The Homes and Communities Agency have been in touch with us with some news about Laundry Field and the Blackberry Hill Hospital site.
They tells us that they have ecological, topographical, tree and landscape surveys planned which they will share with us. They are also arranging for temporary security fencing and partial boarding of some of the buildings to be installed around the built estate only. This will not in anyway affect the fields, and is purely to protect the buildings and to prevent vandalism. They are making sure they do not require Listed Building or Conservation Consent before they do this. They are also looking in to the costs of demolishing the 1960’s (former care centre) buildings, but will let us know if they decide to do this.
North Bristol Trust have exercised their right to remain in occupancy in various parts of the built estate, so they are expected to be there for the foreseeable future, and certainly well into next year. The Memorial Garden close to the Care Centre Buildings remains the responsibility of North Bristol Trust so it will be their responsibility to manage the relocation of sentimental artefacts. And they are looking in to the listed status of some of the buildings, but this is nothing terribly detailed, and this is work in progress.
They have had strong and unsolicited interest from a range of developers, but have committed to nothing, at this stage. They cannot rule out the outright sale of the site yet, though they would prefer a development partner. This means someone who can work with the HCA, BCC and the local community to develop proposals. The HCA have been looking in to promoting a high quality innovative environmental standards for the site, as a requirement of any redevelopment, which could be really exciting.
The HCA are committed to working with the community if they go for this option, but they are anxious for us to be aware they cannot as yet rule out passing the site on to a developer and they will let us know if this becomes the prefered option.
Let's hope they are able to stick with their ideas of a really exciting partnership that could make the best of the site.