planning permission from South Gloucestershire Council to build the flats in between Gloucester Road and Rectory Lane.

The flats would have 75 beds and be built on the site of the former Filton Central Garage, which closed in 2021. Sampson Homes Limited, the developers, said granting permission would take pressure off family homes in the area, many of which are being converted into shared houses.

But local residents are concerned about how the influx of students will add to parking pressures. Planning officers are recommending that councillors on the development management committee vote to approve planning permission on Thursday, May 9.

In planning documents, architects said: “The provision of student housing in purpose-built accommodation relieves the pressure on the local housing stock, leaving it available for families. This is a particularly prominent issue currently for Filton, which is experiencing an increase in the conversion of dwellings to houses of multiple occupancy.

“Since [the garage’s] closure, the site has remained vacant and has attracted little interest for re-use as a commercial garage or alternative employment uses. The development adds to the variety of accommodation types available in the North Fringe.”

Over 100 public objections were sent to the council about the development, many of which were concerned about parking. Students will be banned from owning a car as part of their tenancy agreement, although this hasn’t convinced some people living nearby.

Writing to the council, one resident said: “Although stated that contractually no resident parking will be allowed, the enforcement of such is unclear. Given the paucity of on-street parking locally, this is a significant concern to local residents.

“The resultant car movements will add stress to both Rectory Lane, which is a narrow single lane on a sharp and blind bend, and Station Road which is again narrow, and further narrowed by on-street parking that is almost always used. Even without cars, residents will have regular grocery and takeaway deliveries.”