Major developments outlined for South Bristol in new Local Plan

Published on: 23 Feb 2018

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Pictured: Wapping Wharf, the kind of high-density housing development the council says it favours

• More high-rise homes 

• Homes on St Philip’s Marsh

• Western Harbour redeveloped

• 2,200 homes in central Bedminster

• Brislington Park & Ride to make way for homes

• Building on Green Belt at Ashton Vale


AN HOUR before the Voice was due to go to press, the council published its Local Plan Review with several major proposals for South Bristol.

What follows is extracted from the Local Plan as it affects South Bristol. The council’s numbering is retained. Comments can be made until April 13.

The Bedminster edition of the Voice, which has a later deadline, has a story outlining the proposals for the Bedminster area. That story can be found in the Bedminster section of this website.

The proposal can be seen at  



Proposal CDS 2: Extended Bristol Temple Quarter Enterprise Zone

Bristol Temple Quarter is being developed for a wide range of uses in a new city quarter.

This will include new and affordable homes, offices and flexible workspaces, education, leisure and complementary retail development.

Temple Meads Station will be redeveloped as a modern transport interchange and a welcoming arrival point to the city.

The Temple Quarter approach will be extended into the St Philip’s Marsh riverfront and adjoining parts of Bedminster and Redcliffe which form part of the extended Enterprise Zone.

Proposal CDS 3: St. Philip’s Marsh

Designate St Philip’s Marsh as an area of redevelopment and change. The approach would allow for development for new uses and could include mixed uses, including new homes.

Development will ensure that the total number of jobs in the area will be increased.

Higher intensity employment uses including offices/flexible work space will be supported where these are targeted to provide for start-up business and small to medium sized enterprises, and for businesses needing a location close to the city centre.

3.1.17 Planned flood defences will ensure that flood risks in the area are mitigated.

The greenway along the River Avon frontage will be improved and enhanced.

3.1.18 Part of the area along Albert Road beside the River Avon is within the extended Bristol Temple Quarter Enterprise Zone. 

Western Harbour – Development at Cumberland Basin

The replacement of the present network of aging and outdated roads and bridges and their replacement with a simpler new system will unlock additional development potential around Cumberland Basin. The development of new homes will be expected to deliver affordable housing and be supported by a complementary mix of uses, services and infrastructure. Any development will be expected to make efficient use of land and will have regard to the area’s important heritage assets.

3.1.20 The present Cumberland Basin road system was constructed in the 1960s. As the infrastructure gets older and becomes more costly to maintain than it would be to replace, there is an opportunity to remodel the road system in a way that enables the more efficient use of land and the development of a new city quarter.

3.1.21 Cumberland Basin is a prominent location with open spaces and significant heritage

assets and has a key role in enabling important views to and from the Avon Gorge

and Clifton Suspension Bridge. Development in the area will take account of these important characteristics. The maritime industry area at the historic Underfall Yard will continue to be retained and enhanced for those uses (Bristol Central Area Plan Policy BCAP8).

3.1.22 The potential for new development in the Cumberland Basin area also extends across the River Avon New Cut, which could enable enhanced pedestrian and cycle access to the south.

3.3 South Bristol

3.3.1  The present local plan strategy identifies South Bristol as a priority focus for development and comprehensive regeneration, including new homes, workspace and supporting infrastructure, with major regeneration particularly focused on the area at Knowle West and at Hengrove Park, Hartcliffe Campus and Whitchurch Park.

3.3.3 South Bristol will remain a priority focus for development and regeneration under the new spatial strategy. Existing infrastructure priorities that have not yet been delivered will carry forward into the revised local plan, with the addition of new areas of focus for the delivery of new homes.

Central Bedminster – Focus for new homes

3.3.5 The presence of underused land to the east of the town centre and the area’s location close to Bristol City Centre and Bristol Temple Quarter creates the potential for central Bedminster to become a focus for urban living.

3.3.7 To the southwest of the town centre, and also served by strategic public transport routes, is a smaller cluster of development opportunities focused around Parson Street Station. At present, the form of existing development is generally at a low density and the public realm is dominated by traffic. There is an opportunity to capitalise on the accessible location through the redevelopment of key sites around Bedminster Down Road, West Street and Winterstoke Road to deliver new homes. In conjunction with measures to calm or reduce the impact of traffic through the area this could do much to regenerate the area.

