Planned Road and Pavement Closures + Other Site Management Issues

On 1 December the City Council approved PG’s proposals for road and pavement closures around the site during demolition and construction.

The proposals form part of the ‘Construction Environment Management Plan‘ (pdf) and were submitted in September. This can also be found on the Council’s planning website.

The Plan addresses the following:

Communications

PG’s communications consultant, Jenny Gee, will be “working closely…to establish a working relationship that builds trust” with CAG, neighbours and businesses. Communications will include “sharing both the overall build plan and daily on-site activity” with a commitment to responding to questions by the end of the next working day.  Local residents will receive quarterly update letters.  Daily updates will be available from the site communications website  – https://consultingyou.co.uk/carriageworks.

Complaint Management

Any complaints should be submitted via PG’s communications website or in writing to Jenny Gee Communications, 2 Fernbank Road, Redland, Bristol, BS6 6PZ.  Responses will be provided by the end of the next working day.

Hours of Operation

Works will take place Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm and Saturday 8am to 1pm.

If any work is required on Sundays or Bank Holidays advance consent will be sought from Bristol Planners.

Deliveries

There will be no major vehicle movements into or out of the site during the school run. Actual times still to be agreed with the City Council.

There will be a full-time ‘gateman’ at the Ashley Road entrance.  Vehicles will normally turn around on the site but, if the need arises, the gateman will control traffic on Ashley Road to enable vehicles to reverse in.

Control of Dust

(The dirty sort not Rusakov Particles, which are altogether harder to contain).

Dust will be created during demolition. Dust suppression will include damping down with sprayed water during demolition, crushing and storage; sheeting and screening; enclosure of skips; watering of haul routes; sheeting of vehicles removing demolition materials and siting of the crusher as far as possible from neighbouring properties.  Burning of materials on site will be strictly prohibited.

Lighting

To avoid light spillage onto residential properties, temporary lighting will only be used when absolutely necessary; directional lighting will be used instead of floor lighting; low level and sensor controlled lighting will be used only during hours of operation; physical screening will be provided.

Parking

Site workers will not be able to park on site and will therefore park in the surrounding areas.  (No mention is made that these areas are RPZs)

Temporary Traffic Measures

The following drawings set out the proposed measures.  The dates are CAG estimates. PG will confirm final arranagements once they are approved by Bristol City Council Highways.

Phase 1 (¿January 2018?)

Erecting (and later dismantling) the temporary façade support system to the frontage of the  Carriageworks.

Phase 2 (¿January – March 2018?)

Demolition of Westmorland House

Phase 3 (¿April 2018 – sometime in 2019?)

Construction works until the new internal structure of the Carriageworks has been completed. The façade support system is then removed.

Phase 4 (¿2019-2020?)

Construction works following removal of the temporary façade support structure to the Carriageworks.

Phase 5 (¿2019?)

Construction of a new manhole over the existing Wessex Water combined sewer in Ashley Road, very close to the traffic light controlled junction with Stokes Croft. This will, in all likelihood, be a deep excavation which will necessitate a temporary road closure (see SK5). This has been discussed in principle with BCHDH and would be timed to take place during a school holiday period.

Other Road Closures (¿2018-2019?)

It may also be necessary to close Ashley Road for 1 day for the erection (and 1 day later for dismantling) of a tower crane.

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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.

Information letter from PG Group to local households

PG Group have delivered an information letter to every household close to the Carriageworks site.   Key points are:

  • Demolition of Westmorland House (not the Carriageworks) is likely to start in January
  • Construction will start in March / April 2018
  • As the development progresses there will be regular updates on the site hoardings, letters to householders and the PG Group’s project website.

PG Group will be invited to attend CAG’s community meetings in the coming months.

Click to the letter below to open PDF.

Household letter from PG Group 7 November 2017

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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The Archaeology of Westmorland House

One of the planning conditions attached to the redevelopment of the Carriageworks states that no development shall take place until the developer has secured the implementation of a programme of archaeological work. This is to ensure that archaeological remains and features are recorded prior to their destruction.

Commonly ‘archaeology’ is synonymous with ‘old’. So on the Carriageworks site it might include traces of the Civil War, foundations of buildings previously on the site, remains from previous uses of the Carriageworks building etc.  But what about evidence of more recent activity?

Back in 2010 archaeologists John Schofield and Rachael Kiddey worked with a group of rough sleepers to excavate Turbo Island on Stokes Croft and explore the history of one of Bristol’s small but infamous plots of land. It culminated in A History of Stokes Croft in 100 Objects that encompassed everything from the traditional fragments of buildings, pottery and pipes through to modern syringes, all of which contribute to the history of the site. John Schofield, now Professor at the University of York, went on to describe, somewhat notoriously, the importance of the Sex Pistol’s graffiti at 6 Denmark St in London as comparable to 30,000 year old cave painting in Lascaux. Historic England have now listed the building. So archaeology can be modern as well as old – and it both aids our current understanding and documents our recent lives for the benefit of generations to come.

Skull on Westmorland House. Credit: PRSC

So what does this mean for the Carriageworks and its neighbour Westmorland House which is due for demolition? The derelict office block has provided a canvas for many street artists since the 1990s some of whom have gone on to greater things while others simply commented on the local environment at the time; “choking on your fumes”.

We hope that the archaeological recording, to be undertaken by Bristol and West Archaeological Services, will pay attention to the modern as well as the old.

PG Submit Application to Vary Planning Conditions

On 8 August PG Group submitted an application to vary the conditions attached to the planning permission gained by Fifth Capital in October 2015. The application has to be determined by Tuesday 07 Nov 2017.

The application and supporting documents can be found on the Council’s planning portal. Public comments can be submitted via the portal.

Planning Statement

Bristol based planning consultants CSJ provide the supporting planning statement. To summarise:

  • There are many pre-commencement conditions that have to be dealt with prior to demolition. This impacts on feasibility and deliverarbility of the project.
  • Planning permission expires in July 2018 so there is limited time.
  • Delaying some of the conditions until after demolition will allow for site constraints to be properly assessed, investigative works and preparation of a suitable construction contract.
  • The Carriageworks is unsafe and therefore needs demolition of the rear wall and internal structure (see justification below).

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