Chocolate Factory in Greenbank

Generator (Chocolate Factory) LLP has submitted a full planning application, under reference 15/06400/F to Bristol City Council for the redevelopment of the former Elizabeth Shaw Chocolate Factory in Greenbank. The details are on their website at

  • 138 new homes, in a mix of houses and apartments
  • 142 new car parking spaces for residential and commercial uses
  • A new landscaped public open space, linking the wider Greenbank neighbourhood with the Bristol & Bath Railway Path
  • An independent retail/cafe unit
  • Flexible workshop units for creative enterprises
  • A refurbished building for community & commercial use

Bristol Cycling Campaign has submitted detailed a detailed response highlighting the lack of cycle parking and shortcomings in the travel plan.

Comments on the Transport Assessment:

Our primary objection is to the volume of traffic that this application will create in the residential streets of Greenbank via the access on Co-operation Rd.

The previous accepted planning application had the majority (75%) of vehicle access to the site made via the Greenbank Rd entrance, and even this was only accepted by the local residents as a necessary evil to support the retention of the Victorian buildings.

The original proposals put forward by Generator at the public consultations had all vehicle access to the site made via the Greenbank Rd entrance.

Section 7.3 of the Transport Assessment states that the application has 70 car parking spaces accessed from Greenbank Rd and 55 from Co-operation Rd. A total of 125, which ignores the 17 cars parked on Co-operation Rd.

This means that 72 car parking spaces will access the site via the streets of Greenbank (including those parking on Co-operation Rd). A majority.

This is not acceptable. The internal road blockages can be easily reconfigured.

We ask that the access to Co-operation Rd opposite Camerton Rd should be blocked in the same way as the refuse access opposite Camelford Rd.

Although Chocbox 2 did suggest that an access could exist opposite Camerton Rd, this was only if the public open space was moved to the west of Block D and all conflict between vehicles and access to the Railway Path was removed. As these changes have not been made there is no support for vehicle access through the residential streets of Greenbank.

We note that all the traffic surveys relate to access via Greenbank Rd and Gordon Rd/Royate Hill.

These would appear to justify all vehicle access being via Greenbank Rd/Gordon Rd.

There appear to have been no traffic surveys within Greenbank itself or the access roads to Greenbank e.g. Devon Rd, St Mark’s Rd, Chelsea Rd, Robertson Rd etc.

These roads are all densely parked with insufficient room for 2 cars to pass. Any increase in traffic in these streets would require extensive traffic management measures to safely accomodate this increase.

The Transport Assessment is therefore completely deficient and inadequate in regard to the current application.

We are concerned that no mention of motorcycle or van parking appears in the Transport Assessment.

It would seem certain that some van parking will be required by the commercial units.

Motorcycles have several environmental and personal advantages over car usage and their ownership should be catered for.

Electric mobility scooters are not considered anywhere in the assessment either.

These are interesting vehicles and this site may present Bristol with an opportunity for a UK or World 1st.

Many articles have been written recently reporting that the British use electric ‘mobility’ scooters more than any other nationality, and that they are increasingly being used by the able-bodied.

As far as we are aware they are not generally considered as part of the sustainable transport mix but they are proably more environmental than any form of transport other than cycling or walking.

As such we think this site presents an opportunity to promote them as an alternative to the car for people who are unable or unwilling to cycle.

It would be possible to store 4 to 5 mobility scooters in the space occupied by a single car and they would be ideal for trips to local shops and other facilities.

If parking space for them was provided at Stapleton Rd station they could even form part of the transport web.

Provision of facilities for these would be likely to make the development highly attractive to an older age group and may have benefits to the developer as well as older people from the local community.

We therefore suggest that this be considered for the site.

We would ask that all car parking spaces should be provided with facilities for charging electric vehicles, as these will hopefully become more and more prevalent.

This could easily be done in the garages and car ports and could be incorporated into bollards for the external parking bays.

Concerns with specific sections of the Transport Assessment are as follows:

Section 3:

3.9: We note that the Square Peg application was to provide £35,000 for traffic lights under the Royate Hill viaduct.

