Council commits £1.4 million to building prefab flats over car park
BRISTOL is one step closer to getting its first set of ZedPod homes after the council agreed to spend up to £1.43million on the project.
The council’s ruling Labour cabinet approved the spending, which includes the cost of buying the prefabricated homes, at a cabinet meeting on Tuesday.
The 11 flats will sit on stilts in the council-owned Chalks Road car park after the affordable housing scheme was approved by a planning committee in July.
They will be transitional “move-on” accommodation for 13 hand-picked young people, aged 18 to 25, who are on low incomes or making their first steps into independent living.
Concerns have been expressed about the effect of the scheme on parking, and the safety and air pollution levels for future occupants of the one and two-bedroom flats.
But deputy mayor for finance Craig Cheney told cabinet members that the ZedPods were not intended as long-term housing.
“This is delivering homes at its best: some of the most vulnerable people in the city getting a platform to start their lives,” he said.
Billed as “high-quality, affordable, low-carbon homes”, the ZedPods will sit on a raised steel platform over some of the parking bays in the car park next to St George’s Park.
The bays would, in theory, remain public, as none of the inhabitants above would be allowed to own a car under their tenancy agreement.
Planning consultants Turley say that the first flats could have been built in time for the next Bristol Housing Festival exhibition, which starts on October 21.
The council's spending on the project represents a cost of £130,000 per flat.
The interior of a ZedPod flat
A report detailing any issues that have arisen from the scheme will be provided to a council planning committee after the first 12 months of occupation.
The ZedPods have a 30-year lease to use the Chalks Road car park, which is owned and operated by the council.
Bristol Housing Festival is one of the collaborators in the ZedPod project, along with the council, ZED Pods Ltd, a Bristol-based housing association, the YMCA, and Bristol and Bath Regional Capital.