The site of the Community Space previously had terraced housing until the 1960s. At this point, houses on this side of the road were cleared and most remained empty until the Community Orchard adopted them and tidied them up .
The site of the community space was a children's playground for nearly 15 years, with swings, and roundabouts. This became run down and in the mid 80's the equipment was removed and the site abandoned. The area was still popular with local children and the hard standing made it suitable for skateboarding and ramp building.
As the brambles took over, the site became increasingly derelict and full of litter. The edge of the site was often used by the orchard team when gathering for tea breaks or when more open space was needed. Over time local residents (many involved with the orchard) started to clear the site and release its potential. The area has been increasing used for community activities, such as Wassailing, Big Lunch Street party, Playing Out sessions, local BBQs, etc.
In early 2016, Bristol City Council started plans to sell off various small plots of land for development. The community space was under threat and the local residents teamed up to protect the site and oppose the development. We recognise that local houses are required and that people are important to an area although we also felt that communities are more than dormitories of rooms. It's the civic spaces and greenery that make an area feel welcoming and healthy. green spaces are also proven to make communities more resilient and healthier places to be.
We raised awareness of the threat and petitioned to save the site. We were successful and the immediate plans to sell the site were dropped, and it was referred to the Neighbourhood partnership who are much more likely to respect community wishes.
Currently (Dec 2016) the site status is not fully known. The immediate threat was prevented, but we have not heard anything from the council about future plans, or if the site will be recognised as a protected community space. We continue to use and develop the space following our existing plan: