Glencoyne Square Community-led Housing Project
“By the community, for the community” has long been the motto behind the Glencoyne Square Project.
Determined and passionate residents are always behind Southmead’striumphs and for this project, it’s no different. From 900 surveys diligently carried out by volunteers in 2015, to an approved planning scheme of 120 new homes in 2021, Glencoyne Square Regeneration Project is a story of community-led action and collaborative vision. The result is one of the biggest community-led housing schemes in the UK, recognised nationwide for its resident-led decisions, sustainability and vision for a thriving neighbourhood centre.
The story so far
How does a group of residents go from door-knocking to shaping one of the biggest community-led regeneration schemes in the UK?
Southmead’s Community Plan was the result of 900 survey responses in 2015. Residents were determined to see investment and positive change in the community they love.
The development of the Southmead Community Plan led to a regeneration ‘Masterplan’ in 2018.
On September 20th 2019 the planning application was submitted for Phase One of the Masterplan – delivering 120 homes, new community facilities, and improved public open space on Southmead’s Glencoyne Square.
Want to know more about the Masterplan? You can dip into and download the report and the appendices below.
Download > Masterplan Report
Download > Masterplan Report Summary
Download > Masterplan Appendices
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Glencoyne Square Community-led Housing Project Timeline
- Southmead Community Plan published after almost 900 households surveyed.
- Glencoyne Square Community-led Housing Project resident-led steering group formed.
- Housing Needs Study conducted and published.
- Southmead Development Trust team is formed.
- Shortlisted architects share their ideas with the community at Greenway Centre and give feedback.
- Nash Partnership architects are selected.
- Workshops throughout the summer gather ideas and feedback from residents.
- Masterplan is finalised and showcased at a Community event.
- Bid submitted to Homes England for funding.
- Detailed design work begins.
- Design tours for residents take place so everyone can see ideas from existing projects.
- Design consultations with local community groups, the youth centre plus drop-ins at Greenway Centre and SCART shop.
- Architects draw up designs.
- 4788 copies of the Southmead Regeneration Special Edition of The Mead delivered.
- Consultation for Bristol City Council’s plans for Arnside happens at the SCART shop.
- Work on Local Lettings Policy begins.
- Residents can see 3D design plans using Virtual Reality headset at Southmead
- Festival and consult on Local Lettings Policy.
- Planning application submitted. Residents have opportunity to submit their comments.
- Southmead Regeneration receives Highly Commended at National Planning Awards for Community Led Place-making.
- Work continues with project partners and AGRP to discuss community space within the scheme.
- Unanimous planning approval from Bristol City Council.
- Bristol City Council carry out consultation for the artwork and benches which will be on Arnside Road.
- Public realm improvements on Greystoke Avenue and Arnside Road begin.
Southmead Regeneration – your questions answered
What is the Glencoyne Square Regeneration Project?
This is the first phase of a community led regeneration project for the centre of Southmead. It is not being delivered by private developers. This phase will provide 120 homes as well as new community amenities and improved open spaces on Glencoyne Square. The aim of the project is to improve this central part of Southmead for residents now and into the future. It is also hoped that the development will generate income in years to come to help pay for and support the neighbourhood and its priorities.
How are the community involved?
Southmead Development Trust, the community organisation owned and run by the community, is supporting the project.
Southmead Development Trust are working with the Arnside and Glencoyne Regeneration Project (AGRP). This is a group of Southmead residents, local councillors and stakeholders who have been meeting monthly since 2015. They have the responsibility of steering the project and get regular updates from partners. Over 40 local engagement events and more than 2000 individual conversations have taken place over the course of the process. Local residents have had input into location, the architect, designs and materials. We even had a Virtual Reality tour at Southmead Festival in 2019!
What will be built?
A planning application was approved for:
- 120 new 1 & 2 bed homes, 85% of which will be affordable rent
- Improved public open space
- New health centre
- New library
- There is some non-residential space within the development which a use has not yet been identified for – possible use as a community-owned space
Who will the homes be for?
The Southmead Community Plan identified that there was a need for smaller homes for older people who would like to downsize but stay in the local area. Also younger people who would like to live near their families as well as key workers such as hospital workers. A Local Lettings Policy is being negotiated with Bristol City Council to make sure many of the homes are available to people with a local connection. Allocation of a home will still go through the Council’s HomeChoice system. Once the Local Lettings Policy has been agreed Southmead Development Trust will let the community know, so that anyone interested can ensure they are registered.
How much public open space will remain?
Over half of Glencoyne Square will remain as public open space. The current square is 14,800 sqm, the footprint of the buildings including the private courtyards is 6,224 sqm. Therefore the remaining public space will be 8,576 sqm. The public open space will include many different seating areas, planting over 30 new trees, accessible pathways and green space. There will be ongoing opportunities for residents to shape and look after the green space, building on the foundations that Bristol City Council are able to provide and maintain, to make it an even better place for Southmead.
When is this happening?
The process has been ongoing since 2015. Our planning application was submitted in 2019 and approved unanimously in May 2020. Partners are finalising the details this year – we hope work will start soon. The build will last two to three years.
What is happening on Arnside Road?
Public realm improvements are also being developed for Arnside Road shopping area and Greystoke Avenue. These are being done by Bristol City Council and started in January 2021. They are expected to last until Winter 2021. Bristol City Council are responsible for liaising with people on these works. They provide regular updates to AGRP which we also publish on our website and social media.
How can I be involved?
The team and the Council are often running consultations on different aspects of the project. There are sometimes volunteering opportunities to help with these events – the best way to hear about upcoming opportunities is to sign up to our newsletter. You can do this my emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and we will add you to the mailing list.
The other really important way you can be involved is to use your voice! We always need the views of the community so the project remains community led. Make sure to fill in surveys, attend consultations and let us know your thoughts!
Over 2100 voluntary hours
invested by local residents so far
“The community is clearly in the driving seat” commented Sue Manns, president of the Royal Town Planning Institute. Community involvement has always been the defining feature of this project. Residents took part in architect selection. Over 100 people attended the showcase of the Masterplan. We have held over 40 events at local places such as the library, youth centre and with community groups. Residents have fed back to the architects on design, from the style of the buildings to the colour of the materials. Consultation with residents will continue on other elements like the open spaces and Local Lettings Policy.
Arnside and Glencoyne Regeneration Project (AGRP)
“We had a dream to make a better future for Southmead. It’s been 5 years of meeting once a month, with a desire, a burning ambition to do something.”
The words of Deana Perry, life-long Southmead resident, sums up the commitment of the AGRP. The AGRP is a group of local residents, councillors and stakeholders, like ourselves, who meet monthly to steer the project, providing a local voice. They’ve been motivated since the Community Plan was published to see improvements to Arnside Road and develop appropriate housing options for local people.