‘Unacceptable’: Frustration as builders stop work on huge tower block

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Meanwhile 16,000 on the waiting list for housing

A Bristol tower block that is standing empty after developers collapsed into administration cannot be allowed to remain dormant while thousands are on the waiting list for housing in the city, a local councillor has said.

Work on the Boat Yard development on the Bath Road in Totterdown came to a screeching halt this week after The Mid Group and its parenting company was placed into liquidation.

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According to the Construction Enquirer, all 37 staff employed at the firm have lost their jobs.

The development of 152 apartments was almost at completion, scheduled to finish just a few days away in August.

A CGI of the Boat Yard development on Bath Road.A CGI of the Boat Yard development on Bath Road.
A CGI of the Boat Yard development on Bath Road.

Housing association Clarion Housing is now scrambling to find another developer to finish the scheme.

Liberal Democrat Councillor for Brislington West Andrew Varney said it was frustrating that this had happened with the housing crisis in full flow.

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There are currently over 16,000 people waiting for homes on Bristol City Council’s Housing Register, suggesting that the city will need more than 22,000 new affordable homes during the next 20 years to meet demand.

“We have a terrible housing shortage in Bristol, with thousands of people on the waiting list,” Coun Varney told BristolWorld.

“The scheme would have provided many units - now it’s been delayed, and that’s unacceptable.

“The fact that it’s just been left there is very concerning when I was told the flats were going to be available in August.”

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The development has been unpopular with some residents in the area, mostly due to being a hefty 17-storeys at its highest point.

It was rubber-stamped by council planners along with Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees back in 2019 despite a swathe of objections.

Coun Varney said that some residents had told him they found the towerblock ‘overbearing’ and ‘incongruous’ due to the historic buildings that already line Bath Road.

He added: “Some do like the design of the buildings - personally, I don’t. But the fact is we desperately need more affordable housing in Bristol and soon.

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“The Council need to set about removing the stumbling blocks so the flats can be released.”

Richard Cook, group development director for Clarion Housing Group, said: “We were saddened about the news relating to Mid Group.

“While it will mean for a delay to the works, we are firmly committed to completing our Boatyard project on Bath Road and delivering vital affordable housing in Bristol.

“We are urgently seeking a solution and will provide an update when we can.”

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