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.