Moves to help regenerate Gainsborough Square in Lockleaze have finally got off the ground following years of negotiations between developers and the local community association.
Land and property agents CJH Land brokered the deal which will see the Bristol Community Housing Foundation pushing ahead with a mixed residential and commercial use development on the 0.8 acre site – which was abandoned in the 1960s and has become something of an eyesore.
Bristol City Council has approved BCHF’s scheme to build 15 new houses, 14 apartments along with assorted commercial and retail units on the Gainsborough Square site. Lockleaze Community Association will use proceeds from the sale to fund an ambitious refurbishment of their club building off Romney Avenue.
CJH Land director Matthew Hiles said the intention was to re-develop the key site opposite Lockleaze Day Centre as a smart new hub for the entire area. He said: “Lockleaze residents and councillors have been trying to push ahead with the re-development of this site for years but the various schemes put forward hit a number of obstacles, not least access issues and the effects of the recession. “It has taken a lot of hard work but we have finally put a deal in place which will not only clear an eyesore in the centre of the area but also allow the community association to completely revamp their existing clubhouse next to St James Church.”
The community association called in CJH Land to sell the Gainsborough Square site back in 2006 and negotiations were held with several developers over the years. Lockleaze Community Association chairman Alan Richards said the development would give the entire area a much-needed shot in the arm. He said: “We have been trying to clear this eyesore site for years as it is central to the wider regeneration of Lockleaze. To keep the costs down as far as possible community association volunteers have already begun work clearing the building ready for the first phase of the refurbishment programme to begin.”
Alan Richards said the proceeds from the sale will be used to fund a two phase refurbishment of the club house beginning with the function room and entrance followed by the social club itself. He concluded: “The community centre represents one of the only public facilities in the area. We are hoping this development will be the catalyst for the widespread regeneration of Lockleaze which has got too used to going without since the district was developed during the 1960s.”
CJH Land Limited, based in Flax Bourton South of Bristol, specialises in the sale of residential development land and have been extremely encouraged with their sector of the property market in recent months. Matthew Hiles said: “The last 18-24 months has been very busy for us and we have been involved in a number of significant land sales. All of the house builders and developers we work with are seeking new land opportunities as the housing market in this part of the country seems pretty stable.”