Knowle West development plans win backing
PLANS for new businesses, housing and green spaces in Knowle West and Filwood have been approved.
The proposals, which include a new business park that is expected to lead to the creation of around 200 new jobs, were given the green light at the meeting of the city council's cabinet last night.
The proposals are for 2,000 new homes alongside community and commercial development. They include new or improved homes on land bordering Hartcliffe Way and Airport Road.
The so-called green business park would be built on Hengrove Way in Filwood on a site that used to house an aircraft hangar. The site has been standing empty since the closure of Whitchurch airfield to traffic in 1956.
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The £11 million park is being designed specifically for new businesses and smaller firms.
It is hoped funding for the project will come from the European Regional Development Fund and the West of England's Regional Growth Fund.
A likely condition of European funding is that the development should be completed by 2015.
It is expected that around 120 businesses will be based at the new park, potentially creating 180 new jobs and safeguarding a further 170 jobs.
Anthony Negus, the councillor in charge of planning, property and regeneration, told the meeting the plans for an area which had experienced "a lot of problems for a very long time" had been a "long time coming".
Mr Negus said the vision was for Knowle West to be green, well-connected and "low on living costs".
He said the inclusion of a bus rapid transit (BRT) route through the area was crucial. The councillor said: "It will be the regenerator for Knowle West. People will see things are happening and will pour in the investment."
Of the green business park, he added: "Knowle West shouldn't just be a solution to the housing problems – it has to live and breathe and work. I feel strongly this is the right way forward."