Drop us a line using the form below. We can't promise to always reply but we'll do our very best and we'll certainly take your comments and ideas on board.

Alternatively, you can write to us at ACORN, CWU Building, 20 Church Road, Lawrence Hill, Bristol, BS5 9JA.

Or send emails to info@acorncommunities.org.uk

Showing 37 reactions

  • commented 2015-08-08 10:52:25 +0100
    I used to work at Durning Hall in Forest Gate and came across your leaflet there. It sounds like a great initiative. I don’t know whether you know this already, but E7 is home to a non-league football club that has upwards of 500 left-wing anti-racist football fans, the Clapton Ultras. We’d like to talk to you at some point if we can.
  • commented 2015-08-06 15:22:44 +0100
  • commented 2015-07-28 12:05:25 +0100
    Hi my name is dean Allen and I live in St werburghs. It appears that I’m being targeted by someone from your organisation as I’m reviveing letters through my door and my front garden has been disturbed!

    Unfortunately I have had a maintenance van parked out side of my house for the last week with live and let written in it!!! This has nothing to do with me and I’ve reported you and live and let to the police!

    I’ve also tried to get this van removed by going into there office in minor rd .

    I’ve lived here for 15 years and never had a problem can you please stop targeting me as this has nothing to do with me . I would appreciate a call to confirm this

    07989466204 Dean Allen
  • commented 2015-06-16 12:10:43 +0100
    Dear ACORN I have created a website http://www.useyourcommunity.com which is a postcode search database of local community organisations. I am trying to encourage people to get involved with their local community organisations and to access services and support from them because many people do not realise there are local places they can access for services and support. I also want to promote ACORN which is a great initiative to bring and organise people. I want to volunteer!
  • commented 2015-06-15 14:04:22 +0100
    Hi my name is Angela Tyler I am a volunteer at shelter and have had the pleasure of meeting Nick Ballard at a local event in gallaries, a stand promoting what you do and various other agencies.

    However, I really need your help as a private tenant being made homeless with a 5year old son after the housing benefit have failed to make payment to landlord as I was previously informed.

    Please can you contact me if u can assist me

    I am seeking advice from shelter and the council but neither can do anything until the baliffs remove from the home I currently live in and have lived in for the last 5years with no problems with rent being paid or received by the landlord. This situation has got worse over the weekend as my section 21 expired yesterday and landlord threatened to attend property to obtain key I am very anxious about mine and my sons future as I have been informed by the council there are no hostels available in Bristol and my best bet would be to go and sleep on the floor at my fathers home in Gloucester and commute to Bristol for my sons school and general life but as this is going to be between 3-6 months my father cannot accommodate me so I am very scared about the future and I am also worries about my sons health both mentally and physically as he has started to wet the bed and having awful nightmares or just no sleep at all which in turn is having an effect on his school day and learning he is only in reception but soon moving to year 1 and I don’t want this situation to hinder his learning or effect him emotionally as it’s not fair on his little head x

    I may add that I myself prior to taking up this tenancy was homeless/sofa surfing for 5years ago following a horrific attack on my person in my previous council property by 5people a mix of men and women with baseball bats leaving me in fear of my life and not wanting to continue to reside in the property, the council said I made myself intentionally homeless hence sofa surfing for 5years until 6 months pregnant when desperate for a home to nest in and feel safe for me and my son. I also have suffered very badly in the past with depression and I feel that I am slowly slipping back into this mind set – I am of course speaking with my doctor about this.


    I therefore email to see if u can please contact and help me in any way shape or fo as I am desperate for this situation to not have a lasting effect on my sons generally happy go lucky approach to life.
  • commented 2015-05-26 12:26:16 +0100
    How do we go about getting advice about our current housing situation?
  • commented 2015-05-25 02:27:58 +0100
    You have my full backing !Housing is such a major problem in easton. Only home owners have stability! I had to lie beg borrow to get this rented house in Easton .as it happens I get on with the landlady.i don’t ask her to fix anything,and she doesn’t need to re furnish,although she has noticed that a 3\2 bed house on the same road can fetch £800 pm.I pay(housing benefit some of it) is £675.I managed to get a one more years contract. Which she wasn’t THAT happy about as she knows she can get much more!What happens after a year when she puts the price up? Do I live in a caravan on the side of the road or squash into a shared house if I’m lucky.I’m living on my own with my 7 year old daughter.she is settled here with her friends, family,community and school.moving to a different aeria would make things difficult for us.I’ll probability be asking u for advice in the future,and I am more then happy to volunteer \help and donate money when I can .Well done acorn !a voice for the people .I agree,building communities,up to date knowledge on law/benefits ect and action is very much needed.I look falward to your emails.

