Photos from a Site Visit

On 7 June members of Carriageworks Action Group were given access to the site. Safety issues meant we couldn’t enter the buildings (or even get up next to them) but Wrings, the demolition contractors, were brilliant in getting us as close as possible and explaining everything that was going on.

While work has not yet started on either Westmorland House or the Carriageworks, the rest of the site has been cleared and demolition has started to a smaller building backing onto Croft Dale (Hepburn Road).

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Cleared site. No.4 Ashley Road (the old Doctor’s surgery) has completely gone (we were told it virtually fell down by itself it was so weak). Once demolition is completed the archaeologists will dig an investigation trench – it’s possible that they will find fortifications from the civil war (Cromwells forces camped at Montpelier Farm in 1645 and then attacked the royalist held Priors Hill Fort, now Freemantle Sq at the top of Nine Tree Hill. Spurworks or redoubts below the fort may have been on the Carriageworks site).

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Rear view of Tucketts building. Negotiations about the party wall are ongoing with the owners.

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This building backs onto and is attached to Croft Dale (Hepburn Road). As a result it’s being demolished by hand. The steel cross beams visible at the top of the picture will be lifted out by crane next week (beginning 11 June).

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The scaffolding has been built to cantilever out over Croft Dale, giving safe access to the upper parts of the building being demolished.

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Vast amounts of rubble are being created. This pile is from the building backing Croft Dale. Much of it will be crushed and reused on site, but the total volume will exceed that which is needed, so the rest will be removed.

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This is the back wall of Kuumba. There’s a significant difference in levels between Kuumba (Hepburn Road) and the Carriageworks site. The building backing Croft Dale is in the background.

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The rear view of the Carriageworks. Fire went through the building many years ago so it still isn’t safe to access. There are bats inside which has caused delays in getting access. You can clearly see the roof line and northlights of the workshops that attached to the back of the building.

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The rear wall of the Carriageworks is older than the frontage but of less architectural significance. You can see some of the old stonework where the more modern render has detached. The whole building is listed, so the rear wall is also protected.

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Rear view of Westmorland House, completed in 1966 but only occupied for about 16 years, it has now been derelict for 26 years.

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Covered in streetart / graffitti and imposing itself on the local landscape and culture, Westmorland House has echos of and almost the same age as the Berlin Wall (1961-89).

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While scaffolding has been installed to give a degree of safety, the workers rarely enter. In the past however many people have been in, as evidenced by the graffitti. Tragically the inherent danger of the building resulted in a number of people losing their lives here.

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Over the years the interior of Westmorland House was heavily vandalised. Asbestos ceiling tiles were pulled down and dumped in the lift shaft, making for a more difficult removal job.

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The boardroom in Westmorland House was panelled with Nigerian Pear Wood and had a domed roof light just visible in this picture. You can read more about the building as it was on our stories page. All the valuables were plundered in the 1980s.

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There’s a basement below Westmorland House, totally filled with rubbish, needles etc. This will all have to be cleared out before demolition can begin.

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Wrings have got some very nice toys.

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Familiar sight of the Carriageworks frontage. Before works begin this will be shored up which will mean narrowing of the road. First of all though Wrings need to make the interior safe engough to go inside and assess the structural strength of the building.

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Frontage of Westmorland House. Beneath the building is a single storey basement that will have to be cleared and then dug out – necessitating shoring up of the road. The basement will then be backfilled in layers to help provide a foundation for the new building.

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Staff on the site have created a little gallery of items and artwork discovered.

Thank you very much to Wrings and PG Group for giving us this viewing of the site.

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Pedestrian Safety Barriers go up

Wrings, the demolition contractors, have started erecting pedestrian safety barriers around the Carriageworks and Westmorland House site.  Westmorland House is scheduled for demolition. The listed Carriageworks building will be restored.

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PG are waiting for a bat licence!

PG is still waiting for a Bat Licence from Natural England.  This is causing delays with the site preparation and demolition.  There are no further updates, and it is not possible for PG to give us a revised timetable.

If anyone knows anyone at Natural England who might be able to help this process along, please let us know – or just have a word in the right ear so the development can progress.  Thanks!

