On Wednesday 1st September 2021, Bristol City Council approved Vistry Partnerships’ and Goram Homes’ plans for 268 new homes at Romney House in Bristol.
The development will transform the site into a range of high quality and sustainable new homes, from apartments to four-bedroom family houses, with 147 affordable homes (55%) for social rent and shared ownership. The partners are committed to creating a low carbon community that supports local wildlife and ecology and provides local training and skills development.
Marc Thompson, Managing Director of Vistry Partnerships West said
“We’re delighted that after extensive consultation and engagement with the local community, our proposals have been approved which means we can transform this redundant area into a vibrant, sustainable new community where local people can live and thrive”
Formerly the location of Lockleaze School, Romney House bridges Lockleaze and a new development at Cheswick Village to the north. The site is also adjacent to Stoke Park, a Grade II Listed historic parkland. A new community park will be located at the heart of the development, which will provide an important public green space. The park will help form a wildlife corridor from Stoke Park through to Concorde Way.
As part of the Joint Venture’s commitment to creating a low carbon community, all the new homes will be connected to air source heat pumps, ensuring that the new development contributes to achieving the Council’s vision of a greener, fairer Bristol.
Cllr Tom Renhard, Cabinet Member for Housing delivery and Homes, said:
“The development at Romney House is exactly why Bristol City Council set up Goram homes – to build high quality homes for Bristol that add value to the area and help us to address the ecological emergency we are facing. The site will deliver a net biodiversity gain with 55% of the houses being either for social rent or shared ownership. This takes us one step closer to meeting our targets for affordable housing and providing much needed homes for Bristolians.”
Supporting local training and skills development is also key. During construction Vistry Partnerships and Goram Homes will be running a Skills Academy – an innovative training programme that has been designed to create opportunities for local people to gain work experience and vocational qualifications, including NVQs and CSCS cards – a crucial first step into the industry.
Stephen Baker, Managing Director of Goram Homes, said:
“It is fantastic news that Goram Homes can now start work on our first homes at Romney House in Lockleaze. The development, being delivered jointly with Vistry Partnerships, will not only provide much needed new homes for Bristol but will also contribute to Lockleaze in a meaningful and long-lasting way. Alongside a number of community-led projects, the skills academy will provide training and opportunities for residents and is a great example of how we are working with partners to really add value to local areas and invest in our city.”
The Romney House Skills Academy is being delivered in partnership with City of Bristol College and Partners in Bristol, and will combine classroom and practical learning, with participants gaining live site experience on the Romney House project.
The academy has set demanding objectives to help equip local people with the skills needed to embark on a career in construction. It is set to provide the equivalent of 278 weeks of training opportunities, with 300 hours dedicated to those currently unemployed. Additionally, there will be 35 local people directly employed on the project for at least one year, as well as 27 weeks of student and pre-employment courses.