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Affordable homes victory

DEVELOPERS  have been given a year to get started on the long-awaited redevelopment of the Blackberry Hill Hospital site in Fishponds with hundreds of homes.

And campaigners have warned that they will be keeping a close eye on the project to make sure the promised 100 "affordable" homes are delivered to help tackle the housing crisis.

The developers, Galliford Try, sparked controversy last year when they said it was not viable to include homes for rent and shared ownership.

But after talks brokered by Councillor Nicola Bowden-Jones and MP Kerry McCarthy a deal was struck in which the  council would fund 80 affordable homes and the developer 20.

This was followed by the council granting planning permission for 346 homes, with the old hospital buildings converted into 129 flats and another 217 houses and flats built in the grounds.