Background to the development proposals

Cover of Bedminster Green Development Framework published by Urbis Living

In October 2014 planning permission for a 16-storey residential block at St Catherine’s Place (Plot 2) was controversially granted to developer Urbis against the advice of Bristol City Council planning officers. The planning officers described the block as ‘monolithic’. Urbis claimed the tower would be a ‘landmark building’ – but that the multi-million pound budget was not enough to include any affordable housing.

In March 2015, Urbis signed a Memorandum of Agreement with Bristol City Council (BCC) to draw up a £135 million plan regeneration masterplan for a wider area around St Catherine’s Place (see photo above). This is the area now known as Bedminster Green.

The masterplan was never completed and many other developers are now involved in Bedminster Green. WHaM was formed in 2015 as a result of concern in the community about the development. A Framework for planning applications was approved by BCC in March 2019.

WHaM has expressed concern about the low proportion of affordable or social housing proposed; the height and density of the proposed developments; the loss of green space and a lack of associated infrastructure, such as school and health provision.

WHaM has carried out its own consultations with the community and produced a Community Planning Brief (PDF) for the area.

Urban Living SPD

A new Urban Living Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) was adopted by BCC in November 2018. Bedminster is named as an area with ‘significant potential for intensification’ and ‘optimising densities’.

Urban Living states that a tall building (10+ storeys) should not be located where it:

  • hides or masks the topography of the city
  • harms valued views from key vantage-points
  • has a detrimental impact on the city’s historic environment
  • has a significant negative impact on the amenity of nearby occupiers or on the public realm

Community reaction to the draft version was decisively against high-rise buildings but, although 37% of comments were from Bedminster residents, this is not reflected in the final document.

Local Plan

Further consultation on the Local Plan will take place in March 2019.