    Yours Ms Ellie Del Arbol
  • commented 2015-05-11 14:09:47 +0100
  • commented 2015-05-09 22:49:47 +0100
    I am a reporter at the Bristol Post and I was hoping to run a story on Jessica Mclean. Would you be able to put me in contact with her?
  • commented 2015-04-20 11:38:33 +0100
    Hi Stuart. Filled out one of your questionaires on 2 subjects I wanted to put forward at the meeting tonight, but didn’t take copy. Hate to think that if I am called on speak that I don’t have it. Ron
  • commented 2015-04-17 15:34:11 +0100
    I’d like to register as an ethical private landlord as recommended in your charter, but its not clear to me how to do that on your site. Can you point me in the right direction? I’d be keen to be able to use a template for an AST which incorporates your recommendations – at the moment I’m using a standard free one from rentify.com which I don’t think covers all the bases.
  • commented 2015-04-14 10:08:13 +0100
  • commented 2015-04-14 10:07:52 +0100
    Hi Acorn, looking for an interview regarding the CJ Hole story and your campaign, is anyone free today at all for a quick 5 minutes?
  • commented 2015-04-13 18:16:59 +0100
    Hi, I have been renting an apartment off of a private landlord for about 4 years now, we have no written contract! and I have always paid my rent on time. What if any notice does he have to give me?

    Thanking you in anticipation. Carlton
  • commented 2015-04-13 16:57:57 +0100
    Hi – I also took shots of the Acorn protest outside CJ Hole on Saturday. They’re up at http://www.patrickgrace.co.uk/prev/Acorn/. Feel free to share the gallery link or I can beam over individual ones if you’d like to use any. Thanks – Patrick. (www.patrickgrace.co.uk)
  • commented 2015-04-11 15:29:43 +0100
    Hi.

    Here’s a link to the photos I took today. They might still be syncing, so give it 20 minutes or so. They’re not full size – message me if you want specific big ones.

    If you do use them, could you please add a credit – Julian Welsh.

    Thanks

    https://www.dropbox.com/sh/hdon5orjbyn5z8j/AAAji_85R7wCWsojzkOvNeRra?dl=0
  • commented 2015-03-19 07:50:17 +0000
  • commented 2015-03-16 21:15:05 +0000
    Hi There,


    I’m a student journalist at UWE in my third year. for my final project instead of doing a dissertation I’m building a website about the issues students face with their accommodation, covering everything from looking at if there is enough accommodation to begin with to the living standard and price of their accommodation. For this reason I would love to interview someone from ACORN Bristol for the website.


    Please get in touch with me as soon as possible to discuss this idea further.


    Kind Regards,

    Jed
  • commented 2014-12-16 11:31:36 +0000
    hi there


    tried to join and start a standing order but payment didn’t go through to paypal just went back to step 1..please can you help. i tried twice..
  • commented 2014-12-02 12:44:30 +0000
    Hi there. I live in Leeds but am interested in the training programme. Do you have to live in South London to do it or can I come from Leeds?
  • commented 2014-11-15 23:53:19 +0000
    I extend my deep gratitude to the founders of Acorn our Easton tenants Association here in Bristol. I am 55, I have been a private tenant all my life, you are making me realise I have felt so weak and powerless in my situation, no, rights, no appeals, I no longer feel so alone in the iniquity of a home without rights. Its felt very very predatory, a culture of institutional bullying, psychic bullying in the conversations of linguistic power, assumptions and exclusion at the dinner table, I feel stronger; I am so grateful for that. The “Tenants Revolt”……………thanks.
  • commented 2014-11-03 21:26:04 +0000
    Please click ‘like’ on this to ensure Nick Clegg gets grilled on buy-to-let landlords on BBC Free Speech tomorrow: https://www.facebook.com/BBCFreeSpeech/photos/a.552222794877231.1073741878.195792860520228/554235661342611

    A third of MPs are buy-to-let landlords. Is this a conflict of interests and what are the Lib Dems doing to protect tenants?

    BBC Free Speech

    A third of MPs are buy-to-let landlords. Is this a conflict of interests and what are the Lib Dems doing to protect tenants?


    LikeLike · · Share · 7
  • commented 2014-10-28 15:40:16 +0000
    The University of Bristol is hosting a debate on the rise and fall of the Bedroom Tax next week with guest speakers from Inside Housing magazine and Cambridge Centre for Housing and Planning.

