Planned Road and Pavement Closures + Other Site Management Issues

On 1 December the City Council approved PG’s proposals for road and pavement closures around the site during demolition and construction.

The proposals form part of the ‘Construction Environment Management Plan‘ (pdf) and were submitted in September. This can also be found on the Council’s planning website.

The Plan addresses the following:


PG’s communications consultant, Jenny Gee, will be “working closely…to establish a working relationship that builds trust” with CAG, neighbours and businesses. Communications will include “sharing both the overall build plan and daily on-site activity” with a commitment to responding to questions by the end of the next working day.  Local residents will receive quarterly update letters.  Daily updates will be available from the site communications website  –

Complaint Management

Any complaints should be submitted via PG’s communications website or in writing to Jenny Gee Communications, 2 Fernbank Road, Redland, Bristol, BS6 6PZ.  Responses will be provided by the end of the next working day.

Hours of Operation

Works will take place Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm and Saturday 8am to 1pm.

If any work is required on Sundays or Bank Holidays advance consent will be sought from Bristol Planners.


There will be no major vehicle movements into or out of the site during the school run. Actual times still to be agreed with the City Council.

There will be a full-time ‘gateman’ at the Ashley Road entrance.  Vehicles will normally turn around on the site but, if the need arises, the gateman will control traffic on Ashley Road to enable vehicles to reverse in.

Control of Dust

(The dirty sort not Rusakov Particles, which are altogether harder to contain).

Dust will be created during demolition. Dust suppression will include damping down with sprayed water during demolition, crushing and storage; sheeting and screening; enclosure of skips; watering of haul routes; sheeting of vehicles removing demolition materials and siting of the crusher as far as possible from neighbouring properties.  Burning of materials on site will be strictly prohibited.


To avoid light spillage onto residential properties, temporary lighting will only be used when absolutely necessary; directional lighting will be used instead of floor lighting; low level and sensor controlled lighting will be used only during hours of operation; physical screening will be provided.


Site workers will not be able to park on site and will therefore park in the surrounding areas.  (No mention is made that these areas are RPZs)

Temporary Traffic Measures

The following drawings set out the proposed measures.  The dates are CAG estimates. PG will confirm final arranagements once they are approved by Bristol City Council Highways.

Phase 1 (¿January 2018?)

Erecting (and later dismantling) the temporary façade support system to the frontage of the  Carriageworks.

Phase 2 (¿January – March 2018?)

Demolition of Westmorland House

Phase 3 (¿April 2018 – sometime in 2019?)

Construction works until the new internal structure of the Carriageworks has been completed. The façade support system is then removed.

Phase 4 (¿2019-2020?)

Construction works following removal of the temporary façade support structure to the Carriageworks.

Phase 5 (¿2019?)

Construction of a new manhole over the existing Wessex Water combined sewer in Ashley Road, very close to the traffic light controlled junction with Stokes Croft. This will, in all likelihood, be a deep excavation which will necessitate a temporary road closure (see SK5). This has been discussed in principle with BCHDH and would be timed to take place during a school holiday period.

Other Road Closures (¿2018-2019?)

It may also be necessary to close Ashley Road for 1 day for the erection (and 1 day later for dismantling) of a tower crane.


Notes of Community Meeting – 27 November 2017

34 people inc Bristol Post and c.12 UWE architecture students

Introduction by Lori

Today is a celebration of Comer no longer owning the Carriageworks. To reach this point has taken a collective effort. Over the last 20 years redevelopment schemes have come and gone but the dereliction has continued. CAG was formed in 2011 and since then we have been pushing and pushing. We haven’t stopped and we haven’t let the Council or even Comer stop. We kept going, kept having community meetings, kept up the pressure. Without us it is very likely that proposals would have been dropped maybe when Knightstone withdrew, maybe when compulsory purchase looked harder, maybe when Fifth Capital emerged, or at many other times. Success has come from a combination of many people working together and being stubborn along the way. Together, we did it.

PG Group were invited to this meeting but for many reasons why they couldn’t come. They will definitely be developing the site. This is an opportunity to remind us what they will be building. We will pass on any questions.

Copy of PG Group’s letter to residents available. Sent to households in the streets adjoining the site. A second batch will go to a wider area and to businesses on Stokes Croft. Comments: Kino and Post Office have not had a copy. People took more to distribute themselves.

Site plans were on display. PG will develop as approved so that they don’t have to seek a new permission.

They will start demolishing Westmorland House in January, but we don’t know when (PG may not have a date yet from demolition contractor). They will start building in March / April.


(CAG will seek answers to all the questions raised and post them on our website)

Q: Will we (Cafe Kino) be able to operate our business while they are demolishing? And when will they tackle the site behind us? Kino have had no feedback from discussions between PG and the landlord. A: This sort of question should be answered on PG’s own website although at the moment there’s very little information.

Continue reading

Community Meeting 27 Nov, and roundup of recent events

Things have really started happening at the Carriageworks.  And there’s a community meeting on 27 November to find out more (details at the bottom of this page).

Vacant Possession

On 8th October the site residents packed up and ended their long guardianship of the site. Thank you from CAG to everyone who lived on the site over the years, thank you for being part of the community and thank you for keeping it safe.  And good luck with wherever life takes you. You can read more about the last night and the handover on our website.

On 9th October Comer’s security company arrived to take possession of the site. This cleared the way for PG Group to set a date to complete their purchase (they had exchanged contracts earlier in the year with completion being conditional upon vacant possession).


In late September the PG Group’s planning consultants applied to discharge various planning conditions.  They are also in the process of appointing consultants to prepare the cultural plan for the development (as discussed at last meeting).

