Third time lucky for Legion plans

November 26 2019

THE FATE of the Royal British Legion building in Staple Hill has finally been sealed.
Planners at South Gloucestershire Council have given permission for Land and Buildings Ltd to demolish the building in Kendall Road and replace it with two semi-detached homes with gardens and five flats.
Previous plans for the site had been turned down twice. Developer Charlotte Alsopp wanted to build two one-bed flats, four two-bed flats and a two-bed house.
But the authority said the proposals were “unacceptable” and would be harmful to the character of the area, saying that balconies and windows would impact on the privacy of neighbours and future occupiers would suffer from a lack of light.
The proposals were amended and brought back before the council but planners felt they did not go far enough to address design concerns.
Further talks between the developer and council have since taken place and now planning permission has finally been granted.
The current plans include demolishing the existing building and replacing it with a pair of semi-detached homes at the rear of the site while a three-storey block at the front would accommodate seven flats.  A courtyard area in between will provide parking for all the homes.
A council report said: “Revised plans have been received and have addressed concerns raised by officers and some of those raised by neighbours.
“This contemporary proposal is representative of a high quality scheme which is appropriate for this location.”
Residents raised concerns about privacy and overlooking but the report said there is now sufficient distance to make the scheme acceptable.
“Overall the proposal would not have an adverse impact on the amenity of both future occupants and on existing neighbours and can therefore be supported,” the report concluded.
The report mentioned that Japanese knotwood had been identified in nearby gardens and urged the developer to take care during construction to avoid any further spread of the invasive species.
The club closed suddenly at the end of 2016 under mysterious circumstances, with the British Legion's head office refusing to explain why it had shut.
The building had been marketed by property agent Alder King which announced the building had been sold for “in excess of £315,000” just days before the plans were turned down by the council in April.