This morning we had almost 100 developers and builders in City Hall to discuss our vision for the Bristol of the future and the homes we need to build. We could celebrate the sites that we’ve released, but we know we still have more to do.
Bonnington Walk, which we considered at cabinet this afternoon, is held up as a great example of the work we are doing to accelerate delivery. This site has been allocated for housing for over 23 years and we have now finally brought it forward for 180 new modular homes and a community. It will be the largest amount of council houses built on one site for over 40 years.
This is one of the 43 sites we have made available for new housing since 2016.
From a standing start we have tripled affordable housing delivery. Our house building programme will see 9,175 new homes completed, including 1,619 affordable, over four years to 2021.
Housing has been the cornerstone of my administration and we’ve had fantastic success. Building homes is the single biggest policy intervention we can make in a person’s life and now we are delivery focused, we will accelerate our home building.
A little before Christmas I was proud to help welcome residents to our new houses at Broomhill in Brislington. As me and Paul Smith put the shiny new keys into the hands of these people, it was a significant moment. Every single indicator in those families lives will have improved – their mental health and life expectancy, their employability, even the academic performance of their children.
This is why building homes and communities is at the heart of what we’re delivering for Bristol and I will continue to drive us and partners such as Homes England to build the homes we need.
Another example is the first development of our council owned housing company, Goram Homes. They are progressing on the Baltic Wharf site on Spike Island for around 165 new homes, around 66 of which will be affordable.
In the south of the city at Hengrove Park– the planning inspector recently approved our plans for the long stalled site. This will include 1,450 homes, which a minimum of 30% will be affordable, as well as improved parks and green spaces.
Four schemes have taken advantage of the Affordable Housing Practice Note since it was agreed by Cabinet in March 2018 delivering 20% affordable housing in the Centre, more are coming through the planning system.
Across the city there are cranes on the horizon and a growing reputation that Bristol is a place to invest and the council a worthy partner in delivering. This means we can continue to drive the number of affordable homes as part of mixed, balanced communities.
Despite all this, we know we cannot fix the broken housing market in this country.
We recently saw the annual rough sleeper count rise, the numbers of van dwellers and their impact on local communities increase and people attempting to get on the housing ladder frustrated.
As Bristol grows and attracts more people we will continue to see these social problems. For this reason, failure to deliver homes people need is not an option. We have to give everyone the home they need to flourish. We are committed to working with those that want to build the Bristol of the future and we will deliver.