Important update from PG re demolition of 4 Ashley Road

PG Group have written to say:

“Wrings have been on site for the last few days and removing foliage around the site, especially No 4 Ashley Road. It has become very apparent that this building is in a far more fragile state than was previously thought. At a project meeting today, Wrings reported on the state of this building and given the importance of Health and Safety, the decision has been made to bring forward the demolition of N0 4. Starting on Wednesday of next week, 14/2, Wrings are going to carefully reduced the building in a controlled manner. This will allow Wrings to open up the site to allow better site set up and access for the archaeologist. It will also make it safer for machinery moving around the site. Time lapse cameras have already been planned to be set up on Tuesday 13th, so these will record the entire process.”

Demolition update from PG Group

The following is the update sent out by PG Group today (25 January 2018)


Update on the demolition works for Westmorland House and Carriageworks

If you made the meeting on the 10th January, you’ll have heard the Wring Group outline their plans for  the demolition programme. If not, here is the latest news:

January has been spent undertaking design works and statutory notifications and they have now been able to confirm they will be on site from 5th February with the retention of the Carriageworks façade is planned for the last two weeks in February. If you have any questions please contact me. Here is the schedule for the next 3-months:

February – March

  • Site set up – including fencing and welfare facilities
  • Undertake environmental clean of site
  • Working with ecologist on vegetation and levelling the ground
  • Installation of facade retention to the Carriageworks. Scaffold protection to Westmoreland House
  • Closure of pedestrian pavement from Carriageworks (by Best Supermarket) to end of Westmorland House FOR APPROX 6 WEEKS ONLY
  • Installation of pedestrian access crossing point by Best Supermarket

Traffic Management: Wrings are currently working closely with Highways to finalise the carriage widths, BUT a two-way traffic flow on Stokes Croft will continue throughout these works and the life of the site.

April

  • Once the facade retention and protection system is in place, the pavement will be reopened with a tunnel to enable pedestrians to pass by the works in safety.
  • On-site demolition, including No 4 Ashley Road will start along with various other buildings on the site, Carriageworks structure – not the facade – and the Westmoreland House building.

Wrings Policy of recycle, reclaim and re-use.
Wring will follow the Demolition and WRAP Protocols in order to recycle, reclaim and re-use as much of the material arising as practical. They will be using the most up to date recycling equipment and most of the recycling operations will be recycled on site to reduce transportation. This recovering and recycling of all types of construction materials from wood to concrete, avoids all but the most essential use of landfill; concrete is crushed into different grades of aggregate, meeting construction needs, metal and timbers are processed, screened and segregated; bulky materials are removed mechanically.

If you have any specific question, please just get in touch with me.

Kind regards

Jenny

Jenny Gee jenny@jennygee.co.uk

Notes of Community Meeting on 10 January 2018

The meeting with CAG and local residents was attended by representatives of PG Group, Bray and Slaughter and Wring Group.

Timetable

There has been a 4-6 week delay from the previously anticipated January start. Exact timetable is dependent upon many ongoing investigations. Current timetable is roughly:

  • February: Erect site scaffolding to make it secure, protect adjoining properties and prepare for the next steps.  3 – 4 weeks total.
  • March: Demolition of Westmoreland House begins. Demolition is likely to take 16 – 20 weeks. Timescale hard to predict but will be informed by ongoing surveys and investigations.

Surveys

  • During demolition of Westmorland House there will be ongoing investigations into the condition  of the Carriageworks building.
  • Cellars and curtilage extent is being investigated for both buildings
  • Party wall matters are being discussed and drawn up with neighbours
  • Asbestos and other surveys such as contaminated soils will be completed prior to demolition and mitigated.

Site Security, Fencing and Pedestrians

  • Both frontages of the site will be fenced off to 2.5m from the building line but still within the curtilage
  • Pavements will be closed while the scaffolding is being erected
  • When the Carriageworks and Westmorland House façades are stabilised a pedestrian ‘protected tunnel’ will be installed on Stokes Croft under the support system
  • The Ashley Road pavement outside the site will be closed. Pedestrians will use a temporary crossing to the Picton St side of the road then back across at the Cheltenham Road junction
  • Site hoardings are expected to be managed and decorated by local artist community.

