New homes and business buildings could transform Fishponds industrial site

July 01 2019
New homes and business buildings could transform Fishponds industrial site

A FORMER factory in Fishponds has been sold – and could eventually provide a site for new housing.

London-based investor and developer Frontdoor Properties has bought the Filwood House site, off Filwood Road, for an undisclosed sum.

Agents Alder King say the new owner hopes to regenerate the site with a mix of housing and new business buildings, in a similar style to the Paintworks development in Arnos Vale.

The six acre site is also bordered by Forest Road and the Bristol & Bath Railway Path, opposite the Royal Mail's Fishponds delivery office.

It includes a complex of industrial buildings, some of which are still in use while others stand empty. The best-known is Filwood House, above, a 150,000sq ft building, built in the early 1960s, which is up to three storeys tall. There are old industrial chimneys and storage tanks on the site.

It was previously part of the former DRG factory complex but is now occupied by a number of small businesses on short-term leases, including Insignia Garage, Barnardo’s and Leebruss baby shop. The Voice understands that the existing tenants may be offered new premises in the redevelopment.

Alder King says that “significant parts” of the site, which was previously owned by Wiltshire-based New Station Developments, have “fallen into disrepair and are in need of remediation and redevelopment”.

Currently classed as a commercial site, the former factory buildings are part of an area of “underused” industrial and warehousing land in central Fishponds which the city council’s Bristol Local Plan Review has earmarked as “a significant opportunity for the development of new homes”.

The plan, which is being updated after public consultations earlier this year, says: “The scale of development opportunities still available in the area present the potential to consider higher density forms of development that would help to support continued investment in the town centre and local public transport services.”

It recommends redeveloping the sites for “a mix of residential, workspace and community uses”, with the potential to create at least 1,500 new homes and “high quality workspace”.

The site’s new owners have instructed Alder King to prepare and submit a planning application for “a sensitive mixed use redevelopment of the site”.

Alder King partner Chris Haworth said: “The intention is to retain and enhance employment provision on the site, while also creating new housing, primarily though effective master planning and design efficiency. The proposed new scheme would also deliver significant environmental enhancements, not just to the site but the wider area.”

Picture: Alder King