Plans to turn disused car park into 'mobile' accommodation

November 29 2018

PEOPLE living in Fishponds are being invited to find out more about plans to turn a disused council car park into 'mobile' living accommodation for 34 young people.

Housing association United Communities has been looking at creative solutions to the housing crisis facing young people.

They say their 'LaunchPad' development, on the car park at the bottom of Alexandra Park, will offer young people the chance to break out of student rentals, supported housing and overpriced accommodation.

Members of the community are being invited to a drop-in session on December 1 to look at the proposals for the 'creative' scheme.

The development, which includes accommodation for students and key workers such as nurses and teachers, will stay on the site for a maximum of 10 years and can be relocated.

The land is owned by Bristol City Council but has been declared surplus to requirements.

The proposed scheme is for 34 one-bed apartments with shared communal space as well as a laundry, binstore and secure cycle parking. 

No car parking is provided as residents will not be allowed to have vehicles as part of their tenancy agreement. 

The apartments are arranged over three storeys, accessed off a covered secure walkway. Each apartment is self-contained with a bedroom, bathroom and small kitchen/dining area. United Communities says the homes are fully constructed in a factory and delivered to site by lorry to minimise disruption and site works, as well as to shorten the construction period. 

They have been designed to be energy efficient to minimise costs for the residents.

The LaunchPad project is a partnership between United Communities, 1625 Independent People, the University of Bristol Students Union and Bristol City Council with the support of the property industry charity LandAid.

Publicity material for the scheme says: "Alexandra Park is the first pilot scheme and will house 34 residents. Bringing students, residents and key workers together brings many benefits, enabling the stability of a safe and affordable home whilst also expanding young people’s horizons by enabling experiences that they may never have otherwise encountered. The scheme will be affordable and target young people and students in financial hardship. All young people will be able to access university facilities and support."

It also adds: "Members, through self-management of the scheme, will contribute to their community, become active citizens, gain valuable skills, make friendships and take ownership of decisions and their lives."

Jayne Whittlestone, comm-unities manager for United Communities, said: "It's a really exciting opportunity that we're working on. It's not just developing homes, it's a new community concept and a new way of working.

"It will be for a mix of young people, including students and key workers. It's not a homeless project but it will also be for people who have been living in supported housing with another housing association. 

"Everything is ready to roll, we just need to hear people's views."

United Communities is hosting a drop-in session for members of the community to pop along to find out more.

It will take place on Saturday December 1 from 10am-noon at St Matthias Academy, opposite the car park.

A planning application is expected to be submitted to Bristol City Council in mid December with a view to moving the first young people in during September 2019.

Further information found on www.unitedcommunites.org.uk 

If you have any further queries or feedback regarding the consultation, email launchpad@unitedcommunites.org.uk