There are five Bedminster Green plots, each owned by different developers. The developers form the Bedminster Green Landowners Group, chaired by Nuala Gallagher, the Bristol City Council (BCC) Director of City Growth, Investment & Infrastructure.
A Framework Plan for Bedminster Green sets out general guidelines for planning applications – all the current applications were originally made before the Framework was approved but one has now been refused and another revised.
The Council’s planning department can’t cope with the rush of developers wanting to cover Bristol in high-rise blocks and have recently contracted Arup to “process a range of planning applications and associated work within reasonable timescales“.
The Malago Rd site (Plot 1) was sold to a2Dominion in 2018. A planning application for accommodation for 550 students in six blocks (8 to 10 storeys) and 49 units of affordable housing (100% social rented) in a further block (10 storeys to 12 storeys) was submitted in January 2019 for a completed build in 2021. Revisions lopped two metres off the height of the tallest block – and reduced the number of social rented flats to 40.
The application went to the planning committee on 4 September 2019 and was refused on the advice of planning officers. The developer has appealed – and also resubmitted a revised application with no social housing included. The application will go to committee in March 2020.
An initial planning application for St Catherine’s Place (Plot 2) was approved in June 2017 and the site was sold to Firmstone Developments.
Firmstone converted the existing office block into 54 1- and 2-bed flats, adding two storeys. No affordable housing was included. The developer also owns the shopping centre and has appointed Leslie Jones Architecture to masterplan the retail development.
Plans for retail, leisure and further residential development were submitted in October 2018 and revised in September 2019 due to pressure from WHaM and BCC. The revised application was deferred at the November 2019 committee and refused at the committee held on 22 January 2020.
In 2017, Urbis consulted on building an energy centre on Clarke St, behind the NCP car park (Plot 3, owned by Deeley Freed). These plans have been shelved and Deeley Freed is now considering a residential development. No planning application has yet been made.
Plans for Plot 4a (Stafford St) and Plot 4b (Little Paradise) are being proposed by Dandara. Initial proposals were the subject of a public consultation and were also reviewed by the Bristol Urban Design Forum. The current application includes 329 1- and 2-bed flats for private tenants at market rent and was submitted in December 2018.
This is the only land owned by Bristol City Council and includes the Green and the area round Bedminster station. An agreement has been made with Dandara to develop the plot. Dandara is reportedly working with Urbis on proposals for a 14-storey block. The Federation of City Farms (green-roofed wooden building) may relocate to Victoria Park. No planning application has yet been made.
Bedminster Green Framework
The Bedminster Green Framework, produced by Nash Partnership, was approved by Bristol City Council (BCC) in March 2019. It sets out guidelines for planning applications on the five Bedminster Green plots.
- Bedminster Framework plan unveiled (2015)
- WHaM’s response to the draft Framework (PDF)
- Bristol Civic Society’s response to the draft Framework (PDF)
- Final Bedminster Green Framework (PDF)
- BCC’s Framework decision and all the background papers
From the BCC planning portal:
- St Catherine’s Place (Plot 2) original planning application (2013)
- Rollo Homes’ (Plot 1) housing planning application (2016)
- Firmstone (Plot 2) change of use planning application (2017)
- Firmstone (Plot 2) two extra storeys planning application (2017)
- Firmstone (Plot 2) demolition planning application (2017)
- Rollo Homes’ (Plot 1) energy centre planning application (2017, now withdrawn)
- Rollo Homes’ (Plot 1) affordable housing/energy centre application (2018)
- Firmstone (Plot 2) residential, retail and leisure planning application (2018) (revised 2019)
- Dandara (Plot 4) planning application (2018)
- a2Dominion (Plot 1) planning application (2019)
From Bristol Urban Design Forum:
- Bedminster Green (2015) – BUDF’s response to the original Urbis masterplan
- Bedminster Green (2016) – BUDF’s response to revised masterplan
- Pring and St Hill (Plot 1) (2017) – BUDF’s response to Rollo Homes’ housing application
- Little Paradise (Plot 4) (2017) – BUDF’s response to Dandara’s original proposals
BCC Urban Living SPD:
Bedminster Green is described as a suitable location for high-rise development in the Urban Living supplementary planning document (SPD). WHaM attended a consultation meeting and submitted comments on two drafts. The final version of the Urban Living SPD was adopted by BCC in November 2018.
- Urban Living SPD: making successful places at higher densities (PDF)
- WHaM’s response to the first Urban Living consultation (PDF)
- WHaM’s response to the second Urban Living document (PDF)
- Public responses to the Urban Living SPD consultation (PDF)
BCC Local Plan:
A new Local Plan was launched in 2018. It contains proposals for Bristol’s development over the next 20 years, including planning policy for homes, jobs and open spaces. After an initial period of consultation a revised version was produced in 2019. The final version has not yet been adopted.