A crowdfunding appeal has been launched in Stockwood to buy the Harden Road car park.
The car park behind the Hollway Road shops was put up for sale recently and the owner has now agreed to a community purchase bid.
Earlier this year we reported that controversial plans to build four detached houses in the car park had been refused by Bristol City Council.
The proposals included off-street parking for the proposed houses as well as an 11-space parking area. There were 30 objections, including from traders in Hollway Road.
The council rejected the scheme, saying the proposed houses did not meet minimum internal space standards and that the applicant, Mr B Pullin, had failed to provide information to show that the homes would not be unduly affected by noise and disturbance; he had also failed to provide enough evidence to show that the scheme would not harm the viability of the Stockwood Local Centre and there was not enough evidence to assure planners that the loss of parking would not have a detrimental impact locally.
The appeal has a £90,000 target. It has been started by residents including Sam Fox, who will be standing as a Labour candidate for Stockwood in the Bristol City Council elections next year.
He explained “The land is infamous for the potholes and many attempts to build unsuitable housing, and as a result local residents have decided to deal with it ourselves and buy the property so we can improve it and retain it as a functioning car park.”
He said the car park has long been used by local residents as access to the local shopping area and also provides a fundamental role as a service yard for delivery vehicles.
“The state of this car park is not a new issue and there have been many conversations over a number of years about how to deal with this, as well as numerous ideas on how to improve the situation of the whole of the Hollway Road shopping area. Unfortunately none of these have yet yielded any results, and all the while the car park continues to deteriorate.”
He added: “Local residents have an opportunity now to buy this car park and put an end to this issue ourselves. The landowner has given the community six months to raise the funds necessary to buy the land.
“Your donations would allow us to not only buy the car park, but also hopefully fill in the potholes and improve the condition of the land, as well as sort out issues regarding insurance.
“Bringing this car park into a suitable condition would be of a major benefit to our community, as it would not only support our local businesses by providing access to our shopping area, but it would also help to keep people safe, particularly the elderly and people who are visually impaired who could injure themselves.”
He said the community bid will require a dedicated team including people with experience in crowdfunding/community purchases, as well as those with experience in land ownership, particularly public access land, and the legal and insurance issues surrounding it.
If the full amount is not raised all donors will be refunded.