The questionnaire to establish people’s thoughts about the future of the Carriageworks attracted 1436 responses. People also contributed their views via email, drop-ins, community meetings and other engagements.
55% of responses came from the area immediately surrounding the site and 39% came from other parts of Bristol. Respondents represented a cross section of users of the area with 59% passing through, 54% living locally, 45% spending leisure time in the area, 44% shopping locally and 19% working in the area.
Respondents were asked what mixture of uses they would like to see built on the site. 75% said community facilities, 66% said arts facilities, 53% said residential, 50% said shops, 49% said leisure, and 38% said business units.
The questionnaire also asked who should ideally lead any redevelopment of the site. 51% of respondents said a community organisation with the right skills, 33% said it doesn’t matter so long as they get on with it, 8% said a private developer, and 3% said the existing owner.
Many people contributed additional comments all of which can be found in the Technical Appendix.
The Phase 1 responses show the desire for the site to benefit the local community not only through the activities on the site but also through the development process. The popularity of arts facilities reflects recent trends, and other uses including residential, retail, and leisure attract support as well. A mixed development is clearly the preferred approach. The additional comments show that space for local businesses is supported, but large office blocks are not.
One contentious area that emerged is car parking. Many people are concerned about traffic and pollution levels and therefore want to see site parking very restricted, especially given the site’s proximity to public transport routes. However, others are concerned that a lack of site parking would exacerbate existing problems on surrounding streets. Traders also want to see parking provision for shoppers increased.
300 people took part in the second phase of consultation, 90% of whom participated in the drop-ins.
Overwhelming support was given for the Vision. 97% of people support the overall vision statement. 95% of people support our wide interpretation of the activities that comprise ‘community facilities’. 78% support the creation of a route through the site. 95% support active uses on the ground floor. 77% support mostly mixed residential on the upper floors. 97% support the design approach. And 93% of people support our delivery approach.
The only contentious area remains car parking. 33% of people said that there should be “just adequate” provision and 30% said there should be “as little as possible”. Meanwhile 28% said there should be a greater “sufficient” level of car parking and 6% said there should be as much as possible. So two thirds of people are in favour of limiting parking, but it is an issue that attracts great passion and is likely to remain a topic of heated debate as the project progresses.
Clearly there is support for the draft vision statements, which in themselves reflect the preferences and comments received in Phase 1. People have expressed views on the details of any development and these will help inform the debate as the project progresses. For the moment though the support received gives enormous confidence to the final Community Vision. It also endorses the guidance for the development of the site contained in the City Council’s planning guidance document SPD10.
Full details and results from the consultation are available in the Technical Appendix.