Liz Lake Associates were appointed by CSJ Planning to prepare a Townscape and Visual Impact Assessment for Phase 1 of the Bristol Arena development on land adjacent to the central train station and a short walk from the city centre. A former diesel depot, the site will be radically transformed into an iconic landmark, providing Bristol with a much needed, world-class, 12,000 capacity entertainment venue, due to open in 2018. Phase 2 of the development will follow and comprises of commercial units and residential blocks on the Bristol Arena Island.
This one of a kind project for the city of Bristol demanded an in-depth analysis of current baseline conditions through desk study, field work and photographic study. This identified a number of sensitive receptors including the adjacent Grade I listed Temple Meads Railway Station, Conservation Areas, the Arnos Vale Cemetery and residents of nearby neighbourhoods. High resolution LIDAR mapping data, which can identify individual buildings, was used to produce a detailed ZTV which informed our chosen viewpoints. Consideration was given to local planning policy guidance on tall buildings, which highlighted a number of important views across the city which take in the site. With no Landscape Character Assessment to inform the baseline, a comprehensive Townscape Character Assessment was undertaken to identify the widely contrasting character areas around the site; Residential, Industrial, Business District and City Centre Mixed Use areas.
The TVIA formed a chapter of an EIA which has been submitted as part of the planning application and is under consideration by Bristol City Council. The TVIA assessed the impact the development of Phase 1 would have on the local townscape character areas and on local visual receptors during the construction phase and upon competition; proposing mitigation measures to reduce any significant adverse effects. The assessment also considered the potential cumulative impacts of phase 2 of the development, a mixed use development, against the future baseline of the site.