Go-ahead for 1,435-home Bristol scheme at second time of asking

Bristol City Council has granted outline consent for its own application for a 1,435-home mixed-use development on the southern edge of the city, reversing its decision to refuse the scheme earlier this year because of conflict with a neighbourhood plan.

A visualisation of part of the finished Hengrove Park scheme (pic: Bristol City Council)
A visualisation of part of the finished Hengrove Park scheme (pic: Bristol City Council)

Last week, the council granted planning consent for the Hengrove Park scheme, which includes 4,515 square metres of office space; up to 4,500 square metres of educational floor space; and a 22.2-hectare park.

The application also proposes: a community building of up to 790 square metres; a sports pavilion; a scout hut; up to 2,440 square metres of commercial floor space; and provision of an energy centre for communal heat and power.

The 49-hectare Hengrove Park site is owned by the council. 

In February, the council refused planning consent for a similar scheme, against a recommendation for approval from planners.

According to a planning report on last week’s revised application, grounds for refusal included that the development would be of too low a density (59 dwellings per hectare); that it would not provide a high-quality park of "destination" standards.

In both cases, members said the application conflicted with policies in the Hengrove and Whitchurch Neighbourhood Plan, which covers an area including Hengrove Park, and had only passed a local referendum earlier that month.

Other reasons for refusal included concerns that the scheme would not provide sufficient employment floor space, contrary to local planning policy, and that application would create an "unsustainable car-dependant form of development".

Recommending the revised application for approval, planners advised that the scheme’s density had been increased to 66 dwellings per hectare.

The total proportion of affordable housing across the site would be "at least" 30 per cent, in line with local planning policy, the report said.

On the objections with regards to the park, planners advised that "the amount of open space per capita does, and will, exceed adopted city wide standards and a large amount of park is proposed at Hengrove".

On employment space, the report said that, "while the amount of employment floor space currently proposed remains unchanged, it is policy compliant and work will be undertaken to facilitate its implementation".

The report also advised that the level of car parking in the revised application "remains similar", but added that "further work has now been undertaken to enforce the priority given to sustainable modes of transport and reduce car dependency".

Overall, officers concluded that the revisions to the plans "have adequately addressed the previous concerns and that there are no substantive reasons to justify refusal of the scheme as now amended".

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