Notes of 11 June Community Meeting with Fifth Capital

Thanks to everyone who came to the Community Meeting on Thursday 11 June.

Fifth Capital were there to talk through their proposed revisions to their scheme.  There was lots of debate and rigorous questioning.

Click here for a PDF of the notes from the meeting.

Since the meeting Fifth Capital have suggested that instead of aiming at the August Planning Committee meeting they should instead go for the one in early October.  This will give them the chance to come back to the Community Meeting in July (week beginning 8 July, date to be confirmed) and again later on with their proposed responses to our questions and comments.

Praise for CAG

We’ll post a report on yesterday’s meeting in the next few days, but this morning we had this great email from Heather Anne who as at the meeting:

“in my view CWAG has shown us a model of consultation Bristol should be proud of. I consider this whole process to be one of the best models of democracy at work that I have ever been a small part of. Please consider this last comment a compliment to all involved.”

Yay!!! Well done to everyone who has been involved in CAG over the last four plus years – great work gang!

New Proposals from Fifth Capital

Since the Planning Committee in early April Fifth Capital have been working up revised proposals.  To give them credit they have made a lot of effort to talk to us (the CAG Liaison Group) about what we think the community wants to see and how it can be achieved.  Now we need to know what you think.

The revised plans are below.  The essence is that they have put in a new pedestrian through-route from opposite the top of Picton Street.  They have changed the buildings to give a clear line through to the ‘square’ behind the Carriageworks.  They have also increased the amount of non-residential space with much of this now within the square.

We have had many conversations with them about the long term management of the non-residential space and who it will be for. Fifth Capital have told us that they are working on this, and we have sent ideas from elsewhere not least London Road in Brighton.

The proposals for social and affordable housing haven’t yet changed, but we hope that something might emerge.

There’s also the question of how it impacts on surrounding streets, especially Hepburn Road.

So, what do you think?  It will be great if you can come to the community meeting on 11 June, 6:30pm at the old Centre for the Deaf on King Square to hear more from Fifth Capital and tell them if they’ve done enough to get your support.  If you can’t make it, please leave comments on this page, or email, or message via our Facebook page.

We expect more information next week including a timeline of consultation leading up to a new committee date, proposed view of space from the Ashley Road entrance, view from Ashley Road Stokes Croft junction, view from Ashley Road and views from Hepburn Road.

Have a good weekend.

Lori, Julian, Prue and the rest of the Liaison Group








Community Meeting – 11 June

The next Carriageworks Community Meeting will be on Thursday 11 June at 6:30pm at the Deaf Centre (now known as the Kings Centre) on King Square.

Since the April Planning Committee members of the CAG Liaison Group have had a number of discussions with Fifth Capital and the planners.  Fifth Capital have been making amendments to their proposals in order to address the points raised by the Planning Committee and also to try to meet our concerns and give a better match to the Community Vision.  This includes a better through-route, an enlarged open space behind the Carriageworks and more non-residential space for community, retail and commercial use.  We’d still like to see more social and affordable housing (the proposals on this haven’t changed) and the impact on neighbouring properties, including in Hepburn Rd, remains a concern.  However, the dialogue has been mostly positive and for that Fifth Capital deserve some credit.

So that you can hear what they’re now proposing and so that they can hear what you think, we’ve asked Fifth Capital to come to the Community Meeting.

They have promised to send us the revised proposals which we will release as soon as we receive them, hopefully before the meeting.

The amended proposals are likely to be considered by the Planning Committee in August.

We met Fifth Capital

Members of CAG liaison group (Lori, Prue and Julian) today met with Marc Pennick of Fifth Capital and Assael Architecture to discuss the proposals for the Carriageworks.

The meeting was setup following the resolution of the Planning Committee on 8 April to defer a decision on the planning application pending discussions on a number of key issues.  The Committee specified that CAG should be involved in discussions on these issues.  The Community Vision is clear in stating that CAG will work with anyone who will deliver the Vision so we wanted to hear if Marc was now able to make sufficient changes to achieve this position prior to the more formal discussions with the planners.

At the beginning of the meeting we asked that we follow Chatham House rules i.e. we wouldn’t report exactly what any party said, just the overall outcome. This was so that we could all speak freely without fear of (mis)quotation.

The meeting seems to have been productive. Since the Planning Committee, Marc seems to understand the reasons behind local opposition. He is still determined to get planning permission but in order to do so is willing to look at a number of changes which he hopes will earn local support by addressing these concerns.

We explained the main concerns with his proposals and the sort of changes that we thought would be needed to bring the scheme much more in line with the Community Vision.

Quite whether Marc will be able to make sufficient changes remains to be seen, but he was willing to listen, suggest ideas and try to find common ground.  At the same time he is clear that the economics of the site must stack up if anything is to happen and that he won’t be able to give everything that we might want.

The formal process of three way discussions between the planners, Fifth Capital and CAG will take place probably after the elections. For the moment Marc is considering the changes that he could make. Depending upon the advice and requirements of the planners the changes may have to be the subject of another round of public consulation and comment before they go back to Committee.  We will also ensure that we hold a CAG Community Forum to examine and comment on the proposals.

We look forward to seeing Marc’s amended proposals.

What next, after the deferred decision?

Last night’s Planning Committee meeting came to a decision to defer a final decision on the Fifth Capital London proposals for the redevelopment of the Carriageworks and Westmoreland House sites.  Their reasons were based on the many unresolved planning issues that still need to be addressed.  These include:

  • The relationship (e.g. light and shadowing) with neighbouring buildings, especially Tucketts Building (108 Stokes Croft)
  • The overbearing elevation on Ashley Road
  • The contribution the scheme will make to improving the Ashley Road junction
  • Cycle parking for visitors
  • On site renewables – the need for alternative and more detailed proposals
  • The need for greater certainty about the use of the 5 non-housing units
  • A condition on the gates which are clearly shown in the drawings, but which now appear to be under question
  • The time period for development – Councillors want to see the site developed within a set period of time (probably of less than 3 years) at which work must start or any planning permission becomes invalid; and to see a positive intention to build, not just to get planning permission and then sell the site on at a profit.
  • The Equalities Impacts of the proposals

The issue of the need for affordable housing, including the provision of social housing for rent, was strongly advocated.  Some of the Councillors want to see Fifth Capital London working with a social housing partner.  So does CAG.  We recognise that this is a tricky in planning and policy terms.   But we will keep pushing this approach.

Councillors were clear that they expect planning officers to work with both the developer and CAG to improve the proposals.   They expressed the view that this is “vitally important”.  And they want all discussions to pay full attention to the Community Vision.

CAG remains committed to working with any developer who will deliver the Community Vision for the redevelopment of the Carriageworks site.   We see this – admittedly somewhat complicated and technical – decision as a win-win for both the community and the developer.   It offers a chance for the developer to look again at their scheme, and to work with CAG to make it better.

CAG remains resilient, optimistic and full of ideas about how to do this.  We have ideas about who to bring to the table so that we can work together to secure a scheme that meets local needs and is ambitious and viable.   Watch this space.