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Unite Propose New Plans for Bristol Infirmary

Posted by Richard Ward in

Image courtesy of Flickr, Creative Commons

Plans to knock down the old Bristol Royal Infirmary building and replace it with student flats have come up against stiff opposition.

More than 600 people have filed objections to knocking down the Bristol infirmary and replacing it with a nine-storey block, able to accommodation 715 students.

Student specialists Unite, is hoping to demolish the site on Marlborough Street and replace it with a block of purpose-built student accommodation.

The proposals include 715 student bed spaces, communal areas and a central courtyard. The development will consist of a seven, eight and nine-storey building, as well as further buildings to the rear that could accommodate offices and a shop.

According to Unite, the new development could generate up to 280-300 jobs in the area. In documents submitted as part of the application, the company said: "Students and new workers will increase economic activity in the area, which will serve to benefit local retail and commercial facilities in the area such as the retail function located towards Christmas Steps Arts Quarter."

However, those against the scheme cited the development's "monolithic" size and the city's acute housing crisis as reasons for objection. There are also concerns that as the student population grows the city will lose even more income due to student exemptions.

The latest plan proceeds an even larger scheme, up to 20-storeys tall, which was previously rejected by councillors, despite planning officers recommending its approval.

Unite purchased the infirmary in 2015 and hope to finally receive approval to develop the site after several failed attempts.