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 “All those weeks I have spent in negotiation have paid off. Brilliant news.”

Developer Galliford Try has agreed to include 100 “affordable” homes at the proposed 305 unit Blackberry Hill site in Fishponds. The billion pound company attracted controversy after initially submitting plans with zero affordable homes, despite the government awarding the land specifically for an affordable housing development.

The news comes after increasing pressure was put on the developer by Cable exclusive revelations about the developer’s anticipated huge profits, a mounting campaign by ACORN and weeks of negotiations by the council, led by Cllr Nicola Bowden-Jones the Labour representative for Frome Vale.

Posting on Facebook Cllr Bowden-Jones said: “All those weeks I have spent in negotiation have paid off. Brilliant news.”

The details are yet to emerge about how genuinely affordable the homes for rent and shared-ownership will be. Nevertheless, reflecting on Galliford Try’s change of heart, Nick Ballard of ACORN community union said, “After ACORN members registered dozens of objections and a petition and put the issue of affordable housing on the map in Bristol it seems they’ve had a change of heart. Funny that. Kudos to Cllr Nicola Bowden-Jones who’s been negotiating with GT for some time and The Bristol Cable for their reporting.”

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  • heather says:

    Amazing one third of the dwellings will be affordable – Bristol is setting an example to the rest of the country.

  • Sam P says:

    Don’t get the jelly and ice cream out just yet with this talk of setting an example to other cities. This is one of many developments happening in Bristol with land all over being bought up and converted to homes, but very few of the homes affordable.

    The Cable is doing really good work bringing this to public attention and ACORN are tireless and brilliant, but for me there’s a twinge of sadness when we have to get giddy about a single development having less than 1/3 of its homes available at prices within reach of everyday people.

    Councils need to put effort into fighting back against the BS “financial non-viability” of affordable housing, whether that is by joining forces to make legal challenges against the developers or by more effective campaigning for legislative change from central government.

    Just as we protect green belt land from becoming urbanised sprawl, so we should protect viable affordable housing sites from being swamped with yet more £900/mo studio flats for budding Patrick Batemans. Building expensive properties on these sites consumes one of the most scarce resources we have and in so doing propagates a culture which is comfortable with social and financial inequality.

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