Blue Mountain is currently under threat from a planning application to knock it down for Student flats. The venue is an existing and thriving business and community and cultural asset the venue hosts club nights, community events and local family celebrations.
Blue Mountain creates a large number of jobs directly and indirectly in a community which is in the top 10% of the most deprived areas in the UK.
Bristol City Council Planning Committee and the current administration under Mayor Rees and Planning Cabinet Lead Nicola Beech have powers under the National Policy Framework which are at their disposal to protect this building and adjacent sites from closure and demolition. These are:
para 9 – making it easier for jobs to be created in cities; improving the conditions in which people live, work, travel and take leisure
para 23 – town centres management and growth; town centres at heart of communities; allocate sites in town centres for leisure, cultural, community uses
para 37 – minimise journey lengths
para 70 – plan positively for meeting places, cultural buildings, pubs
para 156 – strategic policies in local plans to deliver leisure development and cultural infrastructure
para 161 – assess the need for land/floorspace for economic activity including leisure
Bristol Night Watch would like to remind the Planning Committee and Bristol City Council about these protections for venues and cultural and community infrastructure such as Blue Mountain and that local authorities are legally bound to comply with the National Planning Policy Framework in all cases especially in cases where an active venue is going to be shut down which would result in the loss of employment land which the new development would never match. Blue Mountain cannot be moved to a new location as due to new policies and planning rules it would be economically unviable to reopen such a community asset.
Leighton de Burca,
Chair of Night Watch