Scheme to turn Bedminster bingo hall into houses
By The Bristol Post | Thursday, July 04, 2013, 07:51
IT is fast becoming one of the most fashionable districts to live in Bristol thanks to the arrival of wine bars, cafes and new shops.
How the new properties could look
The view of the new properties from North Street
The site of the former Gala Bingo hall
Television presenter Mary Portas has even given her backing to the gentrification of Bedminster.
Now, in the latest indication of the changing times in south Bristol, a derelict bingo hall in North Street is about to be turned into a community made up of green homes.
The housing scheme, on the site of the long-abandoned Gala Bingo house on North Street, is the latest in a list of adventurous developments in south Bristol.
Bedminster property specialist Urbis Development – which is best known for its work transforming the Robinson Building near East Street from a neglected factory into a popular development of more than 100 apartments – is behind the scheme.
The project will use low-energy Passivhaus principles and is being funded by the Bridges Sustainable Property Fund. The team at Bridges will work closely with Urbis to create one of the most sustainable developments in the city.
Demolition starts this month and the site will be completely cleared by the end of August. Building work on the 26 sustainable flats is due to start in September.
Richard Clarke, managing director of Urbis, said: "Bedminster is a fantastic area and we hope our sustainable development will provide another boost to this attractive part of the city. We think this eastern end of North Street has great potential, with some brilliant businesses here already plus a strong and growing leisure economy. Every new investment and new business helps, and we want to play our part."
Mr Clarke said that the main phase of the development will be ready for tenants by the end of next year.
He said: "We want to make a start on construction as soon as possible. The planning has been agreed so it should be all systems go from here."
Guy Bowden, acquisitions director at Bridges Ventures, said: "We are delighted to be working with Urbis on this exciting project that we hope will set new standards for energy efficiency in a city that is already showing leadership in this area.
"In addition to the sustainable features of the project, we are investing in a very strong residential area with potential to deliver attractive returns for our investors."
Ben Barker – secretary of the Greater Bedminster Community Partnership, a neighbourhood partnership where local residents, businesses and the council come together – also welcomed the project.
He said: "This is great news for the eastern end of North Street. The Gala Bingo building has been derelict for many years. These plans, to create more than 20 homes plus some retail space, are just what is needed.
"A development like this will bring money into Bedminster while the building works are carried out and then bring in lots of new residents. It is good for all the local businesses and for the community as a whole."
The development has been designed by Bristol architects Origin 3 Studio to be highly insulated and energy efficient. Heating will be needed rarely, even in winter.