Councillors on the central development control committee gave planning consent to the proposal to convert the former magistrates’ court in Nelson Street. Dubbed Bristol’s city centre biggest eyesore, the former magistrates court was one of the key sites used by graffiti artists to turn Nelson Street into a display of street art under the banner ‘See No Evil’, in Bristol over the past two years. Described by English Heritage as “brutalist”, with “little intrinsic value or significance”, AWW was appointed by Watkin Jones Group to provide a mixed use scheme which provides 348 new student bedrooms with a mix of grouped clusters and individual studios. Also proposed are commercial / retail units at ground floor and public realm improvement.
The scheme elevations use a mixture of solid masonry and reflective lightweight materials to enhance the shape of the structure, blending into the area’s surrounding townscape and providing a striking and dynamic addition to the city centre, kickstarting the regeneration of a street with the greatest examples of architectural post-war monstrosities in Bristol.
The Contractor has begun initial asbestos removal, with the scheme aiming to be completed by autumn 2014.