Developer explains why it plans to build up to 555 homes on green belt land in Brislington

Developer Bellway Homes is in talks with Bristol City Council over the planned estate next to Brislington Park and Ride

A proposed housing estate on green belt land next to Brislington Park and Ride could provide a new gateway into the city, says the company behind the development.

Bellway Strategic Land, part of Bellway Homes, has spoken for the first time on its plans for the 38-acre site off the Bath Road between the park and ride and the former Wyevale Garden Centre.

The company’s proposal was made public last month when bosses started discussions with the city council over if it needed to carry out an Environmental Impact Assessment ahead of a planning application for the new estate.

Since then, locals have expressed shock at the size of the development on the land. Brislington West Lib Dem councillors Andrew Varney and Jos Clark have also said they will oppose the plans due to the green belt location.

Now, after being approached by BristolWorld, the company has explained why it has pinpointed the fields for housing. It has also revealed how far the plans have progressed and benefits for the ‘new community’.

The firm has also said that at least 170 of the 555 homes would be affordable.

Image from Google Earth showing the fields and trees at the site in Brislington

In a statement, the company said the site was chosen because it was identified as a possible location for housing under Bristol City Council’s Local Plan in 2019.

That plan, which sets outs how the city should develop over the next 20 years, is currently under review for an update, set to come into force in early 2024.

Fergus Thomas, strategic land director for Bellway, said: “Bellway Strategic Land purchased this land with a view to delivering it in line with the city council’s adopted development plan, to meet a pressing need for new homes in Bristol, helping respond to the affordability crisis.

“We are at a very early stage of any potential future development and we intend to work closely with the city council, officers, members and the local community to explore the scheme’s opportunities and benefits.

“A new Bristol Local Plan is in progress, and we are awaiting an update on this from Bristol City Council before deciding on next steps.”

Mr Thomas added: “The initial plans and proposals for this site in Brislington have been progressed because the city council identified the land as a possible location for a new community.

“If the proposals do move forward, they could support the city council’s planned improvements of the A4 Bath Road, which could include improved public transport and cycle routes.

The 39-acre site off the Bath Road where Bellway Homes want to build up to 555 homes

“The location means this scheme has the potential to create a new gateway to Bristol.”

As well as providing affordable housing, the firm said there would be access to Brislington Park and Ride along with footpaths and cycle links.

Significant investment in infrastructure would also be agreed through the planning process, it added.

The company said it was keen to ‘engage with ward councillors and the local community about the site’s opportunities’.

The plans have emerged at a time Bristol City Council has committed to building 2,000 new homes, including 800 affordable, each year.

At a council meeting earlier this month, Councillor Clark raised concerns over the threat of housing on green spaces in Brislington, including at Brislington Meadows and along the A4 between the park and ride and the Hick’s Gate roundabout.

In response, Mayor Marvin Rees turned the issue political and accused Lib Dem councillors of voting against developments on urban sites at recent meetings.

He wrote: “Can you assure me that we can expect the support of Liberal Democrats in developing density on brownfield sites to take press off green spaces?”

To view the plans by Bellway Homes’, visit https://www.bristol.gov.uk/planning-and-building-regulations/search-and-track-planning-applications and use the reference 22/02238/SCR.