Some History:

The Pavilion at Stoke Lodge has sadly not been in use for many years. It was abandoned by the school over five years ago and it is now left in a derelict state. 


In 2016,  Cotham School applied for (and were awarded) a Government grant to rebuild the Pavilion and build the fence. This grant was for just under £700,000  with the school promising 10% of the project costs to be paid from their reserves. 


However, the school has failed to get planning permission so that they could complete this project by March 2019 (as required by the grant funding). 


Bristol City Council has twice refused planning because the school has not presented a transport plan (despite many requests). 


The school appealed to the Planning Inspector who also refused on the same grounds as Bristol City Council – they both determined that there is a potential risk to highway safety in conflict with many policies including BSC10 of the Bristol Core Strategy (Core Strategy) (2011). The Planning Inspector also noted that the school's fence makes the potential traffic problem markedly worse as all traffic is funnelled down the least suitable roads. 

Latest News

  

We understand that Cotham School has recently submitted proposals to BCC and to the Education Skills Funding Agency (who awarded the grant to re-build the Pavilion). The school’s plans are to basically 'make do and mend’ the Pavillion. The school has proposed that they will complete ‘repairs and maintenance’ rather than develop the building; assumedly to avoid the requirement for planning permission.


 In short, the plans include: replacing a few pieces of ply on the outside, a new door, painting the metal poles using hammerite and sandwiching the failing asbestos walls and roof with marine ply. They then intend to refurbish inside to a 120 occupancy changing facility by installing new showers, sanitary ware and decorating. 


Whilst the local community is very keen to see a derelict pavilion repaired or replaced this cannot be at the risk of safety to pupils and the public. We believe that there are a number of significant issues to be addressed before any refurbishment can take place,  including but not limited to;


  1. Cotham School stated in thier grant application that refurbishment “is not considered a financially viable or practical option. The pavilion is in such a state of disrepair that refurbishment would involve disturbing the significant asbestos within the structure. The level of deterioration of the building is significant enough to require a new roof covering, new external cladding and entirely new mechanical and electrical services”.
  2. The reports commisioned by the school itself state that there are various types of asbestos in the building that were in a serious state of deterioration and a high risk over three years ago. The surveyor in the recent report says that a detailed survey should be completed by experts in asbestos – and that doesn’t appear to have been done yet 
  3. BCC has twice refused planning permission due to transport issues for an 80-occupancy building; as did the Planning Inspector. The school’s new plans show a 50% increase in occupancy to 120. And as far as we can see, the school still hasn’t developed a transport plan. 
  4. Refurbishment will not allow for accessible entrances to the building to meet Public Sector Equality Duties.
  5. There are likely to be many other issues with the proposal as it stands today such as Building Regulations, Fire Safety (the plans show 1 inward-opening fire door for 120 kids), environmental standards, energy efficiency etc. The school's grant application includes various structural engineer and consultants’ reports which clearly detail that the Pavilion is in such as state of disrepair that refurbishment is not possible and would not meet required standards.
  6. There are other issues such as ecology , public rights of way plus the protected trees that touch the Pavilion today which don’t appear to have been addressed in the school’s proposals yet.


No-one wants to see the Pavilion unused and derelict; however it feels like there is a long way to go before we can all enjoy seeing a fit for purpose pavilion back at Stoke Lodge. 


We will update this when we get any more news on how the school and the authorities might be looking to address some of the above issues.