Resident are working as a group to install kitchens, bathrooms, decorating, fitting skirting and architraves, flooring, tiling and works to the communal garden to earn ‘sweat equity’. Planning approval was granted in 2013 and the project moved on site earlier this year, with an anticipated construction schedule of 52 weeks.
Bristol CLT’s Fishponds cohousing project won Best Group Build Category at the Build It Awards 2015.
Brought on by Bristol CLT, Fishponds Road has new build and refurbished homes offered to residents for self finish. Located on Brownfield land in the Fishponds area of Bristol, the development is set on the 0.36 acre site of a stone-built Victorian primary school.
The building had been derelict for over 10 years before the council offered it to the CLT for just £1 in March 2014 (the land had been valued at £286,000). The local authority’s forward-thinking move has enabled a scheme that provides 12 mixed-tenure homes and apartments – some for shared ownership and the rest for affordable rental.
Access issues ruled out the idea of demolition and replacement of the original school, so the CLT agreed to convert it into six one-bedroom duplex apartments. Perpendicular to this would be a row of new terraced homes bookended by courtyard-style houses – creating six new three-bedroom properties.The resulting L-shaped scheme is centred around a communal garden the residents will manage themselves – something that was identified as a key feature of the development during early consultation sessions with the CLT members.
The project includes a number of innovative extras, such as the use of a single electrical supply and solar photovoltaic panels, which will allow future residents to benefit from discounted energy.