FAQs | The Chocolate Factory


How many homes are you building?

We are building 140 new homes in total. There will be 44 three- and four-bedroom houses and 96 one- and two-bedroom apartments. As well as this, a public square, retail units and workspace for local businesses as well as a café/bar and a community hub will also be created. We recently announced a partnership with southwest based housing association Yarlington who will help us deliver 36 of the one- and two-bedroom apartments for sale on a shared ownership basis, delivering on our commitment to provide a range of homes for all and providing facilities for the community of Greenbank.

When will the homes go on sale?

The first 8 shared ownership apartments were all reserved towards the end of 2020 and will be some of the first properties to be occupied in the Spring. The 3 bedroom houses along Co-Operation Road are now available to buy and will be ready to move into from March this year. Later, in early Spring, we will release the larger 3 & 4 bedroom houses as they near completion. If you are interested in purchasing a property please register your details on our contact form or give us a call on 0117 347 6600.

Why are you still working on site during the coronavirus lock-down?

Government guidelines for the construction industry remain that construction sites can stay open as long as strict operating practices specific to the current crisis are being followed. Like all other construction sites in Bristol a strict cleaning regime has been introduced on site and the rules on social distancing have been put into practice. There continues to be close liaison with industry bodies to ensure prompt action is taken if the situation changes.

What measures have you put in place because of the corona-virus outbreak?

Works on site remain compliant with Government and Construction Industry guidance on the management of the risks presented by COVID-19. In accordance with the Site Operating Procedures, the project continues to enforce social distancing and avoids close working as far as possible. Where it is not possible to avoid close working, we have developed updated risk assessments for specific tasks and activities aligned to agreed industry mitigating actions. We continually update policy in line with Government guidance.

What are you doing about noise, dust and the disturbance to local people?

Construction sites are by their very nature noisy and dusty and whilst this is unavoidable we are always mindful of our neighbours, particularly during these challenging times. We have adjusted our working hours and practices and have installed mobile water bowsers to dampen any dust being created on site. We monitor noise and vibration levels several times a day and we are pleased to say these are well below the legal levels.

Sweet Construct have set up a working group made up of their Project Lead and designated resident representatives from adjoining streets. This working party meets on a monthly basis and and shares upcoming news on the construction programme and is an opportunity to discuss any issues the local community may have.

Who will occupy the commercial units?

We have a variety of commercial units on site with a range of different planning consents. Our goal is to fill them with Bristol based businesses independent businesses who will complement The Chocolate Factory and enhance the neighbourhood.

If you are interested in occupying any of the spaces at The Chocolate Factory please contact us and we can give you some more detail.

Our planning consent allows for A1, A2, A3, A4 B1, D1 and D2.

I understand The Chocolate Factory will include a community hub, can you tell me more about this?

The planning has designated Elizabeth Shaw House on the corner of Turley Road and Co-Operation Road as having B1, D1 and D2 consents.

For the time being, this building is where our Visitor and Information Centre will be but in due course this will be used by a business operating under the above use classes.

You can learn more about the planning use classes and what they mean here: https://www.planningportal.co.uk/info/200130/common_projects/9/change_of_use

In time we will be asking people to submit proposals for how they might operate the space in a way that benefits the local community. If you have an idea for a business and an interest in learning more about how this aspect fits into the wider development please let us know by registering your interest at enquiries@chocolatefactorybristol.com.

What about affordable housing?

When the development was originally granted planning the inspectorate ruled on appeal that a social housing provision was not financially sustainable on the site. Generator South West have worked hard to find a viable working partner so that social housing could be delivered at The Chocolate Factory despite their having no legal obligation to do so. We are pleased to say that 36 shared ownership apartments will be on the site, thanks to a partnership with South West based housing association Abri. The homes will include 15 one-bedroom and 21 two-bedroom homes. The first 8 apartments in Kernal Point were sold by CJ Hole last year and we are pleased to say several were taken up by people who already local to the area and have now been able to buy their first home thanks to the shared ownership scheme. The inclusion of these homes targeted at first time buyers ensure there truly is a range of homes for all at The Chocolate Factory.

Are you keeping any existing features of the original Elizabeth Shaw factory?

After the closure of the factory in 2006 the site lay unoccupied for nearly 10 years and during this time the buildings were left open to the elements. This meant the structures were left to decay and vulnerable to opportunists entering and vandalising the site.

When we consulted with local residents during the planning process they voiced their desire to retain the old Victorian buildings. Sadly, following the site surveys only three of the buildings were deemed to be fit for repair. These are Block F, which is one of the original Victorian factory buildings to the east of the site which will be sold by Abri as shared ownership apartments, Block D which was built in the 1960’s and is believed to be one of the first concrete frames to be built in the UK, and Block C, the former main reception building which will become the Visitor Centre and Marketing Suite before being occupied by uses that we hope will benefit the local community.

What has Generator South West been given permission to build?

The consented proposals include:
• 140 new homes (96 apartments and 44 houses)
• £1.096 million Community Infrastructure Levy and S106 contributions
• c16,250 sq ft of flexible work space, café/bar, commercial, retail and community space
• A new landscaped public open space,
• New access onto the Bristol & Bath Railway Path

When will construction take place?

Construction is currently underway and work takes place between the hours listed below:
Monday – Friday: 07:30hrs – 18.00hrs
Saturday: 08:00hrs – 13:00hrs

How will the site be accessed during construction?

The site access point for all materials, plant and personnel will be at the eastern end of the site off Greenbank Road. The existing vehicle access gate will be set back from the road during working hours to allow delivery vehicles to immediately pull off the road prior to sorting access onto the site.

The holding bay will negate the need for vehicles to be waiting on the road outside. A separate pedestrian access gate will provide segregated access for anyone arriving on site on foot.

The site will be arranged to allow all vehicles to be able to turn within the site and avoid the need for reversing onto or off the site. Larger vehicles will be managed on and off site utilising a trained banksman as required.

How will the site be secured during construction?

Generator South West is committed to ensuring that the site is safe and secure at all times. As such we are working with our contractors to employ security presence from 17.00hrs-07.00hrs on weekdays as well as 24-hour security over the weekend.

Generator South West has recently met with Avon and Somerset Police to ensure that any anti-social behaviour around the site is mitigated.

If you have any concerns about trespassing or anti-social behaviour on site please contact the local police.

How are vibrations being controlled?

Generator South West understands that there is ongoing resident concerns regarding the vibrations that have been occurring on and around the site during the current phase of construction works.

Generator South West continues to take this issue very seriously and is working with the contractor to ensure that those involved in construction activity on site cause as little disruption to the local community as possible.

It is worth highlighting that it is a requirement that the existing vibration monitoring equipment remains whilst Sweet Construct is working on site in order to continuously measure any vibration to ensure that it remains within industry-wide thresholds.