Residents invited to public consultations on Youth Zone

Meeting also being held for local people in January

Residents and local businesses have been invited to two public exhibitions this month (December) to view the designs for the proposed £8.4 million South Bristol Youth Zone to be built in Knowle West.

The “world class” facility is being developed by OnSide – which has 14 other Youth Zones across the UK – in partnership with local charity Youth Moves and Bristol City Council, working with young people across the city.

The planned site is on undeveloped land behind Inns Court, close to the roundabout which connects Hengrove Way and Harcliffe Way.

Site plan for the proposed South Bristol Youth Zone near Hengrove Way roundabout.

The Youth Zone will be for children and young people aged eight to 19 (or under 25 for those with special educational needs).

It will be open seven days a week and offer 20 activities a session – and up to 250 young people will be able to attend each evening.

Facilities will include a four-court sports hall, climbing wall and music suite with instruments and recording equipment as well as film and multi media, arts and crafts rooms and a teaching kitchen.

“…we want all our residents to be heard.”

The public exhibitions are on 6 December at Inns Court Community and Family Centre and 7 December at The Park. They are being held by OnSide within the community – following fears residents were not being given enough opportunity to have their say.

They will give local people the chance to talk to OnSide about the designs and ask any questions. Alongside this is an online consultation which runs from 6-12 December.

A public meeting is also planned for 5 January at Inns Court with Bristol City Council and partners – where residents can ask questions about the plans.

Inns Court Residents Group said it wanted to make sure residents views were heard – and they had been fighting for opportunities for everyone to find out more about the plans.

In a statement the Group said: “…The residents group has pushed for the December exhibition to be really local.  In January we want to have a productive and useful conversation with the developers and councillors and we want all our residents to be heard.”  

“Youth Zones are created in partnership with the local community for the local community…”

Chief Operating Officer for OnSide, Jamie Masraff said: “Youth Zones are created in partnership with the local community for the local community. This collaboration is one of the key ingredients that makes each one so unique and reflective of the needs and views of local people. 

“OnSide is very proud to be working in partnership with Bristol City Council and the Bristol charity Youth Moves to invest in young people in South Bristol.

“We are looking forward to showing local residents and businesses the exciting plans for the new Youth Zone in South Bristol and encourage anyone interested to come down to the public exhibition, have their say and find out more. There will also be opportunities to share views online for those that can’t attend in person.”  

Bristol City Council is also running an online consultation until 2 January for residents to have their say on the proposals.

This survey will to be included in the Full Business Case the Council’s Cabinet is due to consider in spring 2022. 

Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees and Deputy Mayor Asher Craig have also sent a letter out to Inns Court residents to allay any concerns – stressing that building the Youth Zone will not involve knocking any houses down – and will be adding to youth provision in the area – not replacing it.

They said areas in the UK which had Youth Zones had seen a drop in anti-social youth behaviour.

Example of a Youth Zone in Barking and Dagenham. All Youth Zones are different – so this is not how the South Bristol Youth Zone will necessarily look. Image OnSide.

The letter stated: “Your views and opinions as local residents are hugely important to the success of this project, especially those of children and young people who will be using the facility.

“We value your opinion and will listen to what you have to say. We recently ran a public engagement survey on the project which demonstrated strong support (90%) for the goals of the Youth Zone…”

Knowle West Alliance Coordinator Lucy Holburn said it was important residents fed into both consultations.

She said: ” … The council survey will inform the cabinet decision making around funding for the initiative and the OnSide consultation will tell the developer what you think about their designs and allow them to address and respond to what local residents think before they go to planning – it presents a possibility to influence their plans before they are concrete.”

The OnSide exhibitions will take place on:

Monday, 6 December from 3pm to 8pm at The Inns Court Community & Family Centre, 1 Marshall Walk, Bristol BS4 1TR. 

Tuesday, 7 December from 10am to 5pm at The Park Centre, Daventry Rd, Bristol BS4 1DQ. 

They will also be holding an online consultation via the OnSide Youth Zones website: www.onsideyouthzones.org/south-bristol-planning-consultation with specific details about the design proposals. This consultation closes on Monday 12 December.

The Bristol City Council consultation – which follows on from the public engagement survey carried out in the autumn – launched on 16 November and runs until 2 January 2022. Visit: www.bristol.gov.uk/youthzoneconsultation 

The public meeting will be held on 5 January at Inns Court Community and Family Centre at 6pm.