Have your say on plans for new community hub

June 28 2019
Have your say on plans for new community hub

Proposals to redevelop The Park in Knowle have now been revealed and members of the public are being encouraged to give their feedback before final plans are submitted to the council.

The 15-acre site in Daventry Road will see a new, purpose-built community centre, costing £6.5m, with the Department for Education acquiring the current building for £4.5m for a new secondary school to be built.

The new school will be run by multi-academy trust, Oasis Community Learning (OCL), and will offer 900 places for 11- to 16-year-olds to meet the demand for school places in Bristol.

The school will be headed by executive principal for Oasis Academy John Williams, Victoria Boomer-Clark, who will oversee both provisions.

Students will join on a phased entry, starting in Year 7.

It will be built on the site currently occupied by The Park – previously Merrywood School, which closed at the turn of the century.

The cost of building the academy will be published “once projects are complete and costs are no longer commercially sensitive”.

Through striking a deal with the DfE, The Park – a registered charity – can part fund a new and improved building and is currently fundraising to cover the remaining £2m. 

It is anticipated that work will start on the new community building in 2020 and will be ready by May 2021. There is no current timeline for when the school will be developed.

The current cost of maintaining the building, which is home to around 40 organisations and sees 6,000 visitors each month, is around £100k per year, due to the age and ‘decaying’ condition of the building.

But a spokesperson for The Park says that through a sustainable building design these costs will be significantly reduced at the new centre. 

South Bristol Voice understands that the organisations currently using The Park will be accommodated in the new facility. The initial phase of the development will see the construction of the new community centre. Once built, The Park users can move in and the old building will be demolished.

A bird’s eye view of The Park site, showing the locations of the new community building (front, right) and new secondary school (front, left)A bird’s eye view of The Park site, showing the locations of the new
community building (front, right) and new secondary school (front, left)  

Following consultation with the public, The Park and OCL will submit a joint proposal to the council – the application will provide detailed plans for The Park and an outline proposal for the new school, showing a suggested layout.

A spokesperson from The Park said: “This is a unique opportunity for us to build a sustainable community centre and secure The Park’s future.

“We are very excited about the development and the opportunities it presents for us as a charity. We are delighted that the site will also be home to a new secondary school.”

Ms Boomer-Clark said: “We are really excited about the proposed new Oasis Academy for South Bristol.

“Oasis Community Learning is committed to serving the communities in South Bristol.

“The Park’s Consultation event was well attended and we enjoyed speaking with people and listening to their views about the redevelopment of the site.

“We look forward to consulting further with schools, charities and community groups to ensure we build a secondary academy everyone wants and so richly deserves.”

The consultation period, which started on June 12, will last until mid-August with a series of drop-in sessions taking place over the summer to view the plans. The next drop-in session is July 11.

If residents are unable to make the sessions, there is a temporary display of the plans at The Park and further information and a survey is available online at www.theparkredevelopment.co.uk.

For a hard copy version of the survey, contact Avril Baker Consultancy on 0117 977 2002 or email info@abc-pr.co.uk.