Ashley ward’s Green councillors have called for a controversial developer to display full transparency ahead of a community meeting organised by the Carriageworks Action Group (CAG)1 to discuss the long-disused Carriageworks/Westmoreland House site on Stokes Croft.
The public meeting has been arranged by CAG to hear the community’s views on the contentious proposals put forward by Fifth Capital, a London developer who have entered the fray at the 11th hour of a Compulsory Purchase Order process instigated by Bristol City Council to bring the site back into use.
The community vision, which both Cllrs Hoyt and Telford strongly support, has been developed over a number of years and was finally completed in 20122. The Fifth Capital proposals differ greatly from the vision, including lack of permeability through the site from the Ashley Road entrance, the addition of a gated entrance way, and less affordable housing than the proposals being drawn up by Bristol City Council’s preferred developer, Knightstone Housing.
Gus Hoyt, Green councillor for Ashley and Assistant Mayor for Neighbourhoods said:
"I am disappointed to hear from local residents that Fifth Capital representatives are implying that we are not opposed to their plans. Personally, I am dubious to their intentions as they took absolutely no role in the very inclusive community consultation and the resulting community vision which was put out to developers over the last few years. It is my firm belief that this development must benefit the wider community of Stokes Croft, St Pauls, Montpelier and Cotham."
Rob Telford, Green councillor for Ashley and vice-chair of the Development Control A Committee added:
"Fifth Capital have shown in the past few months how they are completely unable to command the community’s trust. A straightforward answer to numerous questions about their links to the current site owners, the Comer brothers, has not been forthcoming. We are disappointed that they have chosen to disrupt an already lengthy Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) process which has a named preferred developer –Knightstone Housing."
The public meeting will be held on Monday 13thOctober at 6pm at the Salvation Army Citadel, Ashley Road. Media representation is welcome.
1 More information on the Carriageworks Action Group can be found at: http://carriageworks.org.uk
2 To view the community vision, please visit: http://carriageworks.org.uk/our-vision-2/community-vision-2012/