Whitehouse Street FAQs

Whitehouse Street FAQs2023-09-13T12:30:36+01:00

Frequently asked questions

General

Why is all of this needed?2023-09-07T13:46:30+01:00

There is a housing crisis and Bristol needs new homes. Bristol’s Draft Local Plan commits the city to deliver at least 33,500 new homes by 2036 to support Bristol’s growing population and meet this housing need. We also need to respond to the climate and ecological emergencies, reduce inequality across the city, and bring about new employment opportunities for communities.

Regenerating areas like around Whitehouse Street allows us to work towards achieving these goals. By building in a central location, we can protect green spaces around and outside the city, as well as making it easier for people to walk, cycle, or catch public transport to jobs, leisure, and retail centres. The new development will also help support the local economy, including East Street, as well as delivering a range of other uses including work, community, and cultural spaces, which are vital to building vibrant communities.

Why Bedminster?2023-09-07T13:45:51+01:00

Bedminster has been identified as an Area of Growth and Regeneration in the Council’s emerging Local Plan due to its proximity to Bristol city centre and the presence of underused land, which provides the opportunity for comprehensive regeneration in a sustainable location. The area is already well-connected to public transport links, including MetroBus, Bristol Temple Meads, Bedminster railway station, and Bristol Airport, as well as being within walking distance of East Street and the city centre. It is also an opportunity to support the local economy and strengthen East Street’s important economic and social role for existing and future communities.For more information on Draft Policy DS8: Central Bedminster, visit BCC’s Local Plan Review web pages.

What are the timescales?2023-09-07T13:44:42+01:00

This project is aiming to bring about regeneration in Bedminster over the coming decade. Projects of this nature are long-term and physical changes are still some years away.

What provision will there be for school and doctors?2023-09-07T13:44:17+01:00

There is currently primary school capacity in the Whitehouse Street area to accommodate the likely increase in children resulting from the proposed regeneration. There are limited secondary school places in the area and this will be addressed in the longer term through delivery of a new secondary school at Silverthorne Lane. Bristol City Council are currently exploring options for the provision of temporary school capacity on plot 6 (Spring Street).

The area will include multiple building sites over many years, what will the impacts be?2023-09-07T13:43:37+01:00

It’s true that construction will be delivered in phases and will likely cause some disruption, the full details of how and when developments will be built out are not known yet. We appreciate the impact this can have on local communities, and we will work with developers to try to minimise this as much as possible, for example through agreeing appropriate Construction Management Plans.

Climate change and sustainability

What is the Bristol heat network and when will local residents be able to benefit?2023-12-06T14:32:58+00:00

In January 2023, Vattenfall Heat UK acquired Bristol Heat Networks Ltd from Bristol City Council and is now working with Bristol City Leap in a partnership that will last for the next 20 years. Bristol City Leap is a large-scale initiative aimed at achieving carbon neutrality for the city’s energy infrastructure by 2030.

Bristol City Council began developing heat networks as low carbon infrastructure in response to the need to decarbonise the heat used in the city. Vattenfall will build and expand the heat networks, develop new ones, including in Bedminster, and where possible interconnect them to create a single Bristol Heat Network – serving the local community with reliable, low-carbon heat.

The immediate priority is to work with the new developments in Bedminster, and Vattenfall are exploring ways to extend the heat network in surrounding residential areas. Once the initial phase of the Bedminster heat network is built, Vattenfall will be able to focus more on decarbonising existing buildings and hopefully individual homes. In the meantime, there is a portion of Bristol City Leap’s Community Energy Fund that’s dedicated to support community initiatives that help towards the decarbonisation of Bristol and secure long-term benefits for local residents. The fund was launched at the end of September 2023 and is open for applications now: bristolcityleap.co.uk/community/community-energy-fund/

Will the construction process be carbon neutral and the buildings be energy efficient?2023-08-09T12:40:39+01:00

The framework principles set out the need for highly sustainable development. Development in the framework area will be expected to connect into the district heat network and a site for a new energy centre has been identified. This will provide zero carbon energy to new buildings in the area.

Will existing buildings be preserved and converted where possible?2023-08-09T12:40:07+01:00

A mixed use regeneration of the area will mean that many buildings will ultimately be replaced as many of the buildings are not suitable for conversion to other uses. However, in the short term meanwhile uses will be encouraged to utilise existing buildings and sites to avoid neglect and deterioration, retain activity in the area, and potentially provide cheap space for temporary uses.

Where sites are being retained for employment uses, and the existing buildings are capable of reuse and refurbishment, opportunities for re-use of buildings are encouraged.

Are there plans to deal with waste water and flooding risk?2023-08-09T12:39:23+01:00

The framework covers the need to manage water and mitigate against flooding. The integration of sustainable drainage features (SuDS) into the streets has been proposed.

Transport and movement

Will there be community benefits the development, including walking and cycling improvements?2023-08-09T12:38:38+01:00

The movement strategy proposed reduces through-traffic in the area and provides a series of improvements to cycling and walking links to the benefit of the regeneration area and the wider area. The council will consider options for improving key links such as Bedminster Bridge and Langton Street Bridge.

Will junctions and streets be designed to give priority to walkers and cyclists?2023-08-09T12:37:52+01:00

A new cycle track is proposed connecting Whitehouse Street to Mead Street and Temple Meads beyond. Footways will be widened to provide a better and more accessible pedestrian environment. Some junction layouts are proposed to change to simplify movements and prioritise pedestrians.

