Groundbreaking Elderberry Walk development creates much-needed homes in the heart of Southmead

New homes / News

Brighter Places has welcomed Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol and key partners to the groundbreaking Elderberry Walk housing development in Southmead.

The £36m high quality, spacious and energy efficient development has created 161 homes on the site of a former primary school supplied by Bristol City Council.  It is a key regeneration priority for Southmead providing a mix of much-needed affordable, shared ownership, key worker, ethically rented and private sale homes.

Elderberry Walk is the result of a unique partnership between Brighter Places, BBRC Homes and Cheyne Capital, bringing together funding and interests of a housing association, a community investment company and private sector capital to provide high quality affordable homes to rent and buy. BBRC Homes secured Cheyne Capital as an investor, who then provided investment through its Real Estate strategy.  This, alongside grant funding from Bristol City Council and Homes England, enabled a development of striking homes designed for modern living that are set in an open and thoughtfully landscaped environment.

The scheme was designed by Stirling Prize winners AHMM architects to produce beautiful, sustainable homes with a strong sense of community. The homes are built using sustainable ‘fabric first’ construction methods that help ensure an EPC B rating.  Green spaces, cycle routes and opportunities for food production all encourage healthy living for the residents.

Residents have responded enthusiastically to living at Elderberry Walk.

Long-term Brighter Places resident Lynn McGrath, who has moved to Elderberry Walk, said: “The apartment is warm, laid out beautifully, easy to maintain, a dream place to live. I am born and bred in Southmead and so glad I could stay in this fabulous flat. I couldn’t be happier.”

Brighter Places owns and manages 77 affordable rent and shared ownership homes at Elderberry Walk. Cheyne Capital is responsible for 23 open market homes for sale of which 21 have been sold and two reserved.  It has leased a further 61 homes to BBRC Homes that are available as a mix of ethically rented, key worker homes at a 10% discounted rate and rent to buy homes.  BBRC Homes will own these homes at the end of the lease period.

During the visit Marvin Rees, Councillor Kye Dudd, the project partners, AHMM and main contractor Equans viewed several units and met residents in their new homes.  They also saw the new ‘Strength in Community’ art installation commissioned by Brigher Places and developed by several artists inspired by collaboration with the local community.

Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol said: “We are immensely proud to see the pioneering new housing development at Elderberry Walk open to the public, after this £36 million investment in our city, providing much-needed high quality homes for the people of Bristol. These 161 new homes, including 77 new affordable homes, add to the 12,534 new homes built in our city since 2016.

“As our city, and country, continues to grapple with the sharp end of the housing crisis, innovative projects such as this which blend practical solutions, sustainability and creativity are becoming increasingly essential. This thriving new community, with new homes for keyworkers, can be another great example of the better Bristol that we are building together.”

Anna Klimczak, Chief Executive of Brighter Places said: “As an innovative Bristol housing association committed to providing much-needed, energy efficient affordable homes in thriving communities we are proud of what we have achieved at Elderberry Walk.   The high quality, well-designed homes are set in an environment conscious development that showcases what can be delivered with determination and creative thinking.   It wouldn’t have been possible without the positive and committed collaboration of our partners Cheyne Capital and BBRC Homes and Bristol City Council who brought funding and commitment but, above all, a shared belief to provide the best possible homes for residents.”

Ed Rowberry, Chief Executive of BBRC Homes said: “BBRC Homes is delighted to have played its part in enabling this exemplar of sustainable regeneration and partnership working. By matching long term capital with local need, we are continuing to build on our specialism of providing much needed intermediate housing tenures for key workers and local people.”

Matt Floyd, Development Manager at Cheyne Impact Real Estate said: “We are extremely proud that our collective endeavour has achieved a scheme that provides 70% affordable housing across six different housing tenures, and that Elderberry Walk was cited as an exemplary way in which cities globally are tackling the affordable housing crisis by the World Economic Forum. With our latest projects being in Manchester, London and Leeds, we look forward to delivering further high-quality and affordable housing throughout the UK.”

Helen Bone, Senior Manager (Growth) Affordable Housing Grants from Homes England said: “As the Government’s housing and regeneration agency, increasing the supply of quality affordable homes remains one of our key objectives and we are committed to supporting ambitious housebuilders of all sizes to build those homes and communities.

“This investment through the Affordable Homes Programme does just that, enabling Brighter Places to build much needed new homes the people of Southmead can be proud of.”

New tenant, Ajeesh Abraham, is starting work as a care assistant at Southmead Hospital.  Ajeesh said: “I’m very happy about being able to live in this brand new property. The location is perfect as it means I can walk to work.”