A development of new council homes in Lockleaze has taken another step forward as the Bristol City Council seeks to secure ownership of a former pub that needs to be demolished to allow work to begin. The council hopes to build 47 homes on disused land at Branwhite Close in Lockleaze.
In order to get the development site ready, the council has been working to acquire two buildings: the former pub on Gainsborough Square and a privately owned home on Branwhite Close. The site previously had council homes on the land which were demolished some years ago as part of a redevelopment project.
Compulsory Purchase Orders (CPOs) have been secured for both sites, and barring any further legal challenges, it is hoped work can start onsite later this year.
Councillor Tom Renhard, Cabinet Member for Housing Delivery and Homes, said: “We are committed to doing everything we can to tackle the housing shortage in the city, and making sure that this affordable council-owned housing scheme, which will provide homes to 47 families, can be delivered. These will add to the 474 affordable homes built in Bristol in 2021/22.
“It is not just about the number of new homes we build; we are committed to developing mixed and balanced communities, working hard to make sure any new homes are suitable for the surrounding local area. Lockleaze is going through a big transformation at the moment, and we are working hard to make sure all the developments complement each other, as well as bringing forward additional amenities for community members to use.
“As well as enabling the housing development, the demolition of the pub will come as a relief to local people, as it has become an eye sore, and a target for fly tipping and graffiti in recent years.
“I look forward to finally being able to break ground on this site, hopefully later this year.”
The pub on Gainsborough Square has been allowed to fall into a state of disrepair for many years. The owner of the property was recently fined after failing to take care of the site, along with two other buildings in the city that they also own or manage.
Several approaches were made to buy the property at full market value. However, the owners were unwilling to sell, so in order to progress, the council made a CPO to acquire the property.
The owner objected to the CPO and an inspector appointed by the Secretary of State was asked to consider the objection and decided that the CPO should go ahead.
If there are no further legal challenges, the council will be the legal owners of the pub in late August.
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