Cultural Plan meeting – Wed 18 July

Dear Friends of the Carriageworks

As you know, there is a CAG meeting on Wednesday July 18th at 6pm (latecomers welcome!) at St Paul’s Learning Centre to talk about what we want to see included in the cultural plan for the development.

Jane Willis from Willis Newson and Kim Wide from Take A Part, who have been commissioned by the PG Group to write the plan, will be there to hear what you have to say. They have already spoken to a range of people individually and in small groups, so if you have already seen them, please bear in mind that this evening is a chance for others to be heard.

These are the questions we will be considering

  • Heritage: What aspects of the area’s heritage do we want to see celebrated within the site?
  • Community and Partnerships: How can we create a place that is inclusive and welcoming to all?
  • Enterprise and Market: What will attract businesses to the space and make the market an ongoing success
  • Public Realm: How else would we like to see the space used, in ways that respect the needs of residents and neighbours?

These are big questions and there is never enough time. As usual Lori will try to pick up on everyone there, but all of us cannot realistically expect to talk about every point, so everyone will have a chance to add their thoughts on post-it notes.

If you are unable to come in person please feel free to send your suggestions, ideas and dreams to CAG:  ideas@carriageworks.org.uk and to Jane and Kim at Jane@willisnewson.co.uk or drop in a note to Willis Newson at Utility House, 3 York Court, Upper York Street, Bristol, BS2 8QF. Please try to keep within the framework of the questions. We will also send round a summary of everything we have received on email and at the meeting after the event.

Following this event, there will be an open day running from 2pm-8pm on Wednesday 12th September, venue tbc, when Jane and Kim will share the draft ideas being developed from the consultation process in order to seek further feedback and input before the Cultural Plan is drafted in October.

After the Cultural Plan is agreed, we will be looking at management of the site, but that is for another time and outside the scope of this meeting.

Onwards and upwards!

Best wishes Lori and the liaison group.

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Cultural Plan Meeting for Residents – 18 July

There will be a meeting for residents and others on 18th July 2018, 6-8pm, at St Pauls Learning Centre to contribute to the development of the cultural plan for the Carriageworks.

This meeting was specifically requested at the Community Meeting in June.  Willis Newson, who are writing the cultural plan for the developers, PG Group, have agreed to this special session to allow residents who have not been involved in the consultation to date to have their say.

See you there!

Notes of Community Meeting 18 June 2018

Notes from the 18thJune Community Meeting

Attended by members of CAG Liaison group, local residents and local business people.

Lori (Chair) gave an update on things as they stand:

  • Site is being cleared (as seen on site visit earlier in June). Wrings, the demo contractor, have done a lot of work but it’s been harder and slower they anticipated (they had expected to demolish in March). Asbestos and other contaminants have been found and must be properly dealt with.
  • Problems with ecology licences especially bats – licence granted did not allow sufficient time to carry out works required.
  • 4 Ashley Road has gone. Materials have not been repurposed. Some discussion about how bad the condition of the building was and what could have been saved.
  • New target is to complete demolition by September.
  • PG still holding to target completion date (to the original planning permission) of summer 2020.
  • Quite a lot of difficulty in communications with PG – not responsive or actively engaging in discussions.

Cultural Plan

Willis Newson have been appointed by PG Group to progress this work. Challenge is that there are no, or few, precedents from elsewhere as to what a Cultural Plan for a development like this should be. The planning permission requires that CAG and the community be involved.

Planning Condition 15 (7 July 2016). Prior to the commencement of any construction works for the development a Cultural Programme Delivery Plan shall be submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority. This shall set out the details of the Cultural Programme Steering Group, co-ordinated by an appointed programme manager. This Delivery Plan shall set out clear principles for the delivery of cultural projects to be delivered within the site. Reason: In the interests of the proper management of the site.

Willis Newson are holding 1:1 meetings and focus groups over the summer. These will inform the contents of a widely distributed questionnaire in September. Comment that they seem to be harvesting information but not presenting any of their own thoughts or processing / sharing the information received.

Concern that Willis Newson’s approach has adopted an emphasis on public art and that they’re talking mostly to arts organisations and not to a broad cross-section of organisations that inform the social, economic and environmental culture of the area around the site. Residents also seem to have been left out of the consultation.

Message to WN is that the local community want a meeting with them. Need date asap so that it can be publicised.

Question of who defines the area? Recently there has been gentrification by people who have moved in and have different perceptions of the area. We’re trying to define our heritage – that’s why No.4 was important but now it’s gone.

The development needs to be a place where everyone feels as comfortable as possible – somewhere that is welcoming.

CAG’s view of the Cultural Plan is that it should include and set out uses of the ground floor and how they will complement the area.

Ownership of the ground floor of the finished development is more important than sculpture, in part because who owns will define what happens in the space.

Community Ownership

PRSC asking why there’s nothing coming back to the community? Conversation moved towards whether there should be an element of community ownership. There should be a partnership element to get the cultural plan going.

Graffiti is a red herring. There needs to be an element of community ownership under a land trust. Response from WN is that they are open to this. PG have been a brick wall. This should be a business pitch to PG.

The space needs to be controlled by local groups forever so that it can be something different in years to come if needed.

2 or 3 units need to be connected to the functions in the market space.

You want to control who the units are rented to – it shouldn’t be random. The level of control and who’s involved (should include residents and unit occupiers) needs to be carefully worked out. Keeping rents low is also key. The Cultural plan and management plan overlap. If we can’t stop WN going down the community arts route with the cultural plan then the management structure will finish up outside of our remit and beyond our influence.

