Lift-off for LaunchPad as residents move in to Fishponds 'modular housing' scheme

November 01 2019
Lift-off for LaunchPad as residents move in to Fishponds 'modular housing' scheme

THE first residents have moved in to a new housing project in Fishponds.

United Communities, which created the housing in a partnership with charity 1625 Independent People (1625ip) and the University of Bristol Student Union, on land owned by the city council.

The project was originally supposed to use converted shipping containers but they were deemed to small, although the finished individual studio flats do look like containers.

The scheme drew objections from neighbours in Alexandra Court, who said it was too close to their homes and would overlook them, resulting in a loss of light and privacy and an increase in noise.

Local businesses also objected, saying the car park it is built on, which was deemed surplus to requirements, was used by customers who found it difficult to park on Fishponds Road.

Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees was present as an official opening for the development was held at the development at Alexandra Park at the end of October, below, to tie in with the Bristol Housing Festival.


United Communities said the scheme was "here to help people break out of student rentals, supported housing or overpriced accommodation", adding: "It aims to bring people together, help increase diversity in communities and build well-being for the best start in life."

Described as the first of its kind in the UK, the 31 residents are a combination of students, key workers such as nurses, teachers or emergency service workers and people supported by 1625ip, which helps young people aged 16 – 25 who are at risk of becoming or are already homeless.

Acting chief executive of Bristol Students’ Union Ben Pilling said: "This is a unique accommodation opportunity for Bristol students, which will bring together young people from diverse backgrounds.

"LaunchPad is a not-for-profit initiative, unlike most other accommodation available in the city, and people living in the development will be invited to participate in decisions that shape their living community."

United Communities interim chief executive Anna Klimczak said: "LaunchPad has been a true partnership project providing the first co-living community in the country for students and other young people. Constructing these units in six months proves that we can deliver good homes quickly. We are looking forward to Launchpad 2!"

Mr Rees said he was proud to attend the opening, describing it as an "an innovative housing development for young people".

Pictures courtesy of United Communities