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Brooks site campaign

Brooks Planning Group January 2012: see the report by clicking HERE

Brooks Planning Group update, 1st February 2011

The owners and their agents were about to share their detailed plans and drawings for the site as the initial stage of the pre-planning discussions with community and then in June, put a halt to everything. We remain in touch, but are told that until they resolve the flood risk to the site they are not proceeding with community discussions. Whether that is the case, who knows, these are hard times for land owners who seek a profit from a development!! So we wait on them.

However, there is interest with some of us in looking into the idea of a Community Land Trust (CLT): acquiring the land in the interest of the community. A far sighted idea, but CLT is taking off and if anyone is interested there is an event and exhibition at Hamilton House on Thursday 3rd Feb to introduce the idea to the wider public in Bristol. See below.

The Bristol CLT, an umbrella organisation set up to promote Community Land Trusts in Bristol, launches opening event

Want to be involved in how new housing is delivered in Bristol?

Are you priced out of the housing market?

If you are interested in getting involved in the early stages of an 'Umbrella Community Land Trust organisation for Bristol' (and possibly the wider area), then please come to The opening event, from 3 to 7 pm on Thursday 3rd February 2011 at Hamilton House, 80 Stokes Croft, BS1 3QY.

Attendees will be able to browse displays and talk to experts and Bristol CLT representatives about the potential projects, with short presentations being given at 3pm and 6pm.

For more information, contact Jackson Moulding at Jackson@ecomotive.org or 0117 9241263. See also www.ecomotive.org and www.communitylandtrusts.org.uk.

While we wait for the owners to act, the BROOKS group are to request a meeting with the property managers in order to find out how much more demolition is going to take place. This is a good opportunity for very local residents to the site to come forward and join us if there is an increase in noise, damage to wildlife associated with the site or anything else of concern that they want to raise at a meeting. A note will go through doors of homes around the site to make this suggestion.

The community plan was published and was sent to BCC Planning dept and they sent it to many others too, and we had good feedback as to its usefulness as a guide to any developer. Can the council buy into our plan? Well, we are told it goes a long way to representing a community view during the pre-planning discussions. Planning is moving hurriedly towards creating neighbourhood plans, so the work we have done is of interest to them.

The people involved in the Brooks group will continue to endeavour to keep residents informed and as always welcome anyone who wants to get involved. The community plan for the site does go some way to achieving a wider neighbourhood plan and to that end I'd like to start a community planning group to get this kick started in the spring. Anyone else interested? You can find the community plan on this website under Brooks campaign.

Brooks Planning Group update, 22nd June 2010

Brooks site Community Plan is finally finished!

After a year of consultation activity, we've finally completed the Brooks Site Community Plan. We will use this in negotiations with the site's developers, architects, Bristol Council and others. We will try to get as much of what the community wants on the site as possible. Below are the various pages of the Plan individually.

Scroll down to the bottom of the page for the files to download.

Introductory pages - important to read these first! (PDF, 113kb) [this links to PDF 'Brooks CP - intro pages']
Mina Road Park (PDF, 75kb)
Paths through the site (PDF, 163kb)
Roads around the site (PDF, 211kb)
Housing (PDF, 108kb)
Local businesses and jobs (PDF, 88kb)
Community facilities (PDF, 137kb)
Existing buildings on the site (PDF, 255kb)

Next phase will be for us to meet the various stakeholders - we'll post updates here regularly. We're all local volunteers and would love to hear from you.

: Contact us by email or call Judy Preston on 07908 219834


Brooks Planning Group update, 18th April 2010

St Werburghs Neighbourhood Association Brooks Planning Group

A draft community plan is ready, and we want to hear YOUR VIEWS. Drop in and give us your thoughts.
Monday 26th APRIL 6-8pm St Werburghs Centre, Horley Rd.
OR
Tuesday 27th APRIL 3pm-8pm St Werburghs Centre, Horley Rd.

.... this is the last chance to have your say before the Plan is finalised !!

Contact us:- e mail saintwerburghs@googlemail.com
Or call Judy on 07908219834
� Refreshments
� Meet the planning group
� History of the site
� Guide to Planning System
� What�s next?

Brooks Planning Group update, 13th March 2010

Brooks Site ... Brief Update The steering group for preparing the community plan for the Brooks Site has almost completed its work. Most of the consultation is done and dusted.
We shall be presenting the work in the form of an exhibition at venues in the neighbourhood (to be confirmed) on the evening of Friday 16th April and during the day of Saturday 17th. Please make a note in your diary. More details to follow.