Proposal CDS 7: Central Bedminster and Parson Street

Central Bedminster and Parson Street will be a focus for urban living which may have the potential for around 2,200 new homes, including affordable homes.

Tall buildings in the right setting and of the right design may be appropriate in these areas as part of the overall approach to development.

3.3.8 This will include the redevelopment of some industrial and warehousing land in the Whitehouse Lane area, improvements to connections between East Street, Dalby Avenue and Bedminster Station and an improved environment around Parson Street Station.

Brislington – Focus for urban living

3.3.9 There may be an opportunity for a focus for urban living along parts of the Bath Road corridor where existing development allocations are located alongside areas of under

used land with potential for development of new homes and an improved urban form.

Proposal CDS 8: Brislington

Further opportunities for new homes may be realised through the redevelopment of vacant or underused industrial and warehousing land around the A4 Bath Road.

Opportunities will also be explored to secure the redevelopment of underused land in the central Brislington area. Development in these areas may have the potential for development of around 350 new and affordable homes.

Proposal CDS 9: New neighbourhood - Bath Road, Brislington – 750 homes

In accordance with the West of England Joint Spatial Plan which identifies the area as a

Strategic Development Location, this area will be developed as a new neighbourhood.

It is proposed that 40% of the new homes should be in the form of affordable housing.

The existing allotments on Bath Road are not proposed for development and will be

retained in allotment use. The Green Belt boundary will be amended to facilitate this proposal.

3.3.12 The Brislington Park & Ride will be relocated to land near Hicks Gate Roundabout. This proposal for the development of at least 750 new homes will require a

small change to the Green Belt boundary.

3.3.14 More details of the development of this area will be included in the further local plan community engagement and consultation later this year. 

Hengrove and Knowle West

3.3.15 The present local plan strategy identifies a focus for major regeneration at Knowle West and at Hengrove Park. Major infrastructure that has been delivered in the area under the present strategy includes the South Bristol Link road, South Bristol Community Hospital, South Bristol Skills Academy, Hengrove Park Leisure Centre and Filwood Green Business Park.

Hengrove Park, Hartcliffe campus and Whitchurch Park

3.3.16 With the completion of major infrastructure in the area, a new spatial framework is being prepared to guide the delivery of new homes at Hengrove Park and the Hartcliffe campus.

Knowle West

3.3.17 The Knowle West Regeneration Framework comprises a series of proposed

improvements to the area. The overall aims of these proposals are to provide better employment and housing opportunities for local residents, greatly improve the

facilities available to the community and improve access to and from Knowle West and the rest of the city.

3.3.18 Knowle West has a number of sites that have been allocated in the current local plan for development of new homes and mixed uses. These include sites at Filwood Broadway and the Inns Court, Novers Hill and Airport Road areas. Bringing these sites

forward for development will continue to be a priority.

Changes to Green Belt at South West Bristol

3.3.19 The construction of the new MetroBus route and the South Bristol Link (Colliter’s Way) has changed the character of the South West edge of the city. The Green Belt previously provided an uninterrupted connection from the very edge of the built up area into the wider countryside.

3.3.20 The new link road and part of the MetroBus system has the effect of separating the area to the east from the rest of the Green Belt. The transport infrastructure acts as a boundary. In order for the Green Belt to serve its purposes it is no longer necessary for it cover all areas to the east of the link road. The boundary can therefore be amended through this plan review.

Proposal CDS 10: Revised Green Belt boundary at south west Bristol

It is proposed to remove land at south west Bristol from the Green Belt. Important open areas will be safeguarded and some potential sites for development will be identified.

To maintain their undeveloped status it is proposed that Ashton Vale town green, Bedminster Down common and its surroundings and Highridge Common are designated as Specially Protected Local Green Space. Existing allotments will be retained.

It is proposed that land north of Ashton Vale town green, to the west of The Pavilions and west of Elsbert Drive are considered as potential development locations.

3.3.22 More detailed proposals for development allocations and protection of open space will form part of the further community engagement and consultation later this year.

4.2 Urban living

4.2.1 As Bristol continues to change and grow, the city is rediscovering and reinventing the benefits of its compact urban form with efficient and effective use of land. There is an opportunity to develop new thinking on how we can make best use of our limited land supply to successfully deliver higher density development to meet our need for new homes.

4.2.2 From 1954 to 1990, the population living within the council’s boundaries fell by 60,000 people. Through the 2000s, the renewed trend for urban living saw population decline in Bristol go into reverse and by 2014 the community had returned to the size it had once been six decades ago.

