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Firm behind tower block scheme to create mater plan for Bedminster regeneration

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Written by:   | Posted 26-March-2015 10:24

Firm behind tower block scheme to create mater plan for Bedminster regeneration

developer behind a scheme to build a 16-storey tower block in Bedminster is putting together a master plan for the £135 million regeneration of the surrounding area.

Urbis eventually won permission to redevelop run down shopping centre St Catherine's Place and build a16-storey block of 188 flats.

Now it has signed an agreement with the city council allowing it to investigate the potential of several publicly-owned buildings in the area and the firm will also be looking at privately owned sites too.

The plan would see up to 800 new homes, including 250 classed as "affordable", in the area between Bedminster station and East Street.

The station would get a new frontage allowing people to enter from the Bedminster side as well the current Windmill Hill access and the development would be called Bedminster Green, hinting at the ongoing gentrification of the area.

But there is no guarantee that whatever Urbis comes up with will be approved.

Managing director Richard Clarke said: "This area has been neglected for far too long. It's an ideal place to build new homes – and to help revitalise this community.

"When we first looked at St Catherine's Place, no-one was interested in Bedminster.

"Now we have lots of funders extremely keen to invest in this important Bristol centre. Our plans for St Catherine's Place have undoubtedly sparked this renaissance, and we have every intention to use this remarkable opportunity to bring Bedminster back to its former glory."

Mayor of Bristol George Ferguson welcomed the agreement.

"Supporting the regeneration of communities around the city, most notably south Bristol, remains one of my key priorities," he said.

"I welcome this agreement, which does not commit the council to the disposal of any land at this stage, but is a good example of how we are working with developers to help achieve our regeneration aims across the city."

Councillor Mark Bradshaw, assistant mayor for regeneration, said he hoped this approach of working with developers could be copied elsewhere.

"I welcome this clear framework for Urbis, the council and other interests to work together in shaping a masterplan for the area identified," he said.

"This agreement will allow Urbis to look in detail at the potential for much-needed regeneration between Bedminster Station and East Street. Once they have scoped out these proposals the council will look at them in light of its regeneration strategies.

"Any viable plans will need to go through the usual planning application processes.

"This is a model I want to encourage elsewhere in Bristol. The potential to link together physical regeneration, homes, jobs and transport improvements is a strong incentive to now make further progress."

Plans for a 16-storey tower block in Bedminster divided opinion, but the project eventually secured planning permission in October last year.

The scheme includes a £1.1 million refurbishment of St Catherine's Place shopping centre, which is due to start in the autumn and be finished by spring 2016.

The controversial bit, however, was the £23 million tower including for 188 flats. With planing permission in place Urbis intends to sell this on and the building work will likely start next year.

The firm previously redeveloped the Gala Bingo hall in Bedminster, turning it into 26 low-energy homes.

Photo caption: The proposed St Catherine Place development in Bedminster

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