Fishponds: ‘a popular, vibrant and desirable place to live’

FISHPONDS could become the new Southville as the area becomes one of the city’s most sought after areas to live.

Its links to the city centre and sense of community is making the area a desirable place to live which in turn is encouraging new retailers to move in.

That’s according to the boss of a construction company who believes the eastern axis from the city centre to Redfield and Fishponds and on out through Hanham and Kingswood could see the same level of improvement as seen across the city in Southville, Totterdown and Bedminster.

Helm Construction chief executive Gary Sheppard said: “Ten years ago the largely run-down areas immediately south of the river consisted of tired and derelict commercial property interspersed with highly compacted homes in less than desirable locations.

“Now, these areas of South Bristol are some of the most popular and vibrant areas of the city – and we are already seeing the same effect on the main eastern axis out of Bristol.”

Here, old and abandoned commercial areas and under used plots are being replaced with much needed new housing.

Helm Construction is just one of a number of Bristol builders who are active on several key sites.

Mr Sheppard said: “East Bristol is being restored from the inside out with new commercial and residential developments replacing and upgrading some fairly tired looking locations.” 

Looking east from the city centre, Helm Construction is active on a site on Newfoundland Road near the M32 on behalf of a development company. The project will deliver ten four-bedroom properties on a vacant plot.

Further up the road at Fishponds, Helm Construction has recently completed twelve apartments and one maisonette on a former garage plot belonging to and on behalf of Williams Autos.

“This is a typical inner city suburban commercial plot. Access to the site was very restrictive due to the narrow lane entrance situated between blocks of flats. 

“The finished properties come with full gas central heating, underfloor heating, and solar panels on the roof. There is also a private entrance for added security.”

And in Kingswood, Helm Construction is working on an extensive site in Jubilee Road to the rear of an existing bungalow near the junction with Station Road on behalf of M Slade Developments.

The project will create a terrace of three, four-bedroom town houses on an existing garden plot.

Mr Sheppard said: “Development land is at a premium and it is essential we make the most of redundant spaces like these. Disused commercial properties and old car parking areas are ten a penny around the city and fully capable of being regenerated into effective housing.

“The regeneration programme in our Southern and Eastern suburbs is good news for Bristol.

“People dismissing this genuine progress as ‘hipster gentrification’ are overlooking the reality on the ground. Developments like this have brought new life to areas of the city previously regarded as virtual no-go zones.

“Fishponds, Redfield and Kingswood are great communities with good access into the city.

“As people move in, interesting retailers will follow to occupy places like Sandy Park Road, Fishponds Road, and Church Road, encouraging more people to move there and fuel the spiral.”