4.2.3 The growing population and the urban living trend are themes the council wishes to develop. Urban living reflects Bristol’s dynamic and ambitious urban character.

Building more densely and higher helps to secure growth in an inclusive and responsible way. It provides the basis for strong centres and communities and by

contributing to a compact, well connected urban area will support the delivery of mass transit systems to meet transport needs.

Proposal ULH 3: Urban living – making efficient use of land to meet our needs

New developments will be expected to reflect Bristol’s urban character by delivering high quality, liveable residential developments at higher densities. In order to achieve efficient use of land across the city the new local plan will be clear that new development can introduce new types of design, scale and form into its location.

Development proposals should make the most efficient use of land by developing land to the fullest amount consistent with creating a liveable environment. This will include promoting the replacement of or building over low-density uses and extending buildings upwards by using airspace above them.

Developments which fail to make efficient use of land will not be permitted.

Within an overall approach to urban living, the more intensive forms of development will be expected on suitable sites in and around:

• Bristol City Centre, including Temple Quarter and adjoining areas to the east;

• The city’s town, district and local centres; and

• Locations with good accessibility to public transport routes and corridors.

The council is consulting on a supporting planning document - Urban Living: Making Successful Places at Higher Densities - which will show how successful liveable places are created through

optimising densities.


Proposal ULH 4: Tall buildings

The local plan will encourage high quality tall buildings in the right places and of the right design.

Tall buildings may be appropriate in the locations for more intensive forms of development described in Proposal ULH 3 or at other locations where the urban form would support this form of development.

The design and siting of tall buildings will be guided by the approaches set out in Urban

Living – Making Successful Places at Higher Densities which will include detailed guidance for the consideration of development proposals.

4.2.7 Proposal ULH 3 promotes urban living and encourages the development of buildings taller than the existing context as part of the approach to securing the new homes we need. Proposal ULH 4 deals with the tallest buildings – those of 10 storeys (30 metres) or more.

4.2.8 Tall buildings have an important role to play in helping Bristol accommodate its expected growth as well as communicating ambition, energy and innovation. They can contribute to urban living objectives, make efficient use of land to deliver homes, jobs

and mixed communities.

4.2.9 Tall buildings have the potential to enhance the appearance and character of areas and to deliver regeneration. Because of their prominence, development of tall buildings will be guided by the approaches set out in Urban Living – Making Successful Places at Higher Densities. Local plan policies and the new guidance will ensure that the city’s heritage and natural assets are conserved as its skyline grows and evolves. 


Student accommodation

(A statement from the council)

A new approach to managing student housing developments is being considered.

Additional measures are also proposed to protect existing communities close to the new Temple Meads campus. The revised Local Plan proposes enhanced controls for Housing in Multiple Occupation (HMO) developments to ensure harmful concentrations of student accommodation do not occur. The proposals also mean that planning permission would be required for all HMOs in the parts of Bristol where housing pressures are highest.

Cllr Nicola Beech, Cabinet Member for Spatial Planning and City Design, said: “The surge in student numbers is bringing significant economic and social benefits. Many students fall in love with Bristol and make a life here and the level of higher education investment in Bristol is a big vote of confidence.

“At the same time, we know concentrations of student accommodation can displace or prevent genuinely balanced communities from flourishing. These changes to the Local Plan would give us extra controls to manage the expansion of student housing in Bristol, and in places like Temple Quarter, we would be able to give extra protection to family homes in areas such as Totterdown and Arnos Vale.”

Both universities anticipate further rises in student numbers in coming years; the University of Bristol’s proposed new campus at Temple Quarter will initially cater for 3,500 students. It is expected that most of the needs can be met from existing planning permissions and from development on the University of Bristol’s existing residential sites, its city centre precinct and at the proposed new campus. The need for further new purpose built accommodation elsewhere is likely to be more limited.

It is proposed that the following new criteria for assessing the impacts of HMOs are applied:

• Proportion of HMOs - it is suggested that no more than 10% of the housing stock in any given area should be occupied as HMOs;

• Sandwich effect – due to the likely intensity of impact, new HMOs will not be permitted where this would result in any residential property being directly between two HMOs;

• Proximity to any purpose built student accommodation would also be taken into account.


There was no space available to include any of the illustrations or maps from the Local Plan Review, which can be seen at


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