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Comments on revised plans for Western Slopes to be in by March 20

Meeting held in Knowle West to look at amended plans

Main image: View of the Western Slopes. Picture Nick Smith.

Residents have until March 20 to give comments on amended plans by Lovell Partnerships for housing on the Western Slopes.

The controversial plans for 157 homes were first submitted by Lovell in October 2021 for an area of meadow and woodland in Knowle West that stretches from Novers Hill to Hartcliffe Way.

The site earmarked for development is on private land which backs on to an industrial estate. Revised plans were added to the council portal on February 1 and March 1 and include a reduction of 13 homes to 144.

Campaign group Friends of the Western Slopes has been fighting to save the area – which is a Site of Nature Conservation Interest – and wants to see it preserved as a nature reserve for the community.

The group has been backed by Avon Wildlife Trust which is calling for the Slopes to be protected as a “vital wildlife corridor” – as well as by naturalist and television presenter Chris Packham.

The industrial estate next to the Western Slopes. Picture Lovell Partnerships.

The plans include 30 per cent affordable homes, with most in flats in three storey apartment blocks, some of which which would be next to the industrial estate. There has also been concern, following Lovell’s noise consultant’s report, that the blocks would act as a ‘noise buffer’ for the private housing.

The southern part of the Slopes owned by Bristol City Council was originally designated by Goram Homes for 360 houses.

But following an ecological report the council will now use a smaller area of brownfield land near the site for 70 new homes ‘to protect the important wildlife corridor and meadow and grassland habitats.”

Lovell has said their application includes 1.92 hectares (19,200 square metres) of green space – the size of over two and a half football pitches.

It will also include “a large area set aside to protect and enhance biodiversity” as well as a new children’s play area and woodland walk.

The developer says with a housing crisis in the city and thousands of people waiting for homes – although brownfield sites can provide part of the solution, green field sites are needed too.

New plans for 144 homes on the Western Slopes

Friends of the Western Slopes met with the Knowle West Regeneration Residents Planning Group (KWRRPG) this week to look over the new plans.

One of their concerns is that the reduction of homes to allow for the widening of Novers Hill will lead to more tree and meadow loss – and very little of the hedgerow along the road will be left.

Friends member Danica Priest, who has written a long letter of objection, said: “The beauty and diversity of our meadow is priceless, and we cannot allow it to be destroyed by careless planning decisions.

“While the application may have undergone changes, our beloved meadow and ancient hedgerows still face the threat of destruction. The new documents reveal that there is now even more tree loss, more loss to the protected hedgerows and a greater biodiversity net loss overall. The developers plan to pay for offsetting credits that are used on private land in Nailsea to ‘repay’ for this loss of important wildlife habitat.

“The other problematic aspects of this application remain for example the social housing flats are still being used as a ‘sound shield’ for the luxury homes and residents in the social flats will require ‘alternative ventilation.’”

The Knowledge approached Lovell Partnerships for a response but has not yet received one.

To view and comment on the plans by March 20 visit:

https://pa.bristol.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=documents&keyVal=QZSL00DN0DG00