How will traffic through the area be reduced and slowed down?2023-08-09T12:37:15+01:00

The regeneration’s vision is to reduce through traffic to create safer streets and more space for sustainable modes of transport, and the proposed movement strategy enables this. Implementation will be in phases and the timing of delivery of specific improvements will depend on the timing of individual plots. Changes to the road network will take into account the needs of existing businesses.

Will there be safe places to store cycles?2023-08-09T12:36:38+01:00

The framework identifies to the need for new public realm and street designs to incorporate accessible short-stay cycle parking. New buildings will be expected to provide safe and secure storage areas in line with existing policy and guidance.

Will parking and traffic issues on York Road be dealt with?2023-08-09T12:36:12+01:00

Traffic movements and parking on York Road are outside the scope of the framework but it has identified the need to improve cycle and foot connections across the new cut.

Placemaking and character

How will the impact of industry be balanced?2023-08-09T12:35:16+01:00

An employment study has been undertaken to identify a suitable mix of employment spaces that will allow the creation and retention of jobs that are compatible with residential development. A design competition is being held to explore innovative solutions for co-locating employment space with residential development.

How will the area be made to feel safe for people of all ages?2023-08-09T12:34:46+01:00

The framework sets out guidance on providing good quality and safe spaces. Development will be expected to provide a mix of both residential and commercial ‘active frontages’ to provide passive surveillance and encourage activity, in order to ensure an environment which is safe and perceived to be safe. Dead-ends and unobserved spaces have been actively avoided and are discouraged. Early engagement with the local Designing Out Crime Officers during the design process is encouraged.

How will routes through the development work?2023-08-09T12:34:09+01:00

New pedestrian and cycle connections are proposed through the site to improve wider sustainable travel routes but also to integrate the area better into the surrounding areas.

How will the development acknowledge the history of the area?2023-08-09T12:33:39+01:00

The framework provides guidance on the character of the area, public art and road network. An area wide public art strategy will be produced to ensure public art is integrated into the neighbourhood and development proposals at the outset.

Will there be a good mix of housing to create community?2023-08-09T12:33:03+01:00

Delivering affordable housing is a priority for the city and the regeneration. For the framework to successfully enable regeneration and deliver much needed new homes and employment space, it must provide a structure which allows for financially viable developments. There are a number of costs associated with the early stages of regeneration. To kick-start regeneration it is likely that the amount of affordable housing in the first phase will need to be reduced below the 30% required by current policy. Future phases will be expected to be fully policy compliant, and on council owned plots, the council will seek to maximise affordable housing provision.

Height, scale and massing

Will high-rise buildings be kept to a minimum?2023-08-09T12:32:23+01:00

In general, development in the Whitehouse Street area will be mid-rise (4-8 storeys). One area has been identified as appropriate for additional height due to the trees in Victoria Park providing screening. Where there is potential for taller building, these should be of high design quality and the framework provides design guidance to support the current guidance in the Urban Living Supplementary Planning Document.

Will heights of buildings impede views from Victoria Park?2023-08-09T12:31:54+01:00

The heights, scale and massing strategy has been informed by testing of views in a massing model, including the Victoria Park viewpoint. The framework sets out a series of key views and identifies the significant heritages assets to which views should be protected.

Land use and employment

Will the development give opportunities for start-up businesses and social enterprise and innovation?2023-08-09T12:28:05+01:00

To ensure no net loss of jobs over the framework area, up to 15,000m2 of replacement employment space. The employment strategy identifies types of employment spaces required to support this.

Will existing businesses be able to stay in the new development?2023-08-09T12:27:40+01:00

Existing businesses that are compatible with mixed use regeneration will be enabled to stay where possible and if they wish to. We have been in continual dialogue with businesses within the regeneration area and remain in contact with them.

Will community assets such as the gym and yoga studio be kept?2023-08-09T12:27:18+01:00

The future of these will depend on the intention of individual businesses but the gym and yoga studio will be able to stay within the framework area.

Will there be any accommodation for homeless people?2023-08-09T12:26:48+01:00

We are working with Help Bristol’s Homeless to find a new home for the homeless shelter on Spring Street.

Will there be any indoor and outdoor spaces that can be hired or used by informal groups in the area?2023-08-09T12:26:06+01:00

The framework has identified space for indoor community space, and potential for outdoor community space (such as a community growing garden) in addition to other new areas of public space.

Will there be any new spaces for community use?2023-08-09T12:25:34+01:00

Development in the area will create a number of spaces which can accommodate a range of community uses.

Public realm and green infrastructure

Will there be new green spaces and new trees as well as retaining old trees?2023-08-09T12:23:54+01:00

The framework identifies opportunities for community facilities, public art and play space within the framework area. The framework encourages informal play to be integrated into public spaces as well as enhancements to dedicated spaces. Detailed design will depend on detailed development or public realm proposals.

How will the development be accessible to all?2023-08-09T12:21:17+01:00

Accessibility has been considered throughout and the framework provides guidance on how this should in incorporated into public realm proposals.

How will the development contribute towards improving air quality?2023-08-09T12:20:50+01:00

The public realm and street strategy include the introduction of street trees and planting areas into most of the streets. The transport strategy introduces a number of measures to reduce through traffic and enable sustainable modes of transport.

Will there be open space for people to meet, play and exercise together?2023-08-09T12:20:09+01:00

The framework public realm strategy identifies a new public plaza area around the Whitehouse Street and Princess Street junction. New pedestrian streets are created to create new public spaces as well as new connections. Smaller new pocket parks and areas of planting are created throughout.

An area wide public art strategy will be produced to ensure that public art is integrated into development at the outset.

Will there be an option to have a community garden?2023-08-09T12:19:23+01:00

A potential site for a community growing space has been identified.

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