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Empire Sports Club, St Pauls, Bristol

Empire Sports Club, St Pauls, Bristol

CSJ Planning Consultants working in conjunction with Oxford Architects, have been successful in obtaining Planning and Listed Building consent for the conversion of the former Boxing Club Gym to 23 apartments. Dating from the 1880’s, the property has a complex history originally built as a Mission Hall by the members of Clifton College for the poor of east Bristol. Over time the use has adapted to a Sunday School, a Boys Club with an emphasis on physical fitness and ultimately a specialist gymnasium for boxing training. The latter use established in the 1960’s declined over several decades resulting in little or no building maintenance. At the point of application the building was vacant, derelict and showing signs of severe structural distress, extensive rot and water ingress.

CSJ Planning demonstrated through multiple submissions that the optimum and only viable use of the property was a residential conversion. Heritage objections against the subdivision of certain internal spaces and attics proved problematic and Historic England ultimately sought a Call In Inquiry by the Secretary of State. This was denied and ultimately Bristol City Council took a balanced judgement weighing the alleged heritage harm against public benefit in accordance with NPPF134. The outcome was the grant of conditional consent which will boost the housing supply in east Bristol and provide much needed investment in the Listed Building, arresting control of the ongoing decay. All the apartments have been sensitively designed and much of the internal and external fabric will be restored to its former glory.



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