On 10 April members of the CAG Liaison Group met with Fifth Capital, the second developer, to find out more about who they are and what they propose for the Carriageworks and Westmoreland House.
Fifth Capital first popped up late last year saying that they had acquired a controlling interest in the form of an option to buy the site. Since then they have been writing to and meeting with the Council and local groups to tell them about their plans. So we thought we should have a chat with them as well.
We found out a bit more about Marc Pennick and his company Fifth Capital including what they’ve done in the past (mostly redevelopment schemes in London) and how they operate (previously they have bought sites and then sold them on with planning permission). We also wanted to understand their links with the site’s owners Comer Homes (they told us they have none).
When it comes to their ideas for the site they bear a high similarity to Knighstone’s. So it is a residential lead scheme in which they restore the Carriageworks, retain Westmoreland House, create a route through the site and have active ground floor uses. Car parking will be ‘just adequate’.
They say their timescale is to submit a planning application by the end of the year and be on site by the end of 2015. They are currently carrying out various site surveys and appraisals and intend to carry out public consultation in June (although we pointed out that they might want to avoid the annual exodus to the fields of Pilton!). They also want to set up regular meetings with CAG to advise them on how to consult locally and to feedback on their proposals.
You can read a full write up of our meeting on this page.
All in all, Fifth Capital seem to be a serious contender. But at this point in time we still don’t really know what they’ve done before or whether they are good for their word. We should also point out that Fifth Capital’s proposals have not changed the City Council’s or Knightstone’s approach – they are still committed to working up plans for the site and progressing through to development, using compulsory purchase to buy the long derelict site from the owners, Comer Homes, if necessary.
So what do you think? Should we work with Fifth Capital, should we help them, should we oppose them, or should we ignore them? Leave your comments below or mail them to us firstname.lastname@example.org
Lori and the CAG Liaison Group