Plans for 62 homes to be built on the Bristol Zoo site are up for approval for the second time since Bristol City Council granted planning permission earlier this year. The original plans to transform the unused Bristol Zoological Society car park in Clifton were approved in September last year.
However, the process was briefly delayed when the Clifton & Hotwells Improvement Society raised concerns about the planning process. As a result, all parties agreed to quash the decision, and the planning application was returned to the pre-decision stage. A second decision by Bristol City Council’s development control committee members will now take place on November 16.
The Society has used the delay to consult further with Historic England and the Council’s Heritage Officer and made further improvements to the scheme, ensuring it sits more sensitively within the conservation area – with Historic England recognising that the amendments made to the development minimise any residual harm to the conservation area and confirming that they do not object to the scheme.
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Improvements include changes to the facade and roofline on College Road. Additionally, solar panels have been added to part of the roof of Block A to provide sustainable energy generation in a sensitive, considered manner in the historic setting of the site.
The plans include 62 high-quality new homes, in a mix of one, two and three-bed apartments and three to four-bed mews houses, of which 20 per cent will be affordable. This is the first phase of Bristol Zoological Society’s new strategy to safeguard the future of the charity and its internationally-important conservation and education work.
The strategy will see the creation of a new Bristol Zoo on the site of Wild Place Project – Bristol Zoological Society’s 136-acre site – on the outskirts of Bristol, with spacious, modern facilities, significant growth in conservation and education work and a ground-breaking, innovative visitor experience.
Dr Justin Morris, Chief Executive of Bristol Zoological Society, said: “As Clifton residents since 1836, we want to leave behind a legacy that we can all be proud of. The scheme will deliver sustainable, much-needed homes for Bristol.
“This is an important step towards realising our exciting plans for the future of Bristol Zoological Society and will help create a new, world-class Bristol Zoo where around 80 per cent of species will be linked to our conservation work, living in spaces more closely reflecting their natural habitats. In this way, Bristol Zoo will continue to exist for generations to come.”
Visit Bristol, which is supportive of plans to sell West Car Park, stated: “It will help Bristol Zoological Society to progress its exceptional work in conservation and education, and support its role as one of the region’s finest visitor attractions.”
A separate planning application relating to the main Bristol Zoo Gardens site was submitted in June following extensive consultation by the Bristol Zoological Society with key stakeholders. The full planning application for the master plan of the Bristol Zoo Gardens site can now be viewed on the Bristol City Council Planning Portal.
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