Change of Ownership

On 6th November we heard from Marc Pennick that PG Group had completed their purchase and became the legal owners of the Carriageworks.  After 30 years of ownership Comer is gone. This in itself is a major step forward and makes redevelopment of the site infinitely more likely to proceed. Read more on our website.

From 6 November PG Group started distributing a letter to all local residents telling them what will be happening on the site.  Read a summary and download the letter from our website.

Activities on Site

Since the site residents left PG Group have had surveyors and engineers on the site working out the details of the next steps. They now plan to start demolition of Westmorland House (not the old Carriageworks building) in January and start redevelopment in March / April.

CAG are maintaining close contact with PG Group.

Community Meeting

We’ll be holding our next Community Meeting on Monday 27 November at Kings Centre, King Square from 6-8pm.  This will be a chance not only to celebrate the change of ownership but also to understand what will be happening in the coming months and discuss CAG’s input.  PG Group won’t be at this meeting but will be coming to the following meeting in the new year.

We look forward to seeing you next Monday.

Information letter from PG Group to local households

PG Group have delivered an information letter to every household close to the Carriageworks site.   Key points are:

  • Demolition of Westmorland House (not the Carriageworks) is likely to start in January
  • Construction will start in March / April 2018
  • As the development progresses there will be regular updates on the site hoardings, letters to householders and the PG Group’s project website.

PG Group will be invited to attend CAG’s community meetings in the coming months.

Click to the letter below to open PDF.

Household letter from PG Group 7 November 2017

Carriageworks finally has new owners

The development of Bristol’s biggest eyesore moved closer last week. Bristol based PG Group completed its purchase of the Carriageworks and Westmoreland House site on Stokes Croft. They have pledged to build it in accordance with the Planning Permission that was granted in October 2015.

The site has been empty and derelict since the mid 1980s. The Carriageworks Action Group (CAG) has been working with members of the local communities that surround it to secure redevelopment. CAG was set up in 2011 and is committed to work with any developer who will develop the site in line with the Community Vision for the Carriageworks. This was drawn up through extensive consultation with over 1600 people, and sets out a vision for this central Bristol site.

Lori Streich, Chair of CAG, said that the group has been in dialogue with the PG Group about their plans for the site. “We welcome the change of ownership and believe that the PG Group will finally put an end to 30 years of blight on this gateway site. We want to continue to work with them to ensure that the final scheme is an exemplary development that is both acceptable to the community and viable for a developer.”

The Carriageworks Action Group will be arranging a Community Meeting in the next few weeks, at which more details will be available.


  • The Carriageworks Action Group (CAG) was set up 2011 to work with Bristol City Council to secure redevelopment of the Carriageworks and Westmoreland House site. This had been owned but left derelict by the Comer Group/OpecPrime since 1989.
  • Planning Permission was granted to Fifth Capital London in October 2015. CAG had a robust dialogue with Marc Pennick, Director of Fifth Capital, and his architects, which led to significant improvements to an initial Planning Application for the controversial site. Fifth Capital London then enabled the sale of the site to PG Group.
  • Bristol based PG Group has now completed the purchase of the site and will develop it in accordance with the October 2015 Planning Permission
  • CAG is committed to work with any developer who will develop the site in line with the Community Vision.

Community Vision:

  • The Community Vision for the Carriageworks was developed in 2011 following consultation with over 1,600 people.
  • It is framed in planning terms and sets out broad aspirations for the development of the site. Two Planning Committee (Development Control Committee A) meetings considered Fifth Capital London’s proposals for the site. Both acknowledged the importance of the Community Vision, and the role of CAG, in the process of the site receiving Planning Permission. When Planning Permission was finally granted, it was agreed that CAG should be involved in dialogue about the scheme as it develops.

Planning Permission:


Site residents move off

The long term residents of the Carriageworks have now left the site.

The Carriageworks and Westmorland House have been derelict for as long as most people now living in the area can remember.  It is a rotting hulk, a ruin to explore, a canvas for artists and even, tragically, the place of death for a number of people.

Some years ago with the fatalities increasing, the owners of the site, Opecprime / Comer Homes, agreed to allow a group of people to set up home on the backland in return for them keeping trespassers away.  For many years they did this successfully, living alongside the rest of the community and otherwise going about their regular lives.

The site residents had discussed the future redevelopment of the site with CAG and subsequently Fifth Capital’s Marc Pennick.  They weren’t opposed to development but asked for time to move off as and when. Marc promised that he would give them six months notice.  In the meantime everyone was happy that they kept the site secure.

It was therefore something of a surprise when a Notice of Trespass appeared on the gates in March. The residents went to Court and, supported by CAG, argued their case that they were there with the consent of the owner. The Judge agreed and set a second hearing in May when agreement was reached for the residents to be able to stay on the site until October.

On Saturday 7th October the residents celebrated their last night on the site.  They’d spent the previous weeks moving equipment away and cleaning things up.  The party was a long goodbye, going on well into Sunday morning until the DJ played out with ‘Hit the Road Jack”.  And with that an era came to an end.

It had been intended that Comers’ security company would arrive to take over possession of the site that morning, but they didn’t.  Some of the residents therefore stayed on to keep things secure overnight.  The next morning the security finally arrived and the keys were handed over.

With Comer now in vacant possession of the site the purchase by PG Group can be completed.  We understand that this can be after 20 days – so 29th October should just about do it.

So thank you to everyone who lived on the site over the years, thank you for being part of the community and thank you for keeping it safe.  And good luck with wherever life takes you.