Welcome to the Bristol section of the CPRE Avonside Web site. There is no separate District Group for Bristol but members in north Bristol are represented by the South Gloucestershire District of the Branch and those in the south of the city by North Somerset District.
CPRE champions the concept of urban renaissance because a healthy, pleasant environment in our towns and cities goes hand in hand with a healthy and attractive countryside.
We therefore support the provision of attractive, well designed and good quality homes close to shops, public transport, schools, leisure facilities and workplaces. Sustainable cities also depend on reliable public transport systems, while green spaces in towns and cities, whether communal areas or in private gardens, matter just as much to people as green open spaces in the countryside and are vital for the good health and quality of life of residents of urban areas. Click here for more information on Green Infrastructure
As a major city which is continually evolving and developing, Bristol generates a constant stream of planning applications which have implications for the character and quality of its environment.
We are able to monitor and respond to just a few of these applications. For local residents who are concerned about proposals for their area the CPRE Planning Help website offers useful guidance on how to respond to applications, while the Planning Finder website is a useful tool for tracing the latest applications in your area. The Government’s Planning Portal also gives helpful information about the planning system.
Bristol now has its own Planning Protocol which was launched in March 2011. This sets out the way in which developers, the local authority and the local community can work together to manage major planning applications (eg over 10 residential units). The document underlines the importance of early involvement with both the community and with the local planning authority.
Bristol City Council Consultations
In the past couple of years the City Council has been consulting on a number of policies related to the future development of Bristol. These policies are now being finalised and published. CPRE has responded to a number of the consultations including:
This contains the key planning policy documents which will guide Bristol’s growth over the next 20 years. CPRE is currently attending a number of ongoing consultation events which are helping to shape the final version of the documents. For an explanation of Local Plans click here to link to the guide on the Government’s Planning Portal website
This is a key document within the Bristol Local Plan, setting out the Council’s strategic approach to shaping the future of the city. The finalised version was examined by a Planning Inspector at hearings held between June and September 2010. We were participants at the hearing sessions on housing numbers and housing in the Green Belt. The Inspector has accepted Bristol’s proposal for housing numbers which are much lower than in the revoked Regional Spatial Strategy but would not allow the deletion of references to possible cross-boundary urban extensions in the Green Belt as a contingency measure if target numbers cannot otherwise be met.The Core Strategy has now been formally adopted by Bristol City Council.
This document will contribute to delivering the policies of the Core Strategy by allocating specific sites for development and by giving protection to sites which are sensitive to change. Some sites are those designated in the Area Green Space Plan document. It will also outline Development Management policies which will be used to help determine planning applications.
The document was adopted by Full Council on 22nd July 2014 for adoption. We commented on aspects of the draft versions during the consultation periods.
This is another document within the Local Plan. This sets out the Council’s strategy and methods for involving people in plan making and development issues. The preparation of Local Plan Documents and consultation on planning applications must be carried out in compliance with the SCI.
Bristol Area Green Space Plans
As a first step to implementing its Parks and Green Space Strategy, which was adopted in 2008, the Council consulted on an Area Green Space Ideas and Options document between June and October 2010. As with our response to the Strategy we expressed our concern at some of the proposals to sell green spaces for housing development. We recognise that Bristol is hard pressed to find enough sustainable sites for housing to meet demand, but this must be weighed against the permanent loss of space which could be improved and adapted, including in mitigation of climate change. Please download and read the Avonside CPRE Response to Bristol Area Green Space Plans, Oct 10
A cross party working group reviewed the proposals during 2011 and presented a report to Council on 22nd November. The Council decided to refer the decision on disposal of 49 sites to Neighbourhood Partnership Committees.
For details of the plans see the Bristol Parks Forum website http://www.bristolparksforum.org.uk/information/management-plans/
The Greater Bristol Area
The greater Bristol area extends into South Gloucestershire in the North and North Somerset to the South, and this adds to the complexity of the range of policies and proposals which affect local residents and which are of concern to CPRE. Current examples include:
Housing in the Avonside Area
The Regional Spatial Strategy for the South West suggested a huge increase in housing numbers in Bristol and surrounding areas by 117,000 new homes to the year 2026. This included several urban extensions in the Green Belt. We were extremely concerned about the proposals and our comments about the threat to Bristol and its environment were included in the CPRE South West Response to the latest consultation on the Strategy.
Although the present government has revoked RSSs nationally, and the Planning Inspector who examined Bristol’s Core Strategy accepted lower housing numbers, it is not yet clear how the new planning regime will work. The top down targets of the RSS have been rejected, but we are very concerned about a proposed presumption in favour of development.
Bristol’s Core Strategy has now been adopted by the Council, but the Planning Inspector would not allow the deletion of references to possible cross-boundary urban extensions in the Green Belt as a contingency measure if target numbers cannot otherwise be met. Meanwhile the Core Strategies of the other local authorities in the Avonside area are at differing stages, but all propose lower housing numbers than in the RSS.
However in December 2011 South Gloucestershire submitted changes to its Core Strategy which propose an increase in housing numbers from the 21,500 in the original version to 26,400. To accommodate this number of new dwellings they wish to remove areas of land on the North Bristol fringe from the Green Belt. During the consultation period we submitted a response to the Inspector who examined the Core Strategy, objecting to the proposals and appeared at the Examination to support our objections. North Somerset has also been forced to revise its projected housing figures from 14,000 to 17,100. These increases will have a major impact on the fringes of Bristol.
See also the Avonside CPRE home page for a link to the text of the complete CPRE South West response to the consultation on the RSS.
- To read the section of this Response relating to housing plans for Bristol please read this document:Regional CPRE Proposed C response Oct 08 – Section 4(2)HMAsTo read our press release about the likely effect of the proposals on Bristol please read this document:Press Release Oct 08: Excessive New Build In Bristol â€œA Nonsense!â€ In Current Economic Climate
- The Greater Bristol Strategic Transport Study
- The Joint Local Transport Plan 3
- The South Bristol Link Road:
For submissions and comments by the Avonside Branch and its Districts on some of these issues, see the Branch and District sections of the website.
If you would like to support CPRE by becoming a member, you will find details on the CPRE website. If you are already a member and would like to take a more active role in influencing decisions about Bristol’s future then we would be pleased to hear from you via the Contact Us page.