    It is part of a wider festival called ‘Thinking Futures’ hosted by Bristol Uni. Here are some details below:


    The rise and fall of the bedroom tax

    Venue: The Recital Room, Victoria Rooms, Queens Road, Bristol BS8 1SA

    Friday 7 November, 6pm


    The bedroom tax has been labelled a policy blunder. In this event, we ask why it was a blunder and how it became a key site of political contestation as well as popular protest. By looking at the issue from different perspectives – housing, policy, and legal – we can explore how, so far, that policy blunder has managed to survive. Join us as we ask questions about challenging such blunders and the types of strategies which have been used, whether successful or unsuccessful.


    Free but booking required in advance:http://www.bristol.ac.uk/fssl/festival/programme/2014/event7-3.html
  • commented 2014-10-27 08:09:22 +0000
    Hi, Can i draw your attention to the recent reports that Bristol West is now a 3 way marginal; as a Labour Party member I have for some time been calling for a Red Green Alliance between Bristol West and Brighton; it seems to me that this a huge lever to use nationally with regard to the issue of fair returns which are crucial to a proper “rebalancing of the economy” away from unearned returns on property towards productivity and justice. I would note that a fair rent act would be hugely popular across the south of England; that tenant rights should be powerful for tenants when the proprietor owns more than two homes and the tenant has paid his rent; that notice from landlord to tenant should be one year. I have made no progress with these sorts of demands within the Labour Party and am prepared to resign and join the Greens; however i would still prefer a tactical alliance in Bristol West where these issue s were central to a Red Green platform between the constituencies. I will copy this email to key Red Green figures in Bristol West and Caroline Lucas MP. Best Peter Hack

    To info@shelter.org.uk Me 12 Oct

    13 Hinton Rd

    BS5 6HA


    Thanks for the work you do.


    Interest at 3.5% on 150,000 is 5000 a year; thats 400 a month; tenants are expected to pay that, repay a loan and the upkeep of a house that they do not own nor have “anyshare”. We live with less rights than a medieval commoner.There are now 1000 tenants in my part of Bristol; Acorn; we are trying to define an “ethical tenancy”.


    Lets be clear that what has evolved post Thatcher is a culture of landlordism in the British middle class; it is rampantly abusive something for nothing petty tyranny with returns well over 15%. Its unethical.
    High rents jacks up the whole entry level of home ownership by overinflating the value of UK property via 25 billion in HB subsidy and simultaneously reduces supply. I suggest that rent controls should be based on interest on value; that tenancy rights are variable, for the owners of one or two houses powerful rights of return but strong for tenants of owners of multiple houses where if the tenants has paid the rent then they have substantial rights to lifelong tenures.


    Houses were often built by previous generations and that they be encouraged to sell or be satisfied with far lower returns because housing is quite simply “not for profit” and returns should be based on a fair share of responsibility between landlord and tenant..


    There has to be a debate re the existing returns in the private landlord estate.


    Sincerely


    Peter Hack
  • commented 2014-10-24 11:19:43 +0100
    Hi would love to attend your upcoming course at Barton Hill Settlement but unable to make the weekend of Nov 1st and 2nd- can I still be involved? Could you send me the info sheets on what you would of covered? tamsin@unitedcommunities.org.uk
  • commented 2014-10-19 19:31:47 +0100
    Hi,


    I’ve applied to attend your community organisers course in a couple of weeks but I need to whether I have a confirmed place if I am going to make myself available to attend so I would really appreciate it if you could let me know.


    Many thanks,


    Genny Ross
  • commented 2014-10-19 08:47:29 +0100
    Hello,


    I’m really interested in the community course that you are running. It would be great to find out more and get booked onto this if there is still space. Thanks
  • commented 2014-10-07 10:23:19 +0100
    would like to meet with you refer by matthew johnston
  • commented 2014-10-07 10:21:48 +0100
  • commented 2014-09-26 10:56:26 +0100
    Dear Sir/Madam,


    As I am sure you are aware, there is a pending planning application to construct four low-cost eco-homes comprising of four one-bed flats in two separate blocks, on the land at the rear of 73 – 103 Chelsea Road. This is the really narrow strip of land between the garden fences and the railway.


    I (as well as all the local residents affected) am opposed to this plan for many reasons, and I enclose a copy of our draft objection letter, on behalf of myself and the local residents, for your reference. We have compiled our argument based on legitimate reasons for planning permission refusal and reference to planning policy in Bristol. I plan to email it to the Council this weekend.


