Bristol’s landscape is set to be transformed over the next few years as billions of pounds are spent on new developments, including homes, offices and leisure spaces.
The city’s tech and creative scene, and its popularity with young professionals moving out of London, are among the reasons many investors are choosing Bristol to build in.
Enquiry levels and viewings for commercial property in the city increased in April and May to their highest levels for a year as Government restrictions were eased.
Big financial firms and property giants are also eagerly eyeing up South West land and warehouses on which to build as the e-commerce and logistics industries continue to grow.
There are a large number of developments taking place in Bristol right now – from the huge eco office Halo to the new neighbourhood at Finzels Reach. But there are plenty more in the pipeline too.
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Here are some of the main projects being planned for the city:
One Passage Street
The owners of the office building that houses Heart FM radio and the BIMM music institute are about to ask council planners to knock the building down and build a new 13-storey office building in its place.
The landmark building would include a restaurant on the tenth floor offering “dining space with panoramic views across Bristol’s harbour out to the west”.
It will be the latest tall building to be proposed in Bristol city centre and is close to the tallest block in the city, the 26-storey Castle Park View, which is nearing completion just yards away.
Almost 18 years have sped by since plans for Bristol Arena were first unveiled, with the announcement in March 2003 beginning a long and complex saga.
Despite the uncertainties the pandemic has created, a huge milestone was achieved last year as Malaysian investment firm YTL secured planning permission for the arena.
Earlier in August, YTL released computer-generated images of the train station it is planning to build as part of its huge scheme.
Bristol Arena will have capacity for 17,080 people, re-purposing the iconic Brabazan hangars at the former Filton Airfield and will be the fourth-largest in the UK when built.
YTL said in April that it is now looking at a 2024 opening date due to “frustrating and inevitable” setbacks during the pandemic.
In June, the developer unveiled its plans for a 14-acre public park being created as part of the Brabazon development. It will be the largest new urban public park to be created in the South West for 50 years.
As many as 3,000 new homes, businesses and an entirely new road network could be created at the end of the Floating Harbour, which has been renamed ‘Western Harbour’ by the council chiefs behind the project.
The people of Bristol will be invited to contribute to a “place-shaping vision” of how the Cumberland Basin might be transformed, as the next step in the biggest regeneration project in a generation is taken.
The plans for the Cumberland Basin are controversial, and this will be the second time council chiefs have begun a consultation process on working out what should happen, and how, in the coming years and decades.
The controversial project will transform BS3 in what will be south Bristol’s biggest regeneration project.
The project will ultimately see five plots of land around Malago Road and the St Catherine’s Place shopping centre developed with up to 3,000 flats.
Planning permission for two of those five sites has recently been awarded, with plans for hundreds of student flats being proposed on two of the remaining three sites.
Huge plans for more major regeneration and development in Bedminster could see thousands of new homes being built between the railway line and the river below Victoria Park.
Earlier this year, city council planners and developers who own almost half the land began hosting ‘public engagement sessions’ on what the regeneration of the area might look like over the next five or 10 years.
The area is around Whitehouse Street in the north east corner of Bedminster, on the other side of Windmill City Farm from the controversial ‘Bedminster Green’ regeneration project.
Castle Park View
Castle Park View will be the new tallest building in Bristol at a height of 98.37m AOD (above ground level).
Looming above the south-eastern corner of Castle Park, the 26-storey residential tower will house 375 flats – 300 of which will be one and two-bedroom private rented properties and 75 of which will be designated as affordable homes.
The plans to create a “thriving new neighbourhood” will see 440 new apartments being built, together with 240,000 sq ft of office space including two Grade A office buildings.
The office space includes the under-construction ‘Halo’ building, which will be one of the most environmentally-friendly office buildings in the country.
It will also feature a 168-bedroom Premier Inn, plus a host of cafes, restaurants and a microbrewery across 30,000 sq ft of space.
Other organisations based at Finzels Reach include Channel 4 and Historic England .
The development will also include food outlets such as Finzels Reach Market, Left Handed Giant, Mission Pizza, Café Matariki, Spicer + Cole, Bocabar and Le Vignoble, some of which are already open and trading.
Trinity Road police station
Earlier this week, a planning application was submitted to demolish Trinity Road police station in Old Market and build ‘affordable’ housing in its place.
If the application is successful, 104 new apartments for shared ownership or social rent will be built on the site, and part of the ground floor will also be set aside to create a new police station.
Avon and Somerset Police has sold the site to The Guinness Partnership, one of the largest affordable housing and care providers in England.
Seen by many as a prime example of Easton’s gentrification, the housing development at the site of the former Elizabeth Shaw Chocolate Factory – which sat empty and derelict for more than a decade – will comprise of 140 new homes, including 96 apartments and 44 houses.
The first set of properties at the luxury development in Greenbank went on the market earlier this year, with prices from £395,950.
In June, Bristol mayor Marvin Rees spoke in depth about the plans to transform Temple Island.
Legal & General (L&G) has agreed to invest £350m to redevelop a disused plot near Temple Meads station, land which was once lined up to accommodate Bristol Arena.
A public consultation will launch in the next couple of months, but the scheme is set to include 550 new homes — 220 designated affordable — a 345-room hotel, two “major” office blocks and a large conference centre.
The University of Bristol is also starting work on a new £300m Temple Quarter Enterprise Campus on the site where the old Royal Mail sorting office used to be.
Expansion of Temple Meads
Network Rail is working with authorities to expand and improve Temple Meads station, with a raft of changes proposed.
