‘Western Harbour’ regeneration: The plans explained as residents urged to have their say

It is hoped that feedback from residents will help create a ‘shared vision’ for the future of the ‘key’ Bristol area

What is the Western Harbour?

The ‘Western Harbour’ is the area around the Cumberland Basin, which stretches from Baltic Wharf in the east to beyond where the River Avon meets the floating harbour in the west.

To the south, the area follows Coronation Road and Clift House Road then continues to take in the A370 Jessop Underpass and A3029 Brunel Way and extends west to the Portishead railway line.

To the north of the Plimsoll Swing Bridge, the boundary follows Hotwells Road, Dowry Place and Oldfield Place.

Bristol City Council has deemed Western Harbour a ‘significant gateway to the city’ and a key area in the continuing regeneration of Bristol’s city centre and the floating harbour.

This map shows the boundaries of the Western Harbour.

What’s on the cards for the area?

Bristol City Council says the need to replace parts of the highway infrastructure at Cumberland Basin under the Local Plan Review also provides an opportunity to transform it.

The Local Plan sets out the intention to develop Western Harbour to create a ‘mixed and inclusive community’ along with ‘opportunities for new homes, workspace, leisure and services’.

It could include developing the road network over the River Avon and Cumberland Basin with a new road bridge from Hotwells to Ashton Gate and creating space for up to 3,000 new homes.

This is how the Council are hoping to achieve this:

  • build sustainable and affordable homes close to the city centre
  • create new jobs
  • encourage people to use their cars less
  • create good quality public space for all
  • improve access to the water

The regeneration will also address flood risk and the climate and ecological emergencies.

Connected operations include the Bristol Clean Air Zone, the River Avon Flood Strategy and the Harbour operations review.

For a full FAQ on the plans, click here.

A timeline of the project

2021 - 2022 - The council will talk with people all over the city to develop a ‘shared vision’ for Western Harbour. They will also work to identify opportunities for meanwhile uses or temporary uses of the space.

2024 - 2026 - The scheme will enter its development phase with planning applications, funding and delivery route kicking off during this time.

2026 onwards - The delivery of the scheme will commence.

How and when can I have my say?

In consultation with the Western Harbour Advisory Group, Bristol City Council has appointed Turner Works, an independent organisation, to help develop a shared vision for the area.

A new exhibition on the future of the Western Harbour area will run from November 20 to December 17 at the Create Centre at B Bond Warehouse in Smeaton Road on Spike Island.

The interactive exhibition will showcase the comments and ideas that have emerged through the city-wide Western Harbour engagement process.

Young Bristolians take part in a Shape My City session in partnership with Design West © Shape My City/Design West

Running since September, the programme of engagement activities in Western Harbour and across Bristol has included creative workshops.

It has seen work with Bristol’s artistic and creative talents including the City Poet, Caleb Parkin. There have also been ‘listening labs’ with community groups and residents; and walking tours of the area.

Visitors to the Create Centre will be able to view these emerging themes and will be encouraged to continue to share their thoughts as part of the exhibition.

On November 20, there will be a ‘Visioning Day’, where local people will be invited to workshops to help craft the feedback given so far into Place Principles for Western Harbour. A Place Principle is a rule, guide or goal that is followed when making design propositions for change in an area.

People are encouraged to visit HarbourHopes.co.uk to find out more and book onto activities taking place on November 20. The main exhibition will be open on weekdays from 9am to 5pm.

If you are unable to attend, you can email feedback to [email protected].

Feedback will help to create a place shaping vision for Western Harbour. Once created, this vision will help the council develop a detailed long-term masterplan that will guide change at Western Harbour in the years to come. Further engagement will take place in 2022 as the masterplan emerges.

So far, over 500 comments with ideas, hopes and concerns have been left by Bristol residents.

An opportunity to respond to ‘housing, climate and ecological emergencies’

Marvin Rees, mayor of Bristol, said: “The Western Harbour area holds historic and cultural importance for the whole of Bristol, which is why we have engaged with people across the city. It is great to see that so many people have shared their ideas and hopes for the area so far, and I hope they continue to do so as the project progresses.

“We are facing a housing crisis, as well as the ecological and climate emergencies, with limited space to create the homes and jobs Bristol needs. The regeneration of Western Harbour is an opportunity to respond to these crises with a sustainable brownfield location, shaping an inclusive neighbourhood where people can live, work and play.”