Mayor warns against "fast buck" development

By Natalie Vincent - Mon 22 October 2018, 3:23 pm

Bristol mayor Marvin Rees has warned property developers that the council is taking a harder stance against "making a fast buck" and not investing in the city for the long-term.

Speaking at the annual State of the City Address as part of Bristol's Festival of Ideas on 17 September, Rees highlighted the progress the council has made in eliminating its budget deficit since 2016 when he came to office, as well as outlining key council pledges to realise the city's ambition.

Naming affordable housing as the council’s top priority going up to 2020, Rees spoke of this month's launch of the Bristol-Is initiative, which sets out the council's development objectives: "Working with my cabinet colleague Paul Smith, last week 100 developers and investors gathered at M-Shed to launch our Bristol Is magazine. They came because they recognised that we are a city which at long last is getting homes built, and they have bought into our commitment to building affordable homes in mixed communities and an inclusive economy."

Rees spoke about the council's ambitious housing target of 2,000 homes built in Bristol by 2020, placing emphasis on the need for at least 800 affordable homes. In 2018, 1,886 homes were built, with 271 earmarked as affordable; in 2019 the target is for 2,308 market rate homes and 499 affordable and in 2020, the authority aims to build 1,533 market-rate homes, with 916 affordable.

Rees said: "Now there are plenty who want to come on that journey with us; we welcome that. Of course there are also those who want to turn up, make a fast buck and not invest in the city's common good. And its those people, I promise you, that will find themselves at the back of the city's queue."

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