Application Details

Reference 19/01222/F
Address Bishopston Medical Practice 43 Nevil Road Bristol BS7 9EG  
Street View
Proposal Retention of 1 two storey temporary Portakabin building to the rear of the site and single storey temporary Portakabin building to the front of the existing building (previously granted under 15/06068/F) until 31st December 2019
Validated 11-03-19
Type Full Planning
Status Decided
Neighbour Consultation Expiry 05-04-19
Determination Deadline 06-05-19
Decision GRANTED subject to condition(s)
Decision Issued 22-08-19
BCC Planning Portal Application
Public Comments Supporters: 0 Objectors: 7  Unstated: 2  Total: 9
No. of Page Views 469

TBS response: NEUTRAL

Recommendation submitted 20-04-19

Public Comments

The Bishopston Society 

We understand that the medical practice is providing an essential public service for thelocal community, but it is clear that the current solution is not sustainable longterm and that it isunreasonable for the local residents to have to put up with it for a further three years with noquestions asked.We suggest that the application is put to committee with a recommendation for a further period ofone year only, with the original conditions re-imposed and enforced by the planning department.The practice should be made to publish its efforts to find new premises on a three monthly basis,so that the community is kept informed of the situation. In our view this is a matter which cannot beallowed to drift on for another three years without any solution in sight.


With this application it is clear that there is a need to balance good planning practicewith the need for the vital local health service that Bishopston Medical Practice provides.

Residents have made clear to me the ongoing issues they experience with the practice, includingthe hours of use and aesthetics.

There is a lack of parking in the area for patients, employees and residents alike, resulting inunsafe parking by some. This, plus the traffic and pollution on narrow residential streets thatcomes with it, is a key reason why this is not a sustainable location for a busy GPs' Practice.

However, it is clear that the Practice needs this space in order to deliver its vital service to thelocal area. To that end I am neither for or against the application, but do wish for this to be the lasttemporary extension to the permission. Therefore, if permission is granted, I would stronglysuggest conditions to ensure that the Practice makes real progress in finding a new site within thenext three years, including an initial plan and regular updates which should be made publiclyavailable.

I also note the reported lack of compliance with the conditions of the existing permission, asdetailed within the public comments. If officers find this noncompliance to be the case then I wouldalso suggest that any new permission should include enforced adherence to the initial conditions.

Unknown   OBJECT


I wish to object to this application on a number of grounds.

1) The occupiers have breached several of the conditions imposed when planning permission wasoriginally granted. There was a breach of condition 7 relating to landscaping (17/30268/BCN) dueto a failure to plant climbing plants on trellises. After intervention by the council these were plantedbut were not maintained and soon died. The breach is therefore ongoing. There was a breach ofcondition 4 (17/30402/BCN) as windows were not fixed shut. These conditions were put in placeas an attempt to mitigate the impact on neighbours. I have seen no evidence that the travel plansrequired by condition 10 have been followed or monitored. No information about travel appears tobe available to patients on their website. Despite requests I have seen no evidence that condition11, which required annual updates of the occupier's search for alternative premises, has beenfollowed. The site has been in breach of its overall planning permission since 18/03/19.

2) Parking remains an issue in this area and potential solutions including yellow lines aroundcorners and residents' parking have not been implemented. Nevil Rd is a major walking route toClyde House Nursery and Brunel Field School and the current parking situation is unsafe.

3) I am sympathetic to the difficulties facing the surgery however I do not think there is a viablesolution to them. I am not convinced a suitable and affordable site within their catchment areaexists. The surgery do not appear to have made any meaningful progress over the past 3 yearsand the challenges they face are only likely to increase. The current situation is not sustainablelong-term.

4) The placement of Portakabins in the front garden of a Victorian property is not in keeping withthe character of the local area or with planning policy.

5) The published opening hours of the surgery in the initial application do not reflect the long, andoften antisocial, hours that staff use or clean the building for.

I would respectfully ask that permission is granted for a short extension, perhaps for 12 months, toallow the surgery to make alternative plans but that a longer extension is denied. I would alsorequest that this goes to committee.


For a number of reasons, we object to the retention of the Portakabins for a furthertemporary period of 3 years.

1. The original planning conditions were not met. If the planning application is approved, it isimperative that these conditions are properly enforced.a. No plants have been grown that were intended to improve the poor aesthetics of thePortakabins which are not in keeping with the local landscape.b. The practice was requested to provide an update on the search for a new site. There is noevidence of this.

2. Pollution - On a regular basis car engines are left idling whilst the driver waits to collect apatient. This is against the Highway Code and creates unacceptable air pollution outside ourhouse in an area where there are many young children. A number of recent studies havehighlighted the significant impact of air pollution on people's health. If the planning application isapproved more must be done to prevent this behaviour.

3. Inconsiderate parking - On a regular basis we witness inconsiderate parking by patients andNHS delivery drivers over neighbours' drives. If the planning application is approved more must bedone to prevent this behaviour.

It must be ensured that in 3 years' time there is not another application for a further 3 years.Considering the public need for the Medical Practice and the concerns raised regarding this andthe previous application I would propose an extension for a further year. Within this period the

Practice must demonstrate that it is complying with the original planning conditions and there is aclear plan when a new site will be available.


The portakabins are an eyesore despite attempts to improve. They are not in keepingwith the buildings in the location.Patient parking continues to cause problems on our road with reduced parking for residents, attimes unsafe parking which blocks the road and also parking over our drive way.


This development is contrary to the development plan. Its justification is the need for theongoing provision of primary health services. I am very sympathetic to that need, but that cannotmean that as local planning authority BCC offers the practice free rein. It ought to be balancingthat need against the impacts of the development on residential amenity.

Unfortunately, the surgery has consistently failed to respect the planning conditions on its previoustemporary consent (15/06068/F).

The approved landscaping details require climbing plants to be maintained on the screeningtrellises. They are (and have been) bare.

Condition 11 required the surgery to provide the Council with updates in March 2017 and March2018 on its search for an alternate site. My understanding is that an update was provided inAugust 2017 (so late), which also provided no meaningful information concerning the search for anew site. I am not aware if the second update was provided. The DAS supporting the currentapplication indicates that no site has been found, but no meaningful information about when thatmatter may be resolved. There is no information before the Council that there is a realisticprospect that any alternative site will become available in the short term.

Finally, the existing consent expired on 18 March 2019. The surgery is presently operating withoutplanning permission.

If the Council is minded to grant a further temporary consent for these portakabins, it should do so

only on a limited basis. The DAS indicates that April 2019 will see the commencement of aprocurement process for the provision of the services currently offered by the practice. That beingthe case, it seems reasonable to suggest that the practice should be offered a further year toidenitfy what services it can offer from this site over the medium to long terms, and makeappropriate adjustments if no alternative site is available. Any further temporary permission shouldbe limited to a year from the expiry of the previous consent (i.e. until 18 March 2020).

In the absence of information being provided to the Council which indicates a site will becomeavailable in the short term, it would be (Wednesbury) irrational to allow consent for the 3 yearperiod applied for.

A condition should also be imposed preventing staff entering the practice before 7am onweekdays, or 8am on weekends, in the interests of protecting the residential amenity of the localarea. The Council is lawfully able to impose such a condition on both the applicaiton site(portakabins) and the remainder of the practice (blueland) as part of the application before it.

Given the sensitivity of this site I would suggest this is a matter which ought to be determined byCouncillors at committee, as the previous temporary consent was.

Unknown   OBJECT

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Permission was granted for these portakabins in 2016, against many objections, on theunderstanding that it would be temporary for 3 years whilst alternative premises would be soughtfor the doctors' practice. Whilst we all wish to have a doctors' practice in our area, this particularsituation is extremely unsuitable due to parking problems for patients, increased traffic in localroads, nuisance to neighbours and a detrimental effect on house prices in the immediate vicinity.All visitors to our house have commented on how ugly they are and that if they were looking to buya house in the immediate area it would definitely deter them. Bishopston Medical Practice has had3 years to find alternative premises. Another extension of supposedly temporary accommodationis not the answer. The key word here is temporary. I do not consider another 3 years to be at alltemporary and believe it will lead to a permanent request due to longevity of use which cannot beallowed.