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Have your say on plans for Old Cinema Site

Deadline for comments is August 31

Main image: The old cinema on Filwood Broadway and former petrol station site next to it where part of the planned development will be. Picture Lewis Campbell.

Local people are being urged to have their say on plans for 30 new homes and commercial space on Filwood Broadway which includes the Old Cinema Site and land to the rear.

The plans submitted by Bristol City Council are now on the local authority’s website – and residents have less than three weeks to make comments.

Redevelopment of the site for the homes will include the demolition of the former cinema and bingo hall which closed in 1994 and creation of new access onto Filwood Broadway. The scheme also covers the vacant land next to the cinema where there used to be a petrol station and scrub land behind the Broadway.

Aerial view of the site. Picture Bristol City Council.

All the homes will be for social, affordable or intermediate rent – consisting of 13 two and three-bedroom terraced houses built along a new crescent road at the rear of the site, linking Barnstaple Road to Filwood Broadway.

There would also be 17 mainly one and two-bedroom flats on the upper floors of two four-storey buildings fronting Filwood Broadway – with commercial space and a new library on the ground floor of the apartment blocks.

The scheme also provides parking for 34 cars as well as 70 cycle parking spaces across the development, along with landscaping – which includes a small enclosed square to provide a public space along the main road.

Artist’s impression looking west along the proposed crescent road.

Two public consultations have already taken place in December 2019 and an online consultation from January to February 2022.

Previous comments on the designs, prior to the application included “continuing some of the horizontal elements of the existing buildings on Filwood Broadway into the new blocks” and for them to have similar materials.

The new designs of the apartment blocks are of red facing brick “to continue the rhythm of the existing buildings along Filwood Broadway” but plans state they would provide a “modern interpretation of the terrace” with the top floor finished in corrugated metal cladding.

There were also fears that an important building like the church of Christ the King should not be overshadowed by the development.

The plans have been changed to make sure the church is “the key visible building within Filwood Broadway with views of it from both the north and south end of the road maintained.”

The corner building on the petrol station site has now been moved back and the upper level of the building changed to incorporate a mansard roof. 

Visual of new design making sure the church is still a focal point.

Filwood Broadway Working Group (FBWG) wrote a letter in February expressing the need for a “joined up approach to Filwood Broadway” in respect of the Old Cinema Site, Old Swimming Pool Site, Public Realm and the library site.

Although grateful for assurances that this would be the case – the group also wanted stronger commitment from the council that “more public services would be provided along the Broadway” as a result of all the planned developments.

Members also asked for the new crescent to become a cul-de-sac running from Barnstaple Road into the site, with no vehicle access onto the Broadway – which is not part of the new plans.

Another suggestion from FBWG was around the strength of feeling in the community about the old cinema and its architecture – with a view that it should not be demolished but preserved and re-purposed.

They said an alternative proposal would be to preserve the historic frontage with a new building behind – or at least provide a mural of the cinema on the new buildings if the development were to go ahead.

The demolition of the old cinema was approved under a separate planning application in September 2019 – and work must be carried out within five years from the date of decision.

To view and have your say on the plans for the Old Cinema Site visit the council’s planning portal. Planning reference is PP-11383811. Deadline is August 31.

All site images courtesy of Bristol City Council.