Demolition

Contractor: Wring Group Ltd

  • Working Hours are expected to 8am – 5pm winter and 8am – 6pm summer (this applies to both the demolition and construction phases)
  • Plan for services disconnections and reconnections are being drawn up
  • Demolition process will include a ‘Man in the Cage’ approach where Westmorland House is semi-tented and a water shrouded ‘nibbler & cutting’ process used for dismantling the structure
  • The water shroud will minimise the dust and noise footprint to ‘about’ ambient for the area
  • There will be ‘debris shelters’ to protect ‘Tuckets Building’ and other adjacent properties
  • With the exception of any steelwork the majority of demolition spoil will be retained on site for reuse as processed hard core and other uses
  • Due to the recycling of materials only one large truck load a day is expected to leave the site
  • Site clearance of earth to dig down to building levels is subject to separate removal.

Archaeology and Recording

  • If cellars are found they will be left exposed for Party Wall discussion and redesign of the Carriageworks lower floors
  • Archaelogy Surveys will run in parallel with the demolition process. Work will stop when necessary for identification, recording and possible removal
  • Grade 2* listing also applies to other Carriageworks features such as steel columns and cellars.
  • The demolition and building process will be recorded:
    • Salvation Army have granted provision to have a fixed camera mounted on their retaining wall to record progress
    • A Dove Street flats resident is to be asked to have a fixed camera on their balcony rail to record progress.

Traffic Management

  • The greatest period of disruption will be while the scaffolding is going up. During this time, the pavements outside both buildings on Stokes Croft will be closed, and traffic might be controlled by temporary traffic lights
  • Traffic Management during demolition phase is not likely to be a major issue
  • The published Draft Traffic Scheme for Stoke Croft will be subject to revision once  cellar and curtilage investigations are complete
  • Once the scaffolding is erected two-way traffic will be maintained on Stokes Croft during construction and demolition
  • There is an expected loss of two parking bays on the Ashley Road frontage
  • We will aim to keep you updated about all this, as it’s a changing picture.

Architecture

  • Finishes and brickworks selection subject to approval by BCC
  • Peter Westbury (for BCC) will sign off finishes following public consultation
  • A photographic record is complete and on show in The Elemental Café (bakery on corner of Nine Tree Hill and Cheltenham Rd)

Construction

Contractor: Bray and Slaughter

  • Considering a separate specialist historic building sub-contractor for the Carriageworks
  • One large 45m reach Luffing Crane will be located near the centre of the Market Square. It will not over-swing adjacent properties or weathercock with the wind when not in use. Consequently no wayleave to overfly adjoining properites will be required
  • Other Cranes will be a mix of mobile units for the houses and lower elements
  • No information is yet available on concrete mixing and whether this will be on- or off-site
  • Local job creation including new apprenticeships will be managed by Bray & Slaughter and Wrings

Affordable Housing

  • As yet there is no change to the number of units marked as ‘Affordable’ although PG Group have now arranged to meet Council officers to discuss opportunities to use available funds to create additional affordable units
  • It is expected that the ‘Affordable Units’ will be for shared ownership and will be located in a single block
  • Generally all sales will be on an ‘open market’ basis

Cultural Plan

  • By the end of January a Public Art and Cultural Plan must be lodged with Bristol City Council to comply with planning conditions
  • Willis Newsom has been appointed to manage the Cultural Plan
  • When completed (Apr-May 2018) the Community Framework will be presented to the public for consultation
  • The Cultural Plan may inform the Public Art issues
  • The wider area and not just current use of the street of Stokes Croft will inform the Cultural Plan and will be made available for the site sales material
  • A degree of control over the use and business types for the ground floor commercial units and market area will be exercised to reflect the wider cultural influences not just the current use of Stokes Croft

Next Meeting

To be confirmed but expected to be quarterly.

Seasons Greetings from CAG

Happy Christmas from everyone at the Carriageworks Action Group.

It’s been quite a year, starting with severe doubts as to whether the site was ever going to be redeveloped, turning into rumours of a new developer, a sudden attempt at evicting the site residents and then confirmation that the PG Group were indeed buying the site. We’ve ended the year with PG in occupation and all the pre-commencement planning conditions underway. We now look forward to demolition of Westmorland House starting early in 2018. What a difference a year makes.

Thank you for all your support through 2017 and we look forward to seeing you in the new year.

Lori, Prue, Geoff, Jawahar, Janine, Pete, Simon, Hugh and Julian