5 June 2024

River Malago Restoration planning update

A resolution to grant planning permission for the River Malago Restoration project has been made at Development Control Committee today (5 June). You can watch the committee webcast back here.

The River Malago flows through the Bedminster Green regeneration area but is currently largely hidden as sections of it flow underground in pipes, whilst above ground sections are heavily overgrown by vegetation and hidden behind high channel walls. The River Malago played a significant role in founding Bedminster’s heritage and is a significant asset to the community. Proposals were consulted on in 2021 and received support from the public. Read the consultation report here.

As part of the Bedminster Green regeneration, the River Malago will be brought back above ground in Bedminster Green and more natural, sloped embankments to the river’s edge will be constructed, to replace some of the existing dilapidated channel walls. An amphitheatre style public seating area and boardwalk will also be constructed to create a public space for people to overlook and connect with the newly emerged river in the Green.

Bringing the Malago back above ground will increase biodiversity in the neighbourhood, reduce excess heat and provide a new public space that will give residents a way to connect with both heritage and nature to improve community health and wellbeing. The amphitheatre area in the Green will also provide additional flood storage during times of high river levels, which will in turn will reduce flood risk to the surrounding area.

Proposals also aim to restore the river to that of a more natural channel, with alternating sections of shallow, fast flowing stretches and deeper, slower flowing stretches, which creates a variation of habitats for a wider range of species, further improving biodiversity in the river.

Following the resolution to grant planning permission at Committee, Bristol City Council will be able to take care of the historic infrastructure of the river; replacing channel walls and restoring its original ‘penstock’ sluice gates that historically managed the flow of the river to the factories of Bedminster which it powered.

Bristol City Council will now be seeking to appoint a contractor to begin construction works. The first phase of construction for the river restoration works are expected to start in 2025.

Further information on the adjacent developments in Plots 1, 3 and 5 can be found here.

Artists impression of a restored River Malago. Stream running through natural planting.

Share this news article