It can sometimes feel there is a lot of building work going in Bristol right now. Particularly in the city centre, some areas have transformed.
From the Harbourside to the area around Temple Meads, some streets are barely recognisable when looking back.
And with many more projects in the pipeline, Bristol is to change even more in the next few years.
READ MORE: Street View images show how Bristol has changed in 10 years
Here are some of the main projects being planned for the city:
St Mary Le Port
The major development in the city centre would see nine-storey tower blocks being built at the High Street end of Castle Park, at a site known as St Mary le Port. The plan, which would replace some of the city’s worst eyesore buildings on the corner of Wine Street and the High Street and replace them with a new complex of offices and shops, has already been given planning permission.
The development would demolish three 1960s office blocks at the end of Castle Park – the old Norwich Union building and the bank offices that currently surround the ancient church and have consistently been voted Bristol’s worst eyesores. Instead, the developers want to build office blocks up to nine storeys high, and restore the ancient St Mary Le Port street, that runs from the High Street up to the church.
However, the Government is to be asked to step in and hold its own public inquiry into the controversial plans – a move that sparked a spat on social media between the the city’s past and present mayors.
The empty site just off the end of the M32 in St Pauls is to have 350 new homes – but only a fifth of them will be classed as ‘affordable’.
The new huge development would be by St Pauls Leisure Centre and would consist of a range of homes – from one to four-bedrooms – arranged around a central square.
The huge mixed-use development near Temple Meads would be set within a new public square and comprise of two new buildings alongside the restoration of a Grade II listed former soap factory that dates back to the 1860s.
The scheme has planning consent for 154,000 sq ft of flexible office accommodation, as well as 243 build-to-rent (BTR) apartments, 20% of which will be for affordable tenures, and 18,800 sq ft of ground floor retail, hospitality and leisure space. The workspace will be divided into 18,000 sq ft in the existing Grade II-listed building and 136,000 sq ft in a new building.
The initial design for the Soapworks attracted a barrage of objections. A revised planning statement said the coronavirus pandemic had “prompted a review of the development proposals”.
Robins & Day site
The plans by developers Dandara would include 20-storey flats at the former Robins & Day Peugeot dealership and garage site opposite Temple Meads station.
The proposals include 400 build-to-rent flats, new shops and cafe units on the ground floor and filling in a ‘missing link’ on a key cross-Bristol cycle path.
A spokesperson for Dandara said that, since it was a ‘landmark site’ it needed a ‘landmark building’.
Last month, Bristol City Council development control committee voted 5-4 to grant permission to demolish Castlemead House offices near Asda and build two houses and a five-storey block of 44 flats.
The plans for 46 homes in Southville were slammed as “a slap in the face” and “disappointing on so many fronts”.
Old Dairy site
The proposals are to build 40 homes at a light industrial site in Ashton Gate. These would include a six-storey building and seven three storey-townhouses.
The plans were initially knocked back by councillors for having a separate “poor door” entrance to the affordable flats, but were approved at the second attempt.
The area – located behind Temple Meads station, close to the Feeder canal – is at the heart of a massive project which was granted permission last month.
The planning permission is for a phased development to include offices, research and development units for the Temple Quarter university project, up to 367 new homes and a 1,600-pupil secondary school, along with listed building consent to refurbish some of the listed Victorian industrial buildings that line the Feeder.
Just this week, the Government’s housing agency has formally submitted plans for 260 new homes on land the Mayor of Bristol declared should never be built on.
Homes England put in the finalised plans for a big new housing estate on Brislington Meadows saying that, despite what the Mayor declared 20 days before last year’s election, it is still ‘Bristol City Council planning policy to build homes on this site’.
Homes England’s scheme is the first formal opening in what is set to be a battle between the Government and City Hall over the area of land that formed a key part of last year’s local council and mayoral election.
Brislington Park and Ride
Developers have unveiled plans for up to 555 new homes and a new ‘local centre’ with shops and a community centre on five fields on the very edge of South Bristol.
The fields are between the Brislington Park and Ride and the former Wyevale Garden Centre on the A4 Bath Road in Brislington, right up against the city boundary with Bath and North East Somerset.
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 2,000 homes, with some of the buildings up to 16 storeys high.
Three of the five sites have already been given planning permission, one has been refused and council planners will decide on an application for the fifth site in the coming months of 2022. But work to transform two of the sites has already begun, and Bristol City Council has also begun two and a half years of work to link the ‘Bedminster Green’ area to the ‘District Heat Network’, and to improve the main road for cyclists, buses and pedestrians, paving the way literally for the influx of thousands of new people to the area of Bedminster between the railway line and the area’s ‘High Street’.
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 submitted to council planners last year. It is hoped the first events may take 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.
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 ten years ago. The owner says it will fund the building of the proposed new ‘Sporting Quarter’ complex next to Ashton Gate stadium.
More than 150 local residents have objected to the plans to create a new suburb which the developers are calling ‘Longmoor Village’.