Unfortunately, English Heritage and subsequently, the dept for Culture , Media and Sport turned down our application for the statutory listing of the Brooks Chimney and the brick built workshop buildings on Morley St. This decision does not prevent us from campaigning to demonstrate local feelings about these buildings being retained in a future development, and we will work with the Conservation people at Bristol City Council to secure their support, which may help with future planning applications for the site. If you are interested in this aspect of the Brooks Site's future, then please contact us.

There is still no sign of a planning application or pre planning application discussions, but we want to move quickly now and finish the Plan, so to be prepared.

Judy Preston
Brooks Planning Group
07908219834
judy.preston@blueyonder.co.uk

Brooks Planning Group update, Sept 15th 2009

Here is another update from the Brooks Planning Group. We are always happy for more people to join in the tasks of the Group. Call Judy on 07908 219834 or email saintwerburghs@gmail.com

Current state of play with site and owners. No further news. Do let us know if you see anything happening on the site.

Chimney Update. We applied for the Chimney and the small �workshop� buildings on Morley St to be Listed earlier in the year. English Heritage have made their recommendation to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. EH are not able to tell me what that decision was, as it is only publicly available when DCMS make their decision, which I am told could still be some months, unless a planning application for demolition is submitted, in which case, a decision will be brought forward. Watch this space!!

Update on Community Consultation We have been working hard to do a broad consultation of all in our neighbourhood. The results will feed into the Community Plan for the site which will then be presented to community for feedback in early November (hopefully!).

Here�s what we�ve done so far.
We�ve finished Stage 1. Near neighbours survey
During June and July we did a survey of residents who live very near to the Brooks site. These residents will feel the impact of the development most of all, and therefore we started the consultation there. We got approx 38% return, which is good apparently for a survey. The results, in a nutshell, are that residents wish to see a mixed-use development that is mostly residential along with some small scale employment opportunities, particularly art workshops and to a lesser extent office space. Dwellings should be low rise, family homes for both private owners and social housing, and include supported accommodation for elderly people in the area. The scheme should have sufficient green space and trees.

Residents wish to see Mina Rd Park extended into the site, along with new pedestrian and cycle routes to improve access and connections to other parts of the neighbourhood. Community buildings and market space should be included in the scheme. Efforts should be made to keep existing buildings and the chimney in particular should be retained as a local landmark. Many residents would like to see low energy sustainable construction methods used in the design of a new scheme. A new development needs to address the significant concerns that residents have for street safety, particularly the routes used by car users wishing to short cut the journey to M32. A new development should provide sufficient car parking spaces for new dwellings.

Stage 2. More consultation! - in progress
This is what we�re currently doing:

� Running an online survey of the rest of the community around Brooks. You can respond to this at https://www.survey.bris.ac.uk/ilrt/brooks2 until 5th October

� We�re also talking to
established groups within the neighbourhood, eg Parks group.
Local businesses.
Local councillor.
Specific groups of residents to ensure that all residents of all ages and ethnicity are properly consulted.
Agencies like local police.

We aim to complete this by the end of September and analyse soon after. We will use this data, along with all the other data we�ve collected to develop the Community Plan. This will give an outline Plan of what the community wants to see happen on the site. We will submit this to the Council and other influential stakeholders.

Next steps and how you can get involved

1. Complete the online survey
here about what you want to happen on Brooks site. This is your chance to have your say!!

Come to a walkabout of the site! 2. We have organised a walkabout around the boundary of the site on Sunday 27th September. Meet at the little park on Ashley St at 2pm with family and friends to take part in an active event to seek your views. It will be guided by members of the Brooks Planning Group and aims to highlight the issues so far raised by residents. It will give all attending, including children, an opportunity to see the spaces around the site. We all know where it is, but we never really look properly do we? So come along � tea, cake and chat happens after the walk. This will take place whether it rains or not!!

3. Open meeting. Monday 12th October 7.30pm at the library space, St Werburghs Primary School. Use main entrance and follow signs. Come along to see how far we�ve got. We�ll present the results of the consultation and get your views on how to progress with the next stage which will be to write up the Community Plan and present it to community for final consultation. Then present final document to the council. We would particularly like to discuss with you all, the issue of the Brooks Planning Group having the �authority� to speak/act on behalf of the neighbourhood when we finally get a scheme to look at from the owners/designers. If you cannot get to the meeting, please contact us with your thoughts.