Planning Condition 29 (7 July 2016): Prior to the occupation of each of the commercial unit(s) facing Stokes Croft and Ashley Road by any A1, A3, A4, A5, D1 and D2 use (or combination thereof) hereby permitted a management strategy should be submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority. The scheme should to include the following unless otherwise agreed in writing by the Local Planning Authority:

(a) Confirmation of the tenant mix

(b) The way in which the floorspace (layout) will be used

(c) How the tenants will manage their servicing requirements (including confirmation of refuse and recycling storage within the units and how this will be accessed, the number and type of vehicles arriving at the site each day to deliver and collect goods and what refuse and recycling items are to be collected from where and when

(d) Location and operation of staff cycle storage

The floorspace shall be occupied in accordance with the approved details and strategies in perpetuity. Any subsequent occupiers of the commercial unit(s) (in perpetuity) shall submit a new management strategy to the Local Planning Authority for approval prior to occupation

Reason: To ensure responsibility for the management of these facilities and to safeguard the appearance of the development, highway safety and the amenities of future and existing residents and businesses.

Recognition by everyone present that you can’t separate management plan and culture plan – they are integrated. Each is the other. Unanimous agreement on this statement.

Comment that PG are taking an old-fashioned approach. The community’s approach should be we want the whole of the ground floor. It’s in PG’s best interests. If it worked well it would really uplift the whole development. Selling them a business case is the way to go about it. Showing them how to deliver a different business model. We can hand something to PG to do something different.

The Identity of the Development

Montpelier Con Group wrote to WN and said they wanted to see the work of Godwin celebrated. This raises an issue of what the development should be called. Discussion about the name and identity of the scheme and the area.

Not Godwin Yard as shown in the planning application although the term ‘yard’ is Jamaican for garden so has local resonance.

Comment that it’s not Godwin in the way that Montpelier CG think of him, it’s the idea of Godwin – a free thinker and polymath who opposed mean spiritedness of developers and businesses.

Are we agreed that Godwin is important? Answer: yes

Housing

A lot happening in the background, although not as far forward as wanted. Scheme with planning permission has 10 affordable units.

HCA gave BCC funding of just under £1m with assumption it would be used for CPO. When PG group came along and took ownership the Council decided some of it could be offered to PG to up the number of affordable units. Has taken a long time to get that discussion underway.

There are people locally who want to downsize. Carriageworks could offer them great options and ensure that local residents move in. Need somewhere for local people to put their name down as interested purchasers.

Materials

Planning Condition13. Notwithstanding any materials noted on any approved plans, sample panels of all the external materials and finishes to all buildings, associated plant areas, walls, hard landscape features including paved surfaces, demonstrating coursing, jointing and pointing to the masonry, are to be erected on site and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority before the relevant parts of the work are commenced, unless otherwise agreed in writing by the Local Planning Authority. The development shall be completed in accordance with the approved details, unless otherwise agreed in writing by the Local Planning Authority.

Reason: To ensure that the external appearance of the building is satisfactory and that the character, appearance and setting of surrounding Conservation Areas and Listed Buildings would not be harmed.

Don’t know what the timescale on this will be (but has to before development starts).

They should be thinking about using local suppliers, crafts etc.

Materials could be included in WN consultation in Sept.

 

Community Meeting – Monday 18 June

The next Carriageworks Community Meeting will be on Monday 18th June, 6-8pm, at the Kings Centre.

The Most Important CAG Meeting Yet?

Where have we come from and where are we going?

CAG was set up in 2011 to support “something to happen” to secure the development of the Carriageworks/Westmorland House site.

We spent our first year carrying out an extensive consultation that led to the development of the Community Vision. This was agreed by a CAG Community Meeting in December 2011, and then adopted by BCC in May 2012.

Since 2012, CAG has had two roles:

  • To be a conduit of information about the development of the site
  • To work with any developer who would develop the site in line with the Community Vision.

It’s been a long and winding, and often bumpy, road since then. Developers have come and gone, planning applications have been deferred, altered and agreed. And we now have a Bristol based developer, the PG Group, who are committed to delivering the scheme that was granted Planning Permission in October 2015.

So, what role for CAG as the site is built out?

  • What is our information role now?
  • What issues are important to you as the scheme develops?
  • Willis Newson is developing a Cultural Plan for the site, with an emphasis on public art. How can we and they put forward a plan that is rooted in the area, and based on the widest views?
  • What issues are important to you about the uses of the commercial spaces and public realm on the ground floor?
  • And should we agree a new remit for CAG? And if so, what should this be?

Come along to the meeting on Monday 18 June and help form the next phase in CAG’s life.

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.

Questions

(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.

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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).

Planning

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.

Notes of Community Meeting, 4 September 2017

32 people attended including reps of PG Group and their consultants, CAG Liaison Group and residents, businesses and other interested parties. Thangam Debbonaire MP called in briefly before the start.

Order of summary below is rearranged for logic and convenience so may not reflect actual order of the discussions.

Changes to Planning Conditions

A summary of the proposed changes was circulated (click to download pdf). Main focus to date of discussions between CAG Liaison Group and PG Group has been variations to the pre-commencement conditions to the planning permission. Focus is on phasing a complicated set of conditions to allow things to happen in more rational and workable order e.g. allow for demolition of building before carrying out historical investigation below.

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