Housing plan for Vassall Centre in Oldbury Court

November 30 2021
Housing plan for Vassall Centre in Oldbury Court

THE charity which owns the Vassall Centre has unveiled plans to redevelop the site at the heart of Oldbury Court.

Bristol Charities says it wants to create a "vibrant new neighbourhood centre for multigenerational living and working", with "much-needed, affordable, high-quality homes for older people and families, along with accessible, contemporary workspace for businesses and charities, and a range of new community facilities".

Now it is asking residents and users of the site to look at its outline proposals and have their say.

The Vassall Centre currently provides affordable and accessible working areas for businesses, charities and non-profit organisations.

But Bristol Charities, which bought the centre in April, says the existing single-storey buildings, built in 1945 as a base for American soldiers, "are now at the end of their practical lifespan and offer very low levels of energy efficiency and sustainability".

It is working with Bristol architects AWW on plans to build a variety of two and three-storey homes on the site, with new workspace and community facilities.

The development would have three areas, with homes for older people at the Vassall Road end of the site, the new workspace and community facilities in the middle, and affordable homes for families at the other end.

Bristol Charities says the development would have a "high-quality design" and include landscaped, outdoor space for tenants' and residents' use, and increased public access through the site.

Housing association Brighter Places would develop and manage the affordable housing for families, while Bristol Charities, which already runs several other sheltered and retirement home sites in the city, will own and manage the housing for older people, community facilities and workspace.

Current Vassall Centre tenants will be able to carry on working at the site (above) until their new "upgraded" workspace is ready to move in to.

Community facilities planned include a nursery, café and landscaped courtyard, and the plans also include new trees, plants and wildlife areas.

The nursery could be built on the ground floor of the housing for older people, to encourage "interaction" between older people and children and staff.

A survey on the plans is running until December 10.

People are being encouraged to look at the outline proposals online at www.bristolcharities.org.uk/projects/ or drop in to the Vassall Centre during opening hours on Mondays to Fridays to look at the display.

Accessible formats of the plans are available by emailing info@abc-pr.co.uk or calling 0117 977 2002.

Bristol Charities chair of trustees Richard Gore said: "We believe these proposed new facilities will breathe new life into the site, opening it up to people living in the area, making much better use of the space and increasing public and community facilities, green space and biodiversity.

"We are looking forward to hearing the views and ideas of our neighbours and tenants in order to create a high quality, sustainable and attractive new centre that is built to last."

The proposals have been welcomed by city council cabinet member for housing Tom Renhard, who said: "It's great to see such a strong focus on integrating supported homes for older people with affordable housing for families."