Amended plans for The Park on show

Revised plans for the £6.5m redevelopment of The Park in Knowle West were revealed on Thursday (11 July) following feedback from residents – along with outline plans for the new secondary school.

The Park’s plans were first launched at an event on 12 June http://www.knowlewest.co.uk/have-your-say-on-plans-for-the-park/ and have been on show in the cafe area, in local libraries and at events – giving people from the area the chance to comment.

Residents will be able to help shape the proposals until mid August – when a third drop-in session will be held to see the updated plans before they are submitted to Bristol City Council.

The Park is selling its current site on Daventry Road to the Department of Education for £4.5m for a new 900-place secondary school.

The will help to fund a brand new purpose-built community centre on the remainder of The Park site, which was occupied by Merrywood Grammar School until 2000.

The new school will be run by Oasis Community Learning and cater for 11-16s. With a local catchment area – parents will be discouraged from dropping their children off by car to ease congestion and improve air quality.

The community centre will have two buildings linked to the existing sports hall – which will also be rebuilt. They will be far more energy efficient and sustainable than the current 1970s buildings which are costly to maintain.

Changes to the first plans include moving the main entrance of the new community centre from the corner to the front – to be more central and provide a focal point.

Residents also felt the artist’s impression of the buildings were “rather bleak and corporate looking” so architects are hoping to add more “fun colour and shape’ to the final proposals – with colours from The Park’s logo.

Ian Jenkins from AWW Architects said: “…They wanted the cafe and entrance more visible as you come on site and just the whole idea that you go through the cafe to access the centre is part of the ethos of The Park.

“They also wanted colour, so whatever we do has to be colourful, fun and engaging.

“At the moment we are doing ecology and tree surveys… and hope the ecology of the new site will improve what’s here already…”

Community groups will still be able to access the playing fields when the new school is built – which can be used out of school hours.

All 40 organisations and groups currently housed in The Park Centre will be moving to the new buildings.

If plans are passed by the council, work could start in March next year – and the centre will be ready to move into by May 2021. The old buildings will then be demolished and the construction of the new school can begin.

The third drop-in session will take place on Thursday 15 August from 4-7pm at The Park Centre to see the updated proposals and meet members of the team.

Residents can view the exhibition throughout the summer or view online at www.theparkredevelopment.co.uk

For further information contact Avril Baker Consultancy on 0117 977 2002 or email info@theparkredevelopment.co.uk