George Clarke looks at Bristol’s innovative approach to affordable house building: George Clarke visits Bristol

08 Oct 2020

George Clarke looks at Bristol’s innovative approach to affordable house building

George Clarke, whose 2019 Channel 4 documentary highlighted the lack of social housing across the country, today met Mayor of Bristol, Marvin Rees, to hear about the city's innovative plans for council and social housing.

George, who has campaigned to put the need for more affordable housing on the national agenda, came to see first-hand what Bristol City Council is doing to address the housing crisis in the city.

The mayor showed George the site for the planned development at Romney House, where Goram Homes, the housing company established by the council, will be building 268 new, high quality homes on the site, in partnership with Vistry Partnership. 55% of the homes will be affordable housing – way above the official target of 40% - and will be delivered by the council. They will range from one bed flats all the way up to four bed family houses.

George Clarke said: “My campaign highlighted how difficult it is to get decent council housing built, but it is essential that we all find a way. The country needs at least 100,000 new genuinely affordable homes every year for many years to come – we are miles off that. Bristol has developed some innovative ways to build more, and I hope we can work together to try and resolve the country’s massive housing crisis.”  

Mayor of Bristol, Marvin Rees said: “I was delighted to welcome George to Bristol and show him the progress we have already made, and our plans to accelerate the building of more affordable homes across the city. Providing homes that people can afford and creating communities where people feel proud to live are two of our main goals.

“Like us, he understands how important it is to build housing that people can afford and create diverse and balanced communities where people can thrive. This is now more important than ever, as we look to make sure that people who have been adversely affected by the pandemic are not further left behind.

“We hope that George will be able to tell this story as part of his next TV series, so we can all continue to increase the pressure on government to make sure affordable housing is a top priority for everyone.”

Over the summer the council also submitted plans to build almost 400 new affordable homes - the majority of which will be council housing.

Lockleaze is set for the biggest transformation with over 260 homes planned for sites at Bonnington Walk, Muller Road and Branwhite Close.

The New Build Housing Programme makes use of land owned by the council, regenerating brownfield sites, to provide new high quality homes in key areas across the city.

Since the start of the programme, the council has built over 150 new council homes. There are also 133 homes currently under construction at Ashton Rise – an innovative development where the council is building houses for sale on the private market for the first time.

Kathryn Pennington (Vistry Partnerships), Mayor Marvin Rees, George Clarke and Steve Baker (Goram Homes)

Stephen Baker, Managing Director, Goram Homes said: “Delivering homes that Bristol is proud of, in developments that build communities and are celebrated for their design and sustainability credentials is what drives us. The new homes will benefit from a brand new community park which will form a wildlife corridor all the way from Stoke Park to Concorde helping to contribute to ongoing transformation of Lockleaze.”

Stephen Teagle, Chief Executive, Vistry Partnerships said: “As one of the largest providers of affordable homes in the UK, we share George’s passion and commitment for getting more of them built in the place they’re needed most. Romney House is a fantastic example of how local authorities can play a direct role in the delivery of new quality affordable homes, whilst benefitting from the skills and expertise of an organisation like ours. We’re delighted that George and his team has identified the development as a sector leading partnership.”

For more information on the Romney site development visit