Following on from the story the other day about the Banksy Mild Mild West piece on Stokes Croft being covered over as part of a new development, looks like the plans got the go ahead at the council meeting yesterday.
Top quotes from the story seem to be…
“Councillors largely ignored the (Banksy) issue when they considered the plans to convert mainly empty offices between Stokes Croft and City Road into 79 homes (mostly flats), offices, a cafe and a shop.”
“The steps in front of Finance House, which is set back from the streetline in Stokes Croft, encouraged anti-social behaviour, the committee heard.”
Which seems like nonsense, given steps themselves can’t encourage anything, they’re just inanimate objects, and the fact that everyone hangs out on Turbo Island over the road anyway, not on the steps which have been fenced off for yonks. Guessing the developer might have been looking for a reason to justify the development with the old crime and disorder gambit. That’s business.
One of the councillors seems to have spotted the £50k in the project budget for commissioning a new piece of art inside the building though..
“Liberal Democrat Jim White (Redland) said it was “a big irony” that among the council’s financial demands of developers Connolly and Callaghan, of Stokes Croft, was a £50,000 contribution for public art.
“We got some public art free from Banksy. And the one we got from him was worth infinitely more,” said Councillor White.”
Exactly. It’s not for public art, it’s for a single piece to go in the building, which doesn’t seem that public really. As the planning document says…
The applicant has agreed to appoint an artist to commission a permanent public art structure within the Winter Garden, on a theme of raw materials and sustainability, which is in line with the nature of the development. The applicant has agreed to provide a commuted sum of £50,000 in order to cover consultant and artist fees and to car out the artwork fabrication. This would be secured by way of a suitable condition.
Such a shame £50k’s being put aside for this, imagine what the PRSC could do with it.
Anyway, that’s that then. For anyone wanting to check out the full plans, they’re here at the moment (not sure if they’re archived for ever)