The emerging Local Plan for Bristol: an overview

Published on: 21st March 2019

Bristol City Council are currently undertaking a period of public consultation on their emerging Local Plan, and with our planning team located in the heart of Bristol we have decided to take a closer look this week and see how the city looks to guide future development.

Why the need for a new plan?

Although the most recent Core Strategy was only adopted in 2011, as cities grow their needs also develop and Bristol is no exception as the biggest city in the South West and a population growth well above the national average an updated strategy was deemed necessary.

The need for additional housing in Bristol has been identified in the emerging West of England Joint Spatial Plan (WoE JSP - a regional spatial plan to help reduce cross boundary issues between Bristol, Bath and North East Somerset, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire) which includes a requirement of 33,500 new homes by 2036.

What is covered in the new plan?

The new plan period will mirror that of the emerging WoE JSP and cover up to 2036, providing updated strategic policies, development allocations and development management policies. Following adoption, these will eventually guide the decisions of Bristol City Council when it determines planning applications for all forms of development from major residential schemes to minor retail developments.

Where are the key areas identified for significant levels of development and growth?

Bristol Temple Quarter is not a new concept having been designated an Enterprise Zone in April 2012 with the aim of attracting 17,000 jobs. Temple Island in the heart of the quarter was subsequently identified by the University of Bristol as its location for a new campus. The quarter is now earmarked in the new local plan as a new urban quarter for a wide range of uses.

St Philip’s Marsh comprises a mix of industrial and distribution uses and over 69 hectares of land which adjoins Bristol Temple Quarter. It is identified as a regenerated city quarter and earmarked for a mix of uses including new homes.

Western Harbour, otherwise known as The Cumberland Basin, is identified as a new city quarter which will provide a reconfigured road system, at least 2,500 new homes and up to 500 student bed-spaces, amongst other things.

Frome Gateway, which is located at the southern end of the M32 (east side) between Cabot Circus and Easton and comprises mainly under-utilised land with several commercial buildings is identified as a new mixed-use neighbourhood. It will provide at least 1,000 new homes, workspace and up to 500 student bed-spaces, amongst other things.

Other prominent sites include three allocations on the south-west edge of the city, namely: Land at Ashton Gate which is allocated to provide 500 homes; Land at Yew Tree Farm which is allocated to provide 200 homes; and, Land adjacent to Elsbert Drive, Bishopsworth which is allocated to provide 150 homes. Bath Road, Brislington JSP is identified as a new neighbourhood in accordance with the emerging WoE JSP.

Why get involved?

The public consultation is an opportunity:
1) For landowners to promote their vacant sites or surplus land for redevelopment, intensification, a wider mix of uses or higher value uses
2) For landlords to promote their under-utilised or unoccupied buildings for alternative uses
3) For businesses to protect their commercial interests by promoting the industries and sectors of the economy that they operate in
4) For other organisations and individuals to influence policies by seeking to make future planning policies compatible with both their current objectives and future aspirations

To realise the above opportunities, written representations must be made no later than 26 May 2019. Please contact Owen Pike or Barnaby Harris should you wish to take advantage of this consultation.

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