Press Release: Planners must ensure ongoing community involvement

A community group is calling on Bristol Planners to keep them involved in the redevelopment of a city centre site that has been derelict for 30 years.

The Grade II Listed Carriageworks and neighbouring Westmoreland House were last occupied in the 1980s. Since then they have been a blight on the local neighbourhood as they have fallen into ruin. In early 2011 the Carriageworks Action Group (CAG) was formed to prepare a Vision for the site. Now, nearly five years later, it looks like something might be about to happen. But are the planners about to cut the community out of the scheme?

On Wednesday 14 October the Council will decide whether to give giving planning permission to Fifth Capital London to redevelop the site.

Lori Streich, Chair of CAG, said:

“The local community has worked incredibly hard to get these proposals. To begin with we were very opposed to Fifth Capital’s proposals as they were so different to our Vision for the site.  But in the last six months they have worked closely with us and made significant changes and improvements. Assuming planning permission is given on Wednesday, we want this strong working relationship to continue while the fine details of the scheme are worked up.

“Fifth Capital say they are happy to work closely with us, but the planners have not written us into the draft planning permission.  This must change.  It’s like an insurance policy – we need it in writing in case things go wrong.  It’s the only way to ensure that the community voice remains heard and that community needs are met”.

CAG is hoping that the Council’s planning committee will tell its Officers to change the wording of the planning permission to ensure that the community stays part of all future discussions.

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