Hengrove Park: Mammoth 1,400 homes project back on as council appoints its own developer

The development will feature 1,400 homes, a public park and community pub

A mammoth housing project that will see 1,400 homes built in south Bristol has sprung back into action after being put on hold while Bristol City Council struggled to find a developer.

The authority announced today (Monday, January 31) that Goram Homes, Bristol City Council’s housing company, has been assigned the Hengrove Park scheme which forms part of the authority’s drive to deliver 1,000 new homes across the city each year until 2024.

The proposals have been in the works since 2017 and the council says not much has changed from the original template after planning consent was granted in early 2020, although it has upped the number of affordable homes planned for the brownfield site from 30% to 50%.

Councillor Tom Renhard, Cabinet Lead for Housing Delivery and Homes, said: “Adding Hengrove Park to the Goram Homes pipeline is a clear signal of our intent to supercharge the delivery of affordable housing across Bristol.

An artist’s impression of what the new development could look like.

“We’re committed to delivering 1,000 new affordable homes each year by 2024 to help meet the need for high-quality, sustainable new homes in the city.

“By working closely with Goram Homes, we can make sure that council land is best used to create value for Bristol’s citizens, helps to tackle the climate and ecological emergencies, and addresses inequalities in access to affordable housing.”

Coun Renhard added that he hoped to see the site ‘largely completed’ within the next five years, with work beginning on two sites known as the Hengrove Bookends, and that the council were looking at ‘innovative’ building approaches and ‘modern methods of construction’ to bring the new homes in line with carbon emissions targets.

The authority is working to a ‘15 minute neighbourhood’ blueprint meaning everything residents need would be accessible within 15 minutes.

The council said it is taking steps to address peoples’ concerns that there will be ample infrastructure around the site, which would include a public park and community hub, to support potentially thousands of residents.

The project was put on hold in December last year, with Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees announcing the Council was taking a ‘different approach’ to its procurement process - but it was later revealed that the authority had failed to secure a developer.

A bird’s eye view of the plans.

Kate Buxton, head of communications at Goram Homes, answered concerns that the relatively new firm would be able to handle a site of this scale.

She said: “This is a significant site, it doubles our pipeline and is a fantastic addition. It’s true that we are a new company, but the individuals within that company are very experienced.

“Our partnership with Bristol City Council and other groups mean we can work with experts who have experience of delivering sites this size.”

The Goram Homes Business Plan, including the proposals for Hengrove Park, will go to Bristol City Council’s Cabinet for approval in March.

The council said it did not expect the need to resubmit a planning application for the site.