Western Harbour draft: Regeneration set to be approved following public consultation

Following a six-week consultation in March, Western Harbour plans have been refined

Bristolians have helped to refine the final Western Harbour draft, after a public consultation earlier this year.

The public have had their say on Harbour Hopes’ regeneration plans for the western-end of the floating harbour.

The area requires an update to address the urgent ecological and climate emergencies.

Initial development plans in 2019 were erased because the council wanted to create a draft that would not only “reflect what Bristolians want it to be,” but also build on the area’s heritage and identity.

Inspired by the community’s feedback, the new vision for Western Harbour is set to be approved by Bristol City Council’s Cabinet next week on 12 July.

What is the new vision?

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The Western Harbour development focuses on an area stretching from Hotwells to Greville Smyth Park.

Plans for Western Harbour have been refined after public consultation (Pic: Harbour Hopes)

It aims to reduce local traffic, extend cycle paths and walkways, restore historic buildings and create a cultural hub for Bristol by converting a bonded warehouse into 3,000 homes.

The refined vision sets out key commitments that will guide the transformation of the area. It is the result of an extensive programme of public engagements carried out in the second half of 2021 as well as a six-week consultation that was open to the public in March.

The public helped to craft a final version, which looks to balance local and city aspirations with the need to address some of the biggest challenges facing Bristol such as the housing crisis, climate change and biodiversity loss.

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What did the mayor say?

As the city of Bristol continues to grow, the Mayor of Bristol, Marvin Rees, said the council was “ambitious for its future,”:

Marvin said: “The vision can help to guide and shape masterplanning starting later in the year, which will set out in detail where the new homes, jobs and infrastructure that the city needs could go.

Mayor Rees is urging people in Bristol to have their say on the future of the city centre.

“By agreeing a shared vision, we can ensure that the masterplan recognises the importance of historic, cultural and community uses, like the bonded warehouses, Riverside Garden Centre and pump track, and ensure they are accommodated within the regeneration area.”

What did the public feedback in the consultations?

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In a deliberate long-term and step-by-step approach, the council wanted to acknowledge how important the area is for Bristolians.

Feedback was given in a public consultation in March with plans to celebrate heritage and safeguard treasured assets receiving the most support.

Critically, many sought more detailed proposals for the area such as the road layout and housing numbers. These factors will be considered during the master planning development starting later this year and will be guided by the vision and further consultation with the community.

Notable changes being made to the vision following the consultation and additional public feedback include:

  • Clarity on making sure the Bonded Warehouses continue to be the dominant built structures in the area 
  • Providing access to key views both from within the area and across the city 
  • A commitment to restoring, reusing and celebrating the historic dock buildings and infrastructure 
  • Strengthening the pledge that the area will be inclusive to all. 

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The draft vision and consultation report are available at: HarbourHopes.co.uk