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Steering Group Session 1 - 27th August 2019

Back in 2019, Chris & Jennifer created a Steering Group of HWD tenants to help inform the work they were doing in response to the Local Plan framework. Over a period of four months, they met with the Steering Group.

Here is what happened in the first session:

Purpose: To discuss

  1. Initial thoughts on how the warehouse community currently works
  2. What is warehouse living?
  3. What could work better?
  4. Ideas for improving the area

Key feedback:

1. Initial thoughts on how the warehouse community currently works:

  • Mixed demographics with a tendency towards those in their 20s and 30s. However, there are also families, disabled people and older residents (oldest resident is 70). There is no ‘typical’ resident.
  • The variation in existing unit sizes and bedroom sizes accommodates different peoples needs both in terms of working but also different households and ways of living.
  • There is no typical length of time people stay, some never leave and others are passing through. Some ‘grow out’ of certain aspects of Warehouse Living and move on.
  • An element of control over the space is important for residents.
  • All residents talked about the strength of the community being an enormous attraction to living in the Warehouses. People look out for each other, make friends and collaborate on their creative work. The links created remain even once residents have left.
  • Residents use technology to help build the community – Facebook page and WhatsApp groups.
  • Warehouse Living is very popular amongst the creative community.

2. What is warehouse living?

  • A place where work and living spaces are interconnected
  • Residents having a feeling of ownership and control over the spaces
  • History and volume of the warehouses gives the building character.

3. What could work better?

  • Communication between the residents and other external parties involved in the site, were sometimes closed.
  • Interaction with the wider community
  • Safety is currently a big concern.
  • Waste storage and removal is poorly managed.
  • Noise management
  • Tewkesbury Road Open Space is currently an undesirable area that could be improved and used more positively.
  • Future use of ground floor spaces could be used more constructively as flexible studio/gallery space, for example.

4. Ideas for improving the area:

  • Creative and positive installation on Overbury Road
  • Higher quality communal or public green space
  • Flexibility to customise internal and external spaces.
  • Focus on making space for the collective
  • Harness creativity