More information � Judy is the main contact for the Brooks Planning Group. She�s very friendly and would love to hear from you. Call Judy on 07908 219834 or email saintwerburghs@gmail.com

Brooks Group Update May 1st 2009

The steering group have now met a couple of times. They are
Judy Preston Henry Bassadone Debbe Whitcliffe Sarah Agarwal Alex Bradley Goska Ong Keith Cowling

We have established that
1. our group exists to make sure our community voice is a driving force in how the site develops. We agreed that we would like to develop a Community Plan (CP), which truly reflects cross-community feeling, because this seems like the most likely tool to influence decision-making at the moment.

2. we wish to support, and if necessary, take part in the existing efforts to list the chimney.

3. seems like we'd quite like to enjoy ourselves too!

We have an update on what the owner of the land is currently thinking .....
The owners agent, Lee Douglas, from DJ Foley requested a meeting with Henry Bassadone from SWNA. He invited me too as steering member of Brooks group.
Lee outlined that while the owner is still hoping to lease out the site for light industrial use, they have over the last year also been exploring possible designs, with 3 architects, for mixed use schemes, which would be residential led, with possible additional elements like live/work units or a nursing home. A decision will be made by their project team shortly, we are told, as to whether they will risk the financial implications of pursuing development in this time of economic decline.

Basically, we were shown one of the 3 designs to give us an idea of what they had in mind. We were not shown any of the other design options. Henry and i were pleased to see that it was not a dull volume house builder scheme. There are no plans, as yet to submit a planning application.

Until the owner makes a decision on whether to develop or not, we have nothing on the table to be consulted about. Should the owner choose a preferred designer, and proceed to Pre Application discussions with Bristol Planning dept then a dialogue can happen. They have expressed the wish to work with this Brooks group to secure the community involvement that is expected of them, by ourselves and by the Planning dept.

The meeting with Henry and I does NOT qualify as community consultation. We want to reassure you of this. We have written a letter to the Agent to say that we hope to work with them. . We don't want to just respond to their plans and ideas. We want to carry on with our plans to develop ideas that reflect what the community wants as we think this will help us to influence planning and development decisions. Further to this, we have an opportunity to lead with ideas in any future discussions with the owner. Any work that we continue to produce re. a community plan for the Brooks site, shall not be wasted, should we be faced with a planning application in the near future.

Well thats the update .... Please will YOU do 3 things now.
1. let me know if you have thoughts/concerns about any of this news above.
2. What do you think about saving the chimney and any other buildings on the site? Should they be listed and /or protected, for inclusion in any future scheme on the site? A response from you will give at least some kind of mandate to the steering group on this.
3. If you have skills and experience in any of this kind of thing, like managing effective community involvement, planning, or design then don't hide, let us know how to do it well.

*The next steering group meeting will be on 13th May. We really genuinely honestly want more people involved in the steering group. Just contact me.
Judy Preston

Update 24th February 2009

Hello everyone

A small group of people met on the 22nd January to work on, mainly, how to protect Brooks chimney. A press release was drawn up and petition discussed. I had 12 apologies from those of you who are interested still in contributing, so thanks for that. The next meeting will be on a Tuesday i hope, so more of you will be able to come along. Please continue to at least send feedback on what you hear through these e mails.

Press Release was written to be sent to local radio and newspapers next week, once the petition is out there. It tells of the work of this new group in getting a community plan together but specifically highlights the save the Chimney campaign. A local resident, Ginny has made an application to the Conservation Officer at Bristol City Council for the Chimney to be considered for listing but we also need to make applications for some of the other buildings too. Have you seen the nice cottage/workshops on Morley St .. great shame to lose this local character. Can someone who gets Evening Post regularly, monitor and save the article and any subsequent letters etc ? and let me know once press release has been sent out.

What's been done ? ... links made with Save Britains Heritage, Bristol Civic Society and the Victorian Society all of whom will be able to support the protection of these buildings we hope. Contact made with the Planning Officer who would deal with our area, expressing our aims to work towards a community plan, and registering our request to receive any information about pre application discussions they may have with a developer in the future. (the planning authority now have an obligation to do this with community groups) Jon Rogers (local councillor) contacted to seek his support and keep him in the loop.

Things for volunteers to do please .....

A small working group would be good to bring together the local history resources that exist for the Brooks site and its neighbouring streets. Old maps, that kind of thing. We need it as part of the evidence base for a community plan but also in general to 'save' as a community resource. Volunteers please?

A group to offer to meet the developers in view of our poster publicity and the press release would be an important next step. Just to show our enthusiasm not our ability to be conflicting neighbours .. yet. Any volunteers please, i don't wish to do this on my own!!! And we hope to get an invite to look around the site through this meeting too.

Could anyone come to a short meeting at 6pm at Better Food Cafe on Thursday 26th Feb .... to get Chimney campaign sorted. Please come, especially if you have experience of petitions and press releases. And let me know if you are coming? I'll be in cafe wearing a black hat!!

The petition for getting residents to support protection of Brooks Chimney and other buildings on the site is nearly ready. If you can offer to knock on doors on your own road or a neighbouring rd .. please get in touch. I need about 10 people for this task.

At a future meeting, we wish to invite other local groups to share their experience of putting together community plans for their area ... ideas include the folk who have worked to get a good outcome for the Elizabeth Shaw site over at Greenbank, the People's Republic of Stokes Croft (take a look at their fantastic website ... www.prsc.org.uk ) .... and St Paul's unlimited. Any other ideas of who can be invited please let me know? A small group needed to start getting local data ... housing needs, population, local resources etc .. a snapshot of the community ... This is also part of the evidence base for a community plan. Internet access is needed but it is quite straightforward, and would take a couple of evenings or afternoons. Volunteers please? Thanks Judy Preston 0117 9555267 07908219834

After a really well attended meeting last month, it seems there is a lot of interest in developing a community plan for Brooks site. Here is a list of the ideas that came out of that meeting and the next few months will see people bring some of those ideas together for the whole neighbourhood to have a say on.
Thanks
Judy Preston
0117 9555267
07908219834

Below is background information on the campaign

Below are the ideas and thoughts attendees had about developing the Brookes site. These notes represent individuals thoughts. We did not attempt to reach concensus at this stage.
- Parks group may want to extend Mina Road Park.
- Might wish to benefit from Section 106 money. There are new planning regulations about this.
- Keen to see mixed housing and jobs and pull in Mary Carpenter Court.
- The Islamic Community Centre may be willing to delay development of their site on Sevier Street in order to move into the Brookes area. There may also be an opportunity for better parking for the area but there are also concerns about creating more parking space.
- Would like more social, rentable, quality housing for families. Prefer houses to flats.
- As a community, we need to be assertive and demand accountability from whoever develops the site.
- A Neighbourhood Plan gives a community a mandate for negotiation and influence in any such development. St Pauls has experience of such plans. St Pauls are having difficulties getting family housing developed.
- Would like permaculture / ecology play a role in development. There is support for the 'home zoning' approach.
- We should be imaginative and creative in our vision.
- The Housing Co-op on Mina Road would like to be involved. Would be good for any new social-housing residents to have more responsibility for their homes - more than is the case with Housing Associations. Housing Co-op could achieve this.
- We should create a St Werbs Planning Group. This could sit under the St Werbs Neighbourhood Association, which would lend it recognition.
- We should work with Transition Bristol / St Werbs.
- Would like to see a car-free area.
- Would like it to be a commercial / work area to maintain its previous purpose. We've had enough residential development work in St Werbs.
- Good to make use of what is already on the site, in terms of infrastructure and materials.
- We should engage with the Council early to ensure we get involved in formal decision-making as early as possible.
- Other suggestions included using the site to develop a school, light industrial, studios and using the site right now for markets and other enterprises.

The next meeting will look at
* what is sustainability?
* How can a community plan be really representative of the whole community?
* First things first .... campaign to save Brooks Chimney

Campaign To Protect Brooks Chimney
We all know of Brooks Chimney ... its a local landmark...... and important and valuable local Industrial Heritage. Now is the time to campaign to make sure it is safe from demolition or worse, a general neglect that would mean it more difficult to preserve as part of our skyline and landscape. It must be stressed that there are no proposals to demolish the chimney, but when a plan goes in eventually, a chimney like this would stand in the way of a scheme .... and so we should expect the worse. Expect some press coverage in the next week or so .... Your help is needed to protect the chimney, its the kind of campaign that needs a petition and street stall etc.... A local resident, Ginni is taking a lead on getting a campaign going, and we will be talking about this at the next Brooks meeting. Details below.

Contact : Judy Preston 9555267
judy.preston@blueyonder.co.uk

Report Below

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