A better suggested proposal is to move the pedestrian footways under the Royate Hill viaduct to arches either side. This would allow 2-way traffic through the main arch and massively reduce queueing on Gordon Rd.

This scheme should be funded before the site is occupied.

Section 7:

7.12: The conditions on the Square Peg application included a 3.5T restriction on Co-operation Rd which required removals vehicles and refuse & recycling vehicles to access the site from Greenbank Rd.

How is this being handled for the current application.

7.23: The vehicle entrances to the site should have raised tables level with the adjacent pavements to reduce vehicle speeds.

7.29: The mews street between terraces 03 and 04 is likely to suffer from inappropriate on-street parking due to a lack of:

planting, street furniture and other features, which

will assist in providing a protected space for vulnerable road users, restrain through vehicle

speeds and prevent on-street parking in inappropriate locations”.

7.31: We ask that the site will be required to have low energy ‘dark sky’ street lighting.

7.32: Vehicles will only be able to use the full width of shared use space if measures are in place to prevent street parking.

7.38: What measures will be in place to prevent long term use of the unallocated car parking by residents.

7.42: States that the current application has 64 car parking spaces accessed from Greenbank Rd and 78 from Co-operation Rd.

This even worse than stated earlier and we hope it is a mistake.

7.44: We are very impressed with the BCC SADMP requirements for residential cycle parking but feel that in this location the standard requirements for commercial and visitor cycle parking are too low.

7.52: A space for a car club van should also be provided. This should exit the site via Greenbank Rd.

Section 8:

We would point out that when the factory was in use, all on-site vehicle parking was accessed via Greenbank Rd and there was no vehicle access to the site via Co-operation Rd (at least within the last 25yrs).

We do not believe that a comparison with the Square Peg application is valid.

The schemes are very different in the degree to which the aspirations of the local community have been accomodated.

With the Square Peg application it had been accepted that there was a give & take in order to make the scheme work.

This scheme attempts to take without having given much at all.

8.5: We would point out that for the Square Peg application the agreed Highways matters included section 106 highways improvements and we trust that the same conditions would be required of this development.

The Square Peg application was to give:

£130,000 for traffic calming on local roads.

£35,000 for traffic lights under the Royate Hill viaduct.

£45,000 for pedestrian & cycle facilities in the vicinity.

Section 9:

This provides no data regarding access via Co-operation Rd.

9.3 We note that even if all the traffic generated by the site were to be via Greenbank Rd, the total impact would still be ‘within the 10 percent variation in traffic flows and is not considered to be a material impact‘.

Section 10:

This provides no data regarding access via Co-operation Rd.

Section 11:

Our conclusion is that the Transport Assessment is completely deficient and inadequate in regard to the current application.


Comments on the Cycle Parking Strategy

It should be called cycle parking not storage as the concept should be focussed on use not storage.

The cycle parking provision for residents, described in section 7.44 of the Transport Assessment, is very good but visitor parking should be higher for the location:

We are concerned that the cycle parking for Terraces 01 & 02 and the town houses in Block F appear to use the same space as the refuse provisions for these.

We are also concerned that none of the house plans show cycle parking, although they do show refuse storage.

The concept of cycle parking in back gardens with rear access gates is good in principle but some concerns exist.

Some terraced properties seem to be lacking sheds and/or rear access.

There is a lack of detail and we would hope to see the following specified for the terraced properties:

1. All terraced properties should have covered cycle parking accessible without going through the living accomodation.

2. Access should be suitable for cycles with child trailers.

3. Cycle locking rails should exist within all car ports for use by residents who don’t own cars.

4. Sheffield racks should be provided in car ports for residents who request them.

5. Permission should exist for further garden sheds should residents wish to extend or install them.

We are concerned that the cycle parking for Terrace 05 is shown at the rear of the garages, which is not designed to encourage cycle use.

This is does not therefore meet the intentions of the SADMP requirements.

We think careful attention needs to be paid to the question of whether these garages can meet the planning requirements of both car and cycle parking.

We have been unable to find an overall inventory of the cycle parking for the scheme and need further details of the cycle parking proposed for the blocks as this appears to be inadequate.

