Plan for 300 homes on hospital site step closer
THE development of the former Blackberry Hill hospital in Fishponds is a step closer.
Development partners have been chosen to work with local residents on proposals to transform the site into a new community with homes, jobs and improved open space.
The Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) has chosen Linden Homes and Curo as partners to work with a newly formed Community Development Board, which will involve local people and groups to regenerate the former hospital.
The partners will work together to agree a masterplan for the site before Linden and Curo apply for planning permission for nearly 300 new homes, a third of which would be "affordable".
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They are also planning about 1,500 square metres of employment, community and retail provision and improved open space.
It is anticipated the proposed development will support the regeneration of the area by unlocking about £60 million in private investment and creating nearly 60 new jobs.
David Warburton, HCA's head of area, said: "This development would bring significant benefits to the local community and we are committed to consulting local residents to ensure that any proposals for the site reflect their ambitions for fantastic new development which they can be proud of.
"Now we have a strong partnership in place, we can look forward to getting on with the task of creating a vision for Blackberry Hill which will make a real and lasting difference to the area."
Local residents and representatives who have expressed an interest in joining the HCA's Community Development Board were told about Linden and Curo's appointment last week and the first meeting of the group will be held next month. That meeting will be used to help select members of the new board of 15 people.
Simon Gait, Linden director, added: "Blackberry Hill has the potential to bring new and affordable homes, investment, community facilities and jobs to the area whilst retaining and improving the open space that people have said is important to them.
"It's great to be on board and working on this exciting, transformative project. I am looking forward to working with local people to develop a vision for the site that will set the standards for creating new communities in this part of Bristol."
Victor da Cunha, Curo chief executive, said: "With average rents in Bristol amongst the highest in the UK, and the average cost of a house as high as 14 times typical earnings, it is critical that we rise to the affordable housing challenge and provide more homes for rent and for sale. "