FAQs – The Chocolate Factory


How many homes are you building?

We are building 138 new homes in total. There will be 44 three- and four-bedroom houses and 94 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 have partnered with housing association Abri have taken on 28 of the one- and two-bedroom apartments which have now been sold 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 homes went on sale in 2021. All the shared ownership apartments are sold, as are most of the 3 & 4 bedroom houses. The first apartments in Mint Lodge are on sale from January 2024.

What are you doing about disruption from construction?

Construction sites are by their very nature noisy and dusty and whilst this is unavoidable we are always mindful of our residents and neighbours. We continually review the contractors working practices to ensure dust, noise and disruption is kept to a necessary minimum. On a weekly basis we publish a Forward Look that advises our immediate neighbours of our forthcoming activities for the following week – this goes out on our social media channels, website and is posted on the noticeboard on Greenbank Road. We monitor noise and vibration levels several times a day and we are pleased to say these are well below the legal levels.

The main contractor, 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 shares upcoming news on the construction programme – it’s an opportunity to discuss any concerns related to The Chocolate Factory that 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, independent businesses who will complement The Chocolate Factory and enhance the neighbourhood and provide much welcomed amenities to the community.

If you are interested in occupying any of the spaces at The Chocolate Factory please contact us via the form on the Contact Page.

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 Centre and Marketing Suite 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 28 of the apartments have been sold to key workers and first time buyers who were given the opportunity to purchase their first home thanks to Abri. The inclusion of these homes targeted at first time buyers ensures there truly are 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, 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 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 become apartments and townhouses, Block D which was built at the turn on the 20th Century and is believed to be one of the first concrete frames of its type 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 for Community Use.

What has Generator South West been given permission to build?

The consented proposals include:
• 138 new homes (94 apartments and 44 houses)
• £1.096 million Community Infrastructure Levy and S106 contributions
• Circa 16,250 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 does 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