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3-Story Access Self Storage Facility Planned in Bristol, England, Despite Residential Opposition


Access Self Storage, which operates more than 50 facilities in the United Kingdom, has received permission to build a three-story facility in Bristol, England, on a site that housed an iconic art-deco building for 80 years. Though the former Cruickshanks Mercedes Garage closed a decade ago and was demolished last year, 150 residents had formally opposed the project, according to the source. The council voted unanimously in favor of the plan, with one abstention.

The Access project is expected to be part of a mixed-use plan that includes seven new homes at the intersection of Brunel Way and Winterstoke Road. The self-storage structure will include a tower in homage to the old 1930s tower on the Cruickshanks building that once served as a city landmark, the source reported.

Residents opposed to the plan have called the storage facility “monstrous” and complained there isn’t a need for additional self-storage in the area. Once the number of complaints exceeded 100, Access amended its site plan to move the storage building further away from homes at nearby Bower Ashton Terrace.

“The developers' revised plans do nothing to address Bristol’s housing crisis or the fact that this monstrous warehouse build will hem in and overshadow local residents,” resident Nicola Mcgerty told the source. “It’s commercial profit over residents’ happiness and Bristol’s needs. We have two other storage units within half a mile of this site.”

Consulting company BS3 Planning Group has also criticized the project. “This is the first building many will see on their approach to Bristol, and to replace a landmark art-deco car showroom with a large metal shed shows a lack of respect to the local built environment,” the group said in a statement. “Whilst replicating the tower on site is welcome, it is very much paying lip service to the historic tenor of the site.”

Karin Smyth, who represents Bristol in parliament, also endorsed the opposition, according to the source.

Bristol planners, however, recommended the proposal, concluding it was in line with the local area. “The proposed development would regenerate a prominent site at the gateway to an important industry and warehousing area within south Bristol,” planning officer Tom Watson told the source. “The application is recommended for approval.”

A proposal similar to the Access project, including a row of homes opposite Bower Ashton Terrace, was approved nine years ago, but the development was never built, the source reported.

Founded more than 20 years ago, Access Self Storage facilities offer virtual office services, parking, document management and mailboxes in addition to self-storage. The company’s properties are concentrated in Greater London.


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