    I am contacting you because I feel having the backing of community groups would strengthen our argument. If you agree and feel you can oppose the proposal directly, that would be greatly appreciated. Please feel free to call me on this number to discuss: 07999 426221


    The deadline for commenting is 2nd October 2014. You can view the plans on the Council’s website at: www.bristol.gov.uk/planningonline, the reference number you need to put in is: 13/05082/P


    Kind regards,


    Adam Aziz

    Mob: 07999426221


    Adam Aziz & Kathryn Thomas

    97 Chelsea Road

    Easton

    24 September 2014

    Bristol

    BS5 6AS


    FAO Mr B Burke, Case Officer

    Bristol City Council

    Development Management

    Brunel House

    St George’s Road

    Bristol

    BS1 5UY


    Dear Mr Burke,


    PLANNING APPLICATION NO 13/05082/P

    Proposed erection of 4 low-cost eco-homes comprising 4 No. 1- bed flats in 2 blocks, on the land at the rear of 73 – 103 Chelsea Road, Bristol, by Mr A Huby


    We write in connection with the above planning application. We have examined the plans and know the open space and garage area well. We wish to object strongly to the development of these homes in this location. The proposed siting of the development is particularly ill-considered, and we have listed the reasons for this below:


    • Despite the applicant’s claims that there are no trees or hedgerows on the site, there are both trees and hedgerows. Development of this site would result in the loss of these natural features, which may include the loss of Tree Preservation Order trees.


    • Loss of trees and hedgerows on this land would result in loss of important natural habitats. The loss of these habitats would mean harm to important plant and animal life. Specifically, we are aware of the presence of anguis fragilis (slow worm) which are a protected species in the UK under the Wildlife and Countryside Act, 1981, and classified as a Priority Species in the UK Biodiversity Action Plan. We can provide photographic evidence, taken in the last month, of the presence of slow worms in our garden, which backs onto the site of the proposed development. In addition to the slow worms, the area is also known locally as providing a home to bats and the hedgerow provides space for birds to nest each year. Other protected species of plant and animal life in the area which we are not aware of could also very feasibly be harmed. Page 22 of the Bristol Development Framework Core Strategy (the “BCF”) explains in the Spatial Vision objectives that wildlife habitats should be “maintained and improved throughout the city”.


    • We are aware of a previous planning application, on the same site, which was refused. To our knowledge, there has been no change in circumstances.


    • The size of the development site is of particular concern. There will clearly be insufficient garden land and lack of private space for the development. Page 112 of the BCF states that residential developments should provide sufficient space for everyday activities. Two blocks of flats in such a small area will not provide the appropriate space standards for the tenants.


    • The proposed development is excessive in size for the available land and would result in unacceptably high density of residents. Easton is recognised on page 122 of the BCF as a “densely developed industrial area”. The objectives stated in the BCF for Easton include aiming to “secure reductions in deprivation” (page 46). Building tiny flats on top of a noisy railway line is only going to lead to further deprivation and even poorer standards of living. We need to avoid town cramming.


    • Policy BCS21 on page 123 of the BCF states that new development in Bristol should contribute positively to an area’s character and identity, creating or reinforcing local distinctiveness. The proposed development is incompatible with the design of the existing buildings along Chelsea Road, which are Victorian era terraced houses. Easton is recognised on page 8, section 2.8 as a Victorian neighbourhood. The development would create a poor relationship with the nearby buildings and conflicts with the character of the area; a pleasant Victorian terraced residential street.


    • There is a significant issue of safety. The very narrow access to the site is of particular concern and does not comply with the Council’s access and on site turning standards. Furthermore, emergency vehicles such as fire engines would encounter extreme difficulty regarding access when responding to emergencies, particularly to parts of the site that are situated furthest away from the access lane. We cannot see how a fire engine would reach the blocks of flats in an emergency situation and this is another reason why this build is completely inappropriate.


    • Parking space, particularly at peak times such as evenings and weekends, is a particular problem along Chelsea Road, as well as the nearby streets. More residential dwellings would compound this problem. There simply is not enough parking space to accommodate more vehicles.


    • Isolation. These flats are planned to sit on what was a back lane next to a railway. This is not a suitable space for homes. As well as destroying the wildlife and hedgerows in what is currently a majority open space enjoyed by slow worms, bats and birds, the tenants will never be a part of the community living in isolation down a side road sitting on top of a railway. The first floor of each block won’t have any natural daylight as the windows will be level with and right next to, garden fences or the railway embankment (as the hedgerow would presumably be destroyed by the development). In Easton we do not need more shabby, sub-standard homes.


    • It is a concern that the aging water and sewer infrastructure is inadequate and will not be able to cope with the additional needs of the development.


    • Due to the small, narrow, area of land, it is of concern that the development site does not permit proper space and provisions for waste disposal and recycling. This would result in smells, pollution and would attract vermin, such as rats.