Where lifts exist they should be large enough to take an adult cycle, as many people own expensive bicycles which they wish to keep in their accomodation.

Where lifts do not exist the stairs should be such that cycles can be carried up them.

Block A:

The cycle parking here appears to be shown as racks on the ‘Proposed Cycle Storage Strategy’ and there are no details on the block plans.

We can only trust that it will meet requirements for secure, sheltered cycle parking.

Block B:

The majority of the cycle parking for Block B should be within the building, preferably where an existing car space is located adjacent to the residential entrance.

We doubt that the proposed cycle parking would be adequate to allow the use of all cycles and therefore may not meet requirements.

Block C:

We think the cycle parking for the community building is woefully inadequate.

If the corner of Co-operation Rd and Turley Rd were repaved as a small home zone it would allow opportunities to place cycle parking here.

Block D:

The use of space in the ‘garage’ is very badly planned.

The cycle parking by the entrance ramp should swap location with the refuse store. This would improve access to the refuse eurobins.

The space vacated by the refuse bins should be secure storage for communal cycle trailers, child trailers etc.

Car space 1 should be moved south by it’s full length and car space 2 should be moved south by half it’s length. Both should be closer to the eastern wall.

The cycle parking moved from the ramp could then be placed behind the cars with room for a greater provision.

All the cycle parking at this end of the garage could then be caged for additional security.

Car spaces 8 & 9 should also be moved closer to the eastern wall to allow room for the cycle racks shown to be used.

Car space 9 should probably be for a van.

Block E:

We do not think the cycle parking shown on the plans is adequate or meets requirements.

Block F – apartments:

The door to the cycle parking should be a single door opening outwards and capable of being latched open.

The current design prevents access to half the space.

We would also suggest that the eastern 4 racks are arranged in an arc to allow easier access and make better use of the space.

Otherwise this looks to be good provision.

Block G:

Inadequate detail is shown and we feel unable to access the cycle parking for this block.

Public open space:

We think additional cycle parking could be provided in the shadow east of Block D, either through sheffield racks or imaginative use of railings.

Any railings around the periphery of the space should be designed to allow cycle parking where appropriate.

Additional cycle locking facilities should be provided near the cafe and the entrance from the Railway Path. There is almost certainly an opportunity to place sheffields rack under the trees to the south of the cafe just below the Railway Path. This is probably sloping ground but that is not a problem for racks at right angles to the slope.

We think there are opportunities for cycle racks under trees on the site to provide for visitors to the blocks.

Possible CIL cycle projects:

Fund built out kerbs at local junctions.

Funding Space 4 Cycling provision

Fund additional cycle parking at Stapleton Rd station & local bus stops.

Fund a cycle route through the cemetery to Eastville Park.


Comments on the Travel Plan for the Chocolate Factory

We think the travel plan, as presented, is not acceptable.

The targets are completely inadequate and unambitious.

The development should be aiming to achieve a radically different modal share from the moment of occupation.

Car ownership levels should be no more than that for local streets.

The site as promoted and advertised as suitable for cyclists etc.

A lower than standard provision of car parking should encourage occupation by people prepared to use other forms of transport.

A budget for the TPC should be specified and agreed.

While the availability of a grant for cycle purchase is very welcome the grant level must be specified and it should not be limited to one per household.

A fund should exist for additional cycle facilities requested by the residents via the TPC.

TPC could organise cycle & pedestrian crocodiles for school children

Suggestions for improving facilities and reducing car usage and ownership:

Shared cycle trailers & trailers for children should be provided, with storage space provided in Block D

Electric cycles and cycle load carriers.

Discounted business rental for a business renting bicycles to residents.

An electric car club van should also be provided.

Amazon-style delivery lockers on the site.

Measures to discourage car usage should be proposed e.g.:

Road textures that make car access uncomfortable.

Traffic calming measures on roads in Greenbank affected by increased traffic.

Traffic lights on routes into and out of Greenbank to regulate traffic flow e.g. Devon Rd bridge could be made unidirectional at peak times.