Shaping a Community Vision for the Mill Road Depot site

The Mill Road depot site, near the old Brookfields Hospital is up for redevelopment. ASH Coop is looking into turning the site into a housing cooperative. These are the minutes of the first meeting on the subject:

The next meeting which will take place at 7.30 in St Philips on 24th July.

The Depot Project

Draft note of meeting on 3rd July 2014

We had a very strong first response to our call to build a community vision for the Depot site on Mill Road.

Many from the local community came, as well as our local MP Julian Huppert.

We kicked off by offering an idea of:

what the site comprises at the moment;

who owns the site,

why this is such an superb opportunity for the community

the various options we are exploring to ensure the development of the site reflects the needs of the community

The site is a large one, and lends itself to a synthesis of community projects. Four initial ideas were offered to the meeting:

Co-operative housing, by the Argyle Street Housing Co-op

A Food Hub

An Arts Hub

A Cycle Hub

The meeting then split into groups to look at these and other ideas that were suggested from the floor. Some strong messages came over loud and clear from these short workshop sessions.

The first of these being that there is much need and call for space:

Space to develop an affordable, sustainable, co-operative/mutual housing scheme.

Green space

Space for both community and teaching kitchens

Space to enable a maintenance hub for cyclists, along with a teaching and learning facility

Affordable workshop, gallery and storage space for local artists

Creative community Space – multi functional and flexible.

Safe space for the homeless, to offer them room to breathe and to be able to start to build lives for themselves.

The second strong message, and an essential thread running through all the workshops, was that this community is excited by both the need for and the opportunity to develop and take part in community teaching and learning:

About – food, growing, cooking and the whole of the food cycle.

About – the all of the creative arts

About – bikes and how best we can use them

About – how to be able to re-build a life when you have fallen through the cracks….

These overall messages have given a firm steer towards a community brief for the Depot site.

Feedback at, and from the meeting was very positive, with many offers of help.

At our next meeting on Thursday 24th July, 7.30pm at St Philips Church

we will be taking the next steps, including amongst other things:

forming an unincorporated body

developing the community ideas

and looking at initial finance