Frequently asked questions
We have addressed some of your most common questions about the Whitehouse Street project below.
What is this about?

The Whitehouse Street project is a long-term project that will bring about comprehensive regeneration of the area around Whitehouse Street in Bedminster. The project aims to transform the area (currently predominantly light industrial use) into a thriving mixed-use neighbourhood, which includes new homes, employment, community, and cultural space, to help accommodate Bristol’s growing population and economy.

Where is the Whitehouse Street project area?

The project area is in Bedminster – a map of the area can be viewed here

What’s happened to date and what are the next steps?

We are at the very start of this long-term project.

To date, three landowners involved in the project (Bristol City Council, the Galliard Apsley Partnership, and The Hill Group) have come together and formally agreed to work in partnership to bring about the long-term regeneration of the area, which will largely be framed around emerging planning policy. However, no specific plans have been drawn up yet.

In partnership with Action Greater Bedminster, the first stage of the project (February to April 2021) is to work with local people and businesses to develop a Community Manifesto. This aims to set out what is important to people in the local area and what they would and wouldn’t like to happen around Whitehouse Street.

The Manifesto, alongside planning policy, technical and design studies, and landowner aspirations, will be an important influence on the Regeneration Framework which, with continued community involvement, is expected to be complete by the end of 2021. Once complete, the Regeneration Framework will be used to guide future physical changes and investment in the area.

Why is all of this needed?

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.

Policy context / Why Bedminster?

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.

Why do we need a Regeneration Framework?

Regeneration Frameworks facilitate and control regeneration in areas experiencing a lot of change over a number of years. By bringing key stakeholders, developers and the community together around a single long-term vision for change, regeneration frameworks help avoid lots of planning applications being submitted in isolation from each other, which can result in piecemeal development that fails to deliver a coherent and high-quality new area. By having a Framework in place, regeneration projects can ensure that the right number of affordable homes, active travel (walking and cycling) links, and community spaces are planned for in a joined-up way between different developers and areas of land within the Framework area.

What are the timescales for the project?

This project is aiming to bring about long-term regeneration in Bedminster over the coming decade. Projects of this nature are long-term and physical changes are still some years away. Putting together the Framework is expected to take much of 2021.

Who’s involved in the project?

The project has been commissioned by the three predominant landowners within the project area – Bristol City Council, The Hill Group, and the Galliard Apsley Partnership. The Regeneration Framework is being developed with expert input from a range of technical, design and engagement teams.

You can read more about who is involved in the project here: About the team

What engagement is being proposed with the local community, businesses and stakeholders?

We are committed to hearing from and listening to the community, businesses, and other local and city stakeholders through the process. We are working with Action Greater Bedminster to help with this.

One