Neighbours' fears over flats scheme in Westbury Park
A LANDLORD is facing objections from neighbours over a planned development in Westbury Park.
Jasbir Baryah plans to extend a current property at 131 Coldharbour Road but faces a long list of objections about his application by a group of concerned residents.
The group are worried about the impact of the new extension which comprises six self-contained flats.
But the landlord has dismissed the basis of their objections as "xenophobic", which residents deny.
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Mr Baryah, from Fishponds Road, Bristol, owns a number of properties around Bristol and has appeared at Bristol Magistrates' Court twice this year for breaching rental conditions.
On the last occasion, May 30, Mr Baryah was fined £11,000 by Magistrates for neglecting a property with filthy conditions, a lack of lighting, mould, extreme dirt and a vast deterioration of the property, which had an unsafe structure.
The group of residents on Linden Road are now concerned that Mr Baryah's latest development may not benefit the tenants or the community.
At the heart of their objections is the claim made in the application that the development will "make a positive contribution to the locality".
One neighbour, who chose not to be named, said: "There's no indication that it will bring anything positive to the area, considering the plans."
Some residents are also concerned for the future tenants.
Steve Smith, who lives next door, said: "We believe the plans show that they have no interest in how the flats are for the tenants because they are small."
The objections from locals over the new site are:
â The building is not in keeping with the local character and is considered to be a "gross overdevelopment".
â The loss of existing trees and narrowing of pavement due to new metal supports to prop up a second storey.
â Highway safety, due to the maintenance and narrower walkway, creating a hazard for children of nearby Henleaze School.
â The size of the flats, which neighbours claim are too small for comfortable living, despite being up to regulation standards.
â Blocked sunlight in neighbouring gardens due to the height of the extension.
A similar development was initially approved by the council in 2007, but failed due to inaccurate drawings submitted.
But residents claim that the current application was not subjected to a proper consultation.
Mr Baryah told the Post he denies that the new flats are an "over development", considering a similar application has already been approved.
He said: "All due consideration has been given to my neighbours and I have tried to approach them on many occasions.
"I have reduced the number of units and all I'm doing is putting a second storey on the existing building."
He added: "I think there's an element of racism in the group. I would go so far as to say that I believe that they have a problem with my ethnic background – some sort of xenophobia."
The current planning application goes in front of the a planning committee tomorrow.
Bristol City Council told the Post that it will be considering the case on its merits at the meeting.