Community Led Housing project appoints Barefoot Architects

Press Release

A community group from Lawrence Weston are very pleased to announce that they have appointed the Bristol firm ‘Barefoot Architects’ to work with them on their plans for a community-led housing scheme at Astry Close.

The community-led housing project is set to develop a piece of former housing land which is currently owned by Bristol City Council and hope to build around 40 new homes to benefit local people and those wanting to put down roots in the area. Barefoot Architects have previously worked on a Community Land Trust in Dorset and now get to work on this exciting project in their home city. Sam Goss, Director of the firm said “We are absolutely thrilled to have been selected to work with the community in Lawrence Weston to help co-design some new sustainable, high quality, and affordable homes for the area. The project will build on our experience in the community housing sector, which we passionately believe to be the future for new developments in the UK.”

Local resident, Roger Sabido, who took part in the interview process and has been involved in the project for many years was very impressed with the firm’s commitment to involving residents throughout the design process, not just at traditional consultation events. Roger said “We’re determined our project will show that low-cost social housing can be of a genuinely high build standard, and built around its residents’ needs, from extremely low energy and running costs through to being delightful homes to live in.  We are really pleased to have chosen Barefoot Architects to help us achieve this”

As with other areas of Bristol, residents of Lawrence Weston are struggling to find decent, affordable housing in the area, even though lots of new homes are currently going through the planning process. The area already has a lot of 2- bedroom council flats, so this scheme will provide more family homes with gardens as well as outside communal space.

Councillor Paul Smith, Cabinet Member for Homes and Communities, said: “I am really pleased to see progress being made on this development. When I first met Ambition Lawrence Weston their plans were mired in bureaucracy, since then we have worked together to move this project forward and I am delighted that they have now appointed architects to make community led housing in Lawrence Weston a reality”

The project at Astry Close is one of many community-led schemes being proposed in Bristol. It is putting residents at the heart of the process, allowing them to help decide what gets built. They will then also get a say in how the development will be managed and maintained, ensuring the homes remain affordable and are an asset for the whole community. The project is being led by Ambition Lawrence Weston, a neighbourhood body who have secured funding to make this happen from Bristol City Council, Power to Change, MHCLG and the National CLT Network. The team hope to start building the homes by the end of 2019.

For more information about the project and to get involved contact Lisa Denison, Project Manager on 07900 908391, lisa.denison@virgin.net or visit the Facebook page @astryclose

Housing Association Curo acquires 10-acre site for housing development from Bristol City Council

Housing association and house-builder Curo has recently acquired a 10.2-acre site in Lawrence Weston from Bristol City Council with a view to building up to 128 new homes, including 30% affordable housing for social rent and shared ownership.

Curo will be hosting a public exhibition at the Lawrence Weston Baptist Church (Long Cross, BS11 0LT) on Thursday 22 March from 3pm until 7pm to give local people the chance to view and comment on the proposals.

The land stretches from the back of Long Cross and Henacre Road, between Kings Weston Lane and the skate park, and is one of three sites identified for vital new housing in the Lawrence Weston Neighbourhood Plan.

The proposals have been developed by the housing association in consultation with the resident-driven organisation Ambition Lawrence Weston, Bristol Urban Design Forum and Bristol City Council’s affordable housing team.

Curo is proposing a mix of 1, 2, 3 and 4-bedroom homes, with the majority being 2 and 3-bed houses (72%) in response to the Lawrence Weston Housing Needs Study which highlights the requirement for these types of properties to enable families to stay in the area.

Cabinet lead for housing at BCC, Councillor Paul Smith, says: “Our city desperately needs more affordable housing and we are keen to work with housing associations and developers like Curo who share our vision for thriving mixed communities with high quality, modern and efficient homes.

The Henacre site will unlock the opportunity for more local people to buy or rent at an affordable cost thanks to the 37 social and Shared Ownership homes proposed as part of the development.”

Curo Chief Executive, Victor da Cunha, says: “Curo is an organisation with social purpose at its heart. We’re committed to help build the homes our region needs and we’re proposing 185 new homes for Lawrence Weston in Bristol, across two sites – Henacre and Corbet Close. More than half of these – 94 homes – will be affordable housing delivered within integrated communities.

We’ve got great ambitions to build a significantly higher number of homes in Bristol and we’re constantly looking for new sites to help the Council achieve their goal of delivering 2,000 homes a year by 2020, of which 800 will be affordable housing.”

Alongside new homes, the development plans for Henacre show improvements to the existing infrastructure such as new zebra crossings and bus shelters on Kings Weston Lane and Long Cross, as well as large areas of open green space and a proposal to retain and re-route the existing cycle path to the north of the site.

Plans for 57 new affordable homes on show in Lawrence Weston

Housing association and house-builder Curo will be showcasing proposals to build up to 57 new affordable homes at Corbet Close in Lawrence Weston, Bristol. Local people will have the chance to view and comment on the proposals at the public exhibition that will take placeWednesday 14th March from 3pm to 7pm at Curo’s Holly House office, Corbet Close BS11 0TA.

Curo plan to provide up to 13 apartments by converting their office block at Holly House, with an additional 17 flats to be delivered on the Long Cross pub site and up to 27 houses and maisonettes to be built on the land of the former Rockwell care home.

Alongside providing much-needed new homes for local people and families, the redevelopment plans will also benefit Curo’s existing tenants at Holly House by delivering increased security for the area and creating a more thriving and sustainable community. The existing footpath that runs through the site at Holly House will be widened and lit, making it both more accessible and secure.

All the new homes at Corbet Close will be available for social and affordable rent and to purchase through the low cost home ownership scheme, Shared Ownership.

The redevelopment of Corbet Close is part of Curo’s wider investment in the area. The housing association is also proposing to build up to 128 new homes, including 30% affordable, on the land to the back of Long Cross and Henacre Road. A separate public exhibition will be held by Curo at the end of March to gather feedback on these plans.

Lawrence Weston ward councillor, Matthew Melias, said: “I welcome Curo’s commitment to build up to 185 homes in Lawrence Weston, both at Corbet Close and on the Henacre land. This is a much needed investment for the area that will hopefully make it possible for some of the young professionals who grew up in Lawrence Weston and were forced out by rising house prices to return.”

Mark Pepper, development manager for the community group Ambition Lawrence Weston, said: “It’s a long time since Lawrence Weston has seen such investment in new housing and we hope it will enable more local people to stay in the area. Curo’s proposals are showing high-quality, warm homes that will make good use of some of the underutilised land in Lawrence Weston to create new housing for local families.”