A city council video talks of how it will become a “world-class transport hub” with three new entrances, and the capacity for 22 million passengers each year.
It sets out plans for a MetroBus stop to be installed there by 2025.
Development of St Philips Marsh
One of Bristol’s most industrial suburbs is set for a major makeover.
New neighbourhoods with a mix of housing and employment spaces will spring up in St Philip’s Marsh over the next 25 years if the local authority’s vision comes to fruition.
New bridges over the Feeder Canal and River Avon will connect the ‘island’ of land to surrounding communities, and nature will make a return with a new riverside park for people to enjoy.
Bristol City Council’s broad vision for St Philip’s Marsh is laid out in a document published earlier this year, which also sets out more detailed plans for the Temple Quarter area of the city.
The development of St Philips Marsh and the expansion of Temple Meads both feed in to the wider plans for a new Temple Quarter around the station, which will include a new enterprise zone and 10,000 new homes.
The council video says it will boost the city’s economy by £1.6bn annually once it is completed.
A “mass transit metro station” would be built there by the year 2030, it states.
Plans were approved in April to redevelop the iconic Soapworks building in Old Market, formerly home to Gardiner Haskins before it moved to another building nearby.
The £175m transformation of the landmark site by developer First Base will include a new 20-storey tower block, 243 homes, green areas, a food and drinks hall and space for work, retail and leisure.
Thousands of jobs could be created as part of the redevelopment of the historic Bristol Soapworks building, the developer behind the scheme has said.
The Carriageworks – which had been derelict since the mid-1980s – had been described as one of Bristol’s most “at-risk” heritage buildings.
After years of plans falling through, a new scheme will bring 145 new homes to the area as well as creating a number of new retail spaces alongside a market square.
Properties at the major development in Stokes Croft have now gone on the market.
City centre development
In a Bristol City Council video, a voice-over spoke of the local authority’s ambition to “renew and re-conceptualise Bristol centre, as long-term shopping habits change.
The aspiration is to create a “liveable, vibrant, well-connected” centre with a mixture of homes for families and others, supporting an “accessible and resilient” leisure and retail offer day and night.
Bristol City owner Steve Lansdown is applying to build 510 new homes on around half the land at Ashton Vale he wanted to build a new stadium on 10 years ago.
The owner says it will fund the building of the proposed new ‘Sporting Quarter’ complex next to Ashton Gate stadium.
People had until earlier this month to comment, object or support the plans for the new homes, which the developers are calling ‘Longmoor Village’.
Ashton Gate Sporting Quarter
Plans for a 4,000-seater sports and convention centre as part of a major development at Ashton Gate Stadium were finally submitted to council planners in July.
Work could begin on the Sporting Quarter as early as the start of next year, with the first events taking place there in 2024 – if planning permission is given.
The Sporting Quarter plans next to Ashton Gate Stadium were first unveiled back in 2018, but have gone through a couple of consultations with local residents and been scaled back a bit before a formal planning application has now been submitted.
The plans for Hengrove Park include 1,435 homes, of which 30% will be affordable, a large public park as well as commercial, retail, education and community facilities at Hengrove Park.
As one of Bristol’s biggest housing developments, it received a £20m boost to speed it up.
This came after Bristol City Council suffered a triple funding blow over the massive housing estate.
Lockleaze new housing
In the coming years, Lockleaze is set for a big transformation.
More than 260 homes are planned for sites at Bonnington Walk, Muller Road and Branwhite Close, of which 55% will be affordable.
Mr Rees has previously given television architect George Clarke a tour of the land.
The plans sparked dozens of objections but, if all goes to plan, the first residents should be able to move into the first phase of housing in January 2023.
As many as 600 new homes could be built on the steeply sloping semi-rural land between Hartcliffe Way and Knowle West.
Earlier this year, developers – including the council’s own development arm Goram Homes – unveiled plans to almost entirely cover the Western Slopes with housing.
The former Hartcliffe College campus was cleared to make way for 350 new homes and public space.
A proportion of at least 30% affordable housing was set for the development, which includes two, three and four-bedroom houses and one and two-bedroom apartments.
The former Somerfield headquarters at Hartcliffe has also been transformed into flats.
The regeneration plan for Arnside and Glencoyne Square will see the neglected area get about 300 new homes, a new community centre for the health centre and public library to move into, as well as improved public spaces.
The community-led plan to redevelop the centre of Southmead has received the backing of the council and is set to receive £7m in funding.
Bottle Yard Studios expansion
Proposals were put forward last year for the £3.9m expansion of Bottle Yard Studios, which would see an enterprise hub built to support television and film production and small businesses.
The studio, which works in partnership with the council, is best known for producing drama series including Poldark , Sherlock and Wolf Hall .
Avonmouth and Severnside
A controversial £100m programme of flood prevention works commenced at the Avonmouth Severnside Enterprise Area in 2019, as part of plans to unlock the potential of the industrial area.
Reinforced concrete sea walls up to 2.4-metres high and raised earth embankments will be built along 17km of the coast from Avonmouth to Severnside.
“The construction work will be phased over a period of 4-6 years to be agreed with the preferred contractor,” a project spokesperson has previously said.
This largely industrial site next to the River Frome and Riverside Park was outlined for mixed-use development in the draft local plan, which is currently under review.
A Bristol City Council video described it as a “climate-resilient” housing and mixed development of up to 1,000 new homes, workspace, and improved green space.
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