Developing city’s ‘brownfield’ sites will end years of blight

Bristolians have been urged to keep an open mind on ambitious city council plans to develop around 90 ‘brownfield’ sites across the city.

Land and development specialists CJH Land, who have a proven track record of brokering all forms of brownfield sites for new housing, have urged the public and planners to end years of blight and uncertainty left by derelict properties.

Director Matthew Hiles said appropriate development can help the local authority counter severe shortfalls in both private and affordable housing – as well as lifting the blight on neighbourhoods created by redundant, derelict and dangerous residential, commercial and industrial premises.

He said: “Residents and neighbours are frequently alarmed by proposals to build houses near their existing homes, but our experience suggests a  properly balanced and carefully thought out scheme will usually be to the benefit of the community.’

Flax Bourton based CJH Land have years of experience brokering land transactions for small, medium and large scale developments in sensitive areas.

Matthew Hiles said: “We have   handled many housing projects on brownfield sites across Bristol where residents might have had initial misgivings about the development proposal, but in the majority of cases a well thought out development which involves thorough public consultation that is going to replace derelict and run down property will enhance the area.

“The most important factor appears to be the uncertainty as to exactly what might happen on any particular site. Our experience has shown an effective housing scheme can lift that uncertainty, give neighbourhoods a much-needed shot in the arm and will often have the benefit of removing property which attracts anti-social or even criminal behaviour.”

The land and development agent was commenting on Bristol City Council’s  Site Allocations Document   – which identifies 89 brownfield sites in Bristol  as possible parcels of land for building  nearly 8,000 new homes.

The strategy identifies potential sites across the city including parcels of land  at Hengrove Park  and Knowle West.

Matthew Hiles said: “The council is now consulting the public on its ‘preferred approach’ on these sites and it is important to highlight the potential benefits.

“While not suggesting every single one of the 89 sites being put forward by the city council will be entirely suited to residential development,  positive consideration of all the options will in most cases result in a clear improvement to the local environment as well as an important addition to the city’s housing stock.”

CJH Land has brokered deals involving the re-development of redundant commercial premises in residential areas across Bristol and the West including former office buildings, public houses, coach depots, factories, dockyards and listed buildings.

Bristol City Council has been working on its housing allocation plans for two years.  The final results of the consultation will be submitted to the Secretary of State   in 2013 and followed by a  public inquiry.