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.

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4 thoughts on “We met Fifth Capital

  1. Well done CAG. It’s likely you have consigned the community to living with a derelict building for another two decades. Whilst the proposals didn’t meet all of your requirements / wish list they were a lot better than what we currently have. Shame on you all.

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    • Thanks for your comment Jason. “The community” is no different to CAG. So what the community wants is what the community, and therefore CAG, does. At the moment the view of the community is that the proposals of Fifth Capital do not meet the Community Vision for the site and that they should be greatly improved before the community is likely to support them. Indeed for some people, particularly those living in the surrounding streets, the impact of the development will make life much worse than it currently is. To borrow Ofsted’s terminology, the community wants something that is outstanding or good, not something that is inadequate or still requires improvement.

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      • I’m part of the community and it’s not what I or others I speak with want. If CAG could front up the £ms to develop the site, I would wholly support your demands for the site. However all I see is a well organised group (objectors from all over the country who don’t even have to look at the site on a daily basis) using scare tactics (how will their lives be made worse?), combined with unrealistic demands thwarting the commercial development of a site that is in desperate need of attention. I sincerely hope I am proved wrong, but I doubt work will be starting on site for a long time.

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      • Most of the people who are involved with CAG live locally – look at the scatter diagram from the original consultation. By definition they look at it almost every day – it’s hard to miss it. CAG has tried very hard to stick to facts and not use scare tactics. One way that people’s lives will be made worse will be through loss of light – this is a significant concern for residents on Hepburn Road and Brigstock Road as well as properties on Stokes Croft and is why the decision was deferred by the Planning Committee pending further investigation. Yes, the site is in need of attention (although we’ve lived with it for 25+ years so any ‘urgency’ may have lost its value in that time) but redevelopment at any cost is not the right approach – we have to get the best deal we can for local people and the city because we’ll be living with the results for a long long time to come.

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