New plans proposed for former Debenhams Site

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
The outcome of the application will be determined at next week’s (April 24) planning committee.

An application to regenerate the former-Debenhams on the edge of Broadmead has been submitted ahead of next week’s council Development Control Committee (April 24).

The proposal would see the creation of over 500 new homes set above a new, lively, tree-lined pedestrian retail street by the award-winning Bristol team at AWW Architects, with 20% of the homes being affordable apartments to rent, and 1,420m² of open space for the public.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The scheme would reinstate the historic Barr’s Street connecting Broadmead to the Bear Pit – a key requirement of the Council’s recently approved Development Delivery Plan (DDP) for the city centre. Buildings between eight and 13 storeys high would be built on either side of the 20metre wide Barr’s Street as part of the scheme as well as a 28 storey building which will form a new northern gateway into Broadmead and face towards St. James Barton roundabout.

New CGI images of what could replace the former Debenhams site if the application is approved. Credit: AWW ArchitectNew CGI images of what could replace the former Debenhams site if the application is approved. Credit: AWW Architect
New CGI images of what could replace the former Debenhams site if the application is approved. Credit: AWW Architect

Ground floor commercial spaces would be built on the corners of The Horsefair, St. James roundabout frontage and along the New Barr’s Street, 10% of which would be made available to local independent businesses at an affordable, discounted rent.

Due to the significant 4.5 metre level change dropping down towards The Horsefair, both a direct route with sets of stairs and a wheelchair and pushchair-friendly path, winding through green landscaping would be created as part of the scheme.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The scheme would also connect to the Bristol Heat network with 400sqm of solar panels and air source heat pumps.

The Debenhams building - which closed in May 2021 due to the decline in retail - as well as two small adjacent buildings would be removed for the regeneration of the area.

New CGI images of what could replace the former Debenhams site if the application is approved. Credit: AWW ArchitectNew CGI images of what could replace the former Debenhams site if the application is approved. Credit: AWW Architect
New CGI images of what could replace the former Debenhams site if the application is approved. Credit: AWW Architect

About 264 new jobs could become available with the scheme as well as an additional 380 construction jobs during the building works.

The proposal also estimates an increase in spending of £11 million a year on retailers (including those in Broadmead) as hundreds of additional people live, spend and socialise in the heart of Bristol’s shopping district. The scheme would also contribute millions of pounds to Bristol City Council, including £1.8 million in New Homes Bonus, £920,000 a year in Council Tax, and £125,000 a year in Business Rates.

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.