Ashton Gate railway sidings
Controversial plans for 220 homes at a former railway depot in Ashton Gate were approved last year despite fears a “scary” shared cycle/pedestrian path is too narrow. Bristol city councillors granted permission for nine buildings between three and five storeys at Clanage Road, just off the Brunel Way flyover, after hearing half of the flats will be affordable.
But because the apartments will be only one- and two-bedroom, residents fear it will exclude many families from moving in and create “slums of the future” rather than a balanced community. Work is now underway.
The Boat Yard
The massive tower block with 152 affordable homes and on the banks of the River Avon is now nearly finished. The £50m scheme, will be made up of 112 for shared ownership homes and 40 for affordable rent.
The complex, located at the derelict former Esso garage in Bath Road by Totterdown Bridge, will be spread over four blocks up to 15-storeys high. It will also include office space and two basement floors for parking beneath the tallest tower.
Work to build the new development that will create almost 100 new flats in a huge shared ownership scheme finally got underway last month after years of delays.
The development at the Old Brewery at the end of North Street in Ashton Gate was originally given planning permission before the pandemic, and since then has changed to be 100 per cent ‘affordable’. Of the 107 new homes being built there, 98 will be available to buy through a shared ownership scheme with housing association Abri, and the other nine will be rented through the council’s HomeChoice scheme at social rent levels.
Last year, developers – including the council’s own development arm Goram Homes – unveiled plans to almost entirely cover the Western Slopes with housing, with as many as 600 new homes. Since then, the plans to build on the steeply sloping semi-rural land between Hartcliffe Way and Knowle West have been scaled back.
However, campaigners and councillors celebrating the council decision to scale back the house building plans in South Bristol have said it should also mean a plan for 157 new homes on the other half be thrown out too.
A total of 173 flat-pack Ikea homes are being built on Airport Road.
There will be 77 two-storey houses and 96 flats in four blocks of four storeys, along with 205 parking spaces and storage for 368 bicycles.
The plans for Hengrove Park include 1,435 homes, of which 30 per cent 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 £20million boost to speed it up.
This came after Bristol City Council suffered a triple funding blow over the massive housing estate.
One of South Bristol’s biggest shopping centres could be demolished to make way for up to 880 new flats, a two-screen cinema, library and new shopping streets.
Earlier this month, developers offered their first official submission to council planners for their vision to transform the Broadwalk Shopping Centre at the heart of Knowle into ‘Redcatch Quarter’, a new development more in the mould of Wapping Wharf, with 12-storey blocks of flats either side of a new pedestrianised street lined with shops, restaurants and bars.
Hengrove Leisure Park
There are plans to demolish South Bristol’s last cinema and replace it with up to 350 new homes. The scheme would see most of the Hengrove Leisure Park, which includes Cineworld and Buzz Bingo and the huge car park, demolished and replaced by houses and apartment blocks.
One Passage Street
Owners of the office building that houses Heart FM radio and the BIMM music institute want 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 19 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 that the coronavirus pandemic created, a huge milestone was achieved in 2020 as Malaysian investment firm YTL secured planning permission for the arena.
The landmark will have capacity for 17,080 people, re-purposing the iconic Brabazon hangars at the former Filton Airfield and becoming the fourth largest arena in the UK.
Plans for thousands of new homes at the Brabazon development near Bristol Arena were submitted last month, which could see it become the ‘most exciting city district in the South West.’
Developer YTL has applied to the council to raise the number of homes in the first phase of its development from 2,675 to 3,675, in a bid to tackle the city’s housing crisis.
Up to 6,500 homes could be built at the site, once better transport infrastructure is in place including a mass transit system and rail routes to Parkway and Temple Meads. Revised plans also include new primary and secondary schools, a GP surgery and a library, and could create 30,000 jobs.
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 were invited earlier this year 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 was the second time council chiefs began a consultation process on working out what should happen, and how, in the coming years and decades.
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.
Last 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 development looks to be almost complete – you can view a time lapse of its construction here.
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.
The second office building, Aurora, is already built and occupied.
It also features a 168-bedroom Premier Inn, plus a host of cafes, restaurants and a microbrewery across 30,000 sq.ft of space – all of which have already opened. 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
Last August, 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 last year, with prices from £395,950.
Last year, Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees spoke in depth about the plans to transform Temple Island. Legal & General (L&G) has agreed to invest £350million to redevelop a disused plot near Temple Meads station, land which was once lined up to accommodate Bristol Arena.
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 £300million 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 last 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 and 22,000 jobs. The council 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.
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, the 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.
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 per cent will be affordable.
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.
The former Hartcliffe College campus was cleared to make way for 350 new homes and public space. A proportion of at least 30 per cent 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 £7million in funding.
Bottle Yard Studios expansion
Proposals were put forward in 2020 for the expansion of Bottle Yard Studios. Work is now underway on Whitchurch Lane for a £12m redevelopment that will add three new stages.
Backed by West of England Combined Authority, the expansion is expected to complete this summer and increase the number of stages on offer at The Bottle Yard Studios from eight to 11. The Bottle Yard Studios is the largest dedicated studio facility in the West of England and a major hub for film and TV production.
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.
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