    • The proposed development would certainly pose a privacy issue with the residential homes adjacent to the land. The development would overlook residential gardens, as well as rooms to the rear of the existing homes, typically bathrooms and bedrooms (as is the case with our home).


    • The proposed development would block natural daylight to the existing properties it adjoins.


    • Noise would be a direct result of the development, which would increase the levels of disturbance of an already noisy street. Chelsea Road is a very noisy street with some anti-social behaviour in terms of drinking and drug problems. The proposed site could mean an increase in the noise pollution to the detriment of the home-owners in the rank.


    • The inevitable increase in use of the access lane, which is likely to be great due to private vehicles and the need for access to the development, will detrimentally affect the pedestrian walkway across it, which is extensively used due to the busy nature of Chelsea Road.


    • There is simply not a need for this kind of development. There are many examples of affordable, residential dwellings in the area on the market and especially in Easton. Building small flats


    • The proposed development site is simply unsuitable for habitation. Being adjacent to very busy rail infrastructure would mean the occupants be subject to large levels of noise and pollution. Because of this, the buildings would not be able to accommodate windows that face the railway, nor windows that overlook existing properties, meaning there would be very little natural light available to the proposed properties. As mentioned above the lower level of the flats would look out onto fences/the embankment.


    • The proximity of the development to the railway line means that there is a high likelihood of damage to the line and/or its foundations as a result of building works and heavy machinery required to construct the properties. The building work being carried out in such a small space may also affect our properties as the area is so narrow. How will the builders lay the foundations without disturbing the adjoining land?


    • There has been previous development (erection of a garage) to the land that did not seek planning permission. If planning permission protocol had been properly followed, it is my belief that planning permission would have been denied.


    • The proposed development would put the already inadequate road system under more strain.


    • Currently, there is no access to the rear of the existing properties along Chelsea Road where this development is proposed (73-103 Chelsea Road, excluding 95 and 93). The development of this land would pose a very real and probable security and crime risk to the existing properties by providing easier access to the rear of the properties. One of the aims in the BCF is to reduce crime in areas such as Easton but this proposal opens up the possibility of homes which could be a hub of criminal activity or isolated from the sight of others a target for criminality.


    • A point of particular concern is disruption and damage during construction of the proposed development. Not only will there be very high levels of noise, dust, and pollution, very close to residential homes, access to the site for construction vehicles and machinery is likely to be extremely difficult. In addition, heavy machinery and vehicles pose a real risk of damaging the railway and/or adjacent properties. The building works will also cause major disruption for pedestrians who make extensive use of the pavements along Chelsea Road.


    In the Outline for Planning Permission with Some Matters Reserved completed by the owner’s agent, Mr David Hardwick (the “Application Form”), some of the information is either incomplete or inaccurate and therefore the declaration at the end of the Application Form is untrue.


    • Section 9

    Section 9 of the Application Form asks for a description of the proposed materials. The answer given for many of the questions is “Not applicable”. The plan is for flats to be built so these flats must have walls, roofs, doors, windows and so on.


    • Section 13

    In Section 13, the form asks if any protected or priority species live on the area, the answer has been given as no. That is not true. Many slow worms (a protected species) live in that area. In addition to this bats are regularly spotted and there is a thriving community of wildlife, flora and fauna in the hedgerow and on the site. I believe that there is a thriving slow worm and bat habitat on the site which should not be disturbed. The information therefore on the application is in accurate.


    • Section 14

    In Section 14 the Application Form asks for a description of the existing use and “2 commercial workshops” has been given as the answer. The site has a garage on it which is barely used and certainly not a commercial workshop and a wooden shed. Planning permission was refused for the wooden shed to be used as a commercial workshop and the garage was built without the required planning permission.


    • Section 15

    Section 15 asks if there are any trees or hedgerows on the proposed site and the answer given is “no”. This is simply not true. There is a very large and tall hedgerow on the site which separates the site from the nearby railway track an embankment. This hedgerow is important as it supports the local wildlife and helps reduce the noise from the trains. There may also be trees there and as Mr Hardwick’s answer is clearly not true with reference to the hedgerow, I believe the area needs to be inspected for trees.


    • Section 18

    In Section 18, the Application Form states that the change of use will be from Office B1 but this space is open space mainly with a garage (which should never have been built) and a shed on it. Most of the area is driveway.


    We believe Mr David Hardwick should complete the Application Form properly and in full so we, the affected neighbours, can understand his plans and so the Council have all the true facts and information.


    If this application is to be decided by Councillors, please take this as notice that we would like to speak at the meeting of the Committee at which this application is expected to be decided. Please let us know as soon as possible the date of the meeting.


    Yours sincerely,


    Adam Aziz & Kathryn Thomas