Building homes for Bristol is, as you know, a subject close to my heart and one that remains a top priority for Bristol City Council, so I’m delighted to be able to share some good news. Last week, Goram Homes, the City Council’s housing company, took home two awards at the Bristol Property Awards for its first development in Lockleaze.
In 2020, Goram Homes announced plans to build 268 new homes at Romney House, a brownfield site in north Bristol, with 55 percent of those allocated as affordable housing; well above the official target of 30 percent. The affordable housing will include social rented and shared ownership homes which, alongside properties for market sale, will provide a wide range of housing options for people wanting to live in Lockleaze.
In recognition of the project’s joint venture and sustainability credentials, the development scooped awards in two categories: Deal and Green Initiative. The Deal award celebrated their unique partnership approach. Goram Homes has partnered with Vistry Partnerships to deliver the project and, unlike private developments, a share of the profits will be reinvested back into our city.
In praise of its environmental credentials, the Green Initiative award recognised the site’s sustainable design. Central to the development is a wildlife corridor, which will run from Stoke Park – a Grade II Listed parkland – through to Concorde Way, and a community park will feature at the heart of the neighbourhood. We know how important access to nature is for our mental and physical health and all of this will improve the biodiversity of the area as well as creating a great environment to live in.
These awards are evidence of Goram Homes’ partnerships with respected developers, and our shared commitment to building homes that create communities and respect the environment. The development at Romney House responds to the needs of both new and existing communities with its green open spaces and private spaces for every home – part of Bristol’s Urban Living planning policy. As a result of the pandemic, designs have also been adapted to reflect to the way we are living now and include spaces for home offices.
Bristol is increasingly being recognised as being at the forefront of new ideas and approaches to house building. It’s why TV architect, George Clarke, visited the site last March, to find out more about what we are doing and explore the site as a potential development to feature in a Channel 4 documentary. I toured the site with him and explained our plans to accelerate the building of more affordable homes across the city and we are hopeful that George will be able to tell this story as part of his next TV series.
Building sustainable and affordable housing is key to us building a fairer, greener city and the pandemic has only heightened this urgency. We must make sure that people who have been adversely affected by the pandemic are not further left behind. Goram Homes currently has two developments underway – at Romney House and at Baltic Wharf on Bristol’s Floating Harbour. Their work is supporting us in building our pipeline of new council houses and I look forward to them announcing more new, exciting projects later this year.