I was very excited to see the demolition of Westmoreland House in Stokes Croft finally starting this week. People in the area have been waiting a very long time for this moment.
Amazingly, the building has been empty since the 1980s. In 1989 the Council agreed planning permission for flats, offices and parking on the site, but this never happened (some fascinating history here).
Visible for miles around, the tower has become a landmark in the area. But for many of my constituents, the derelict, graffiti-covered building is also an eyesore. I am glad developers plan to keep the attractive Victorian façade of the Carriageworks on Stokes Croft, with its archways and large windows.
This is an opportunity for the area. While it has been derelict, the site (equivalent to 1.6 football pitches) has been a huge waste of space in a city with high housing demand. The planned development is expected to create 112 new homes (some of them designated as affordable) and ten business units. I will be watching this closely, as I want this to directly benefit people living in my constituency. But for now, progress on this site is hopeful news. People in the area have been waiting a very long time for this.