Landmark scheme in Bristol granted planning consent to end more than thirty years of dereliction

Developer Fifth Capital London has been granted planning consent by Bristol City Council following an extensive process of engagement, which has been recognised as exemplary. The scheme proposes to redevelop the derelict Carriageworks and Westmoreland House in Stokes Croft, Bristol providing 112 new homes and community and commercial space for independent businesses. At the heart of the scheme will be a new open space, opening up the site to the public for the first time.

Stokes Croft is arguably one of Bristol’s most vibrant, creative and culturally diverse neighbourhoods. After three decades of being derelict, the Grade ll listed Carriageworks – listed on the Heritage at Risk register by English Heritage – will be sensitively restored with reinstated period features including historic roof and arches. Westmoreland House and No.4 Ashley Road are set to be replaced with a residential-led, mixed-use scheme which is being designed by Assael Architecture to bring the entire site back to life, making a positive contribution to and retaining the vibrant character of the area.

The new homes will comprise a mix of private and affordable housing and private and communal gardens, with at least 20 percent family-sized homes. Sustainable design will be utilised throughout the scheme, incorporating biodiversity from public realm to green living, with opportunities for sustainable food production, wildlife refuges and roof gardens. The scheme incorporates a residential green, a public space with children’s play area, and the development will be car-free in line with Bristol City Council’s recommendations.

The provision of community and public space will support the vibrancy of the area, with newly restored arches at ground floor of the listed Carriageworks building opened up to provide a new route through the site into a large public space, connecting through to Ashley Road and the revitalised street frontages.

The street elevations will be contextually sympathetic to the existing, historic buildings in the Stokes Croft Conservation Area, with brick forming the primary material, as well as metalwork and timber panels that reference the timber warehouse style doors found on industrial sites. Internally, the scheme will adopt a more contemporary approach, with lower scale buildings mainly comprising townhouses, and a landscape divided into two courtyards – one public courtyard accessible via the Carriageworks with industrial style buildings, and the second private courtyard with domestic, family style homes that allude to the site’s industrial history.

At the committee on Wednesday night, councillors responded positively to the relationship that has been built between Fifth Capital London and the local community, who have been actively involved in shaping the design. Councillors commented on how Fifth Capital London had gone above and beyond compared with the usual consultation process and that this project should be used as an example of best practice of community engagement.

John Assael, Chairman of Assael Architecture, said:

“Since February 2014, we have gone through a rigorous process of developing a design approach that is both viable and meets the aspirations of the local community. This has involved ongoing consultation with relevant stakeholders and local community organisations as well as numerous pre-application meetings with Bristol City Council.

“We are therefore pleased with Bristol City Council’s decision to grant planning consent for the redevelopment of Carriageworks and Westmoreland House, and alongside Fifth Capital London, have the opportunity to renovate, restore and rebuild in a way that will improve the local area and add to its vibrancy and character. With an attractive and multifunctional urban landscape, residential homes and a thriving public space, we believe that our design approach to the scheme will support the long-term growth of the area and enhance its well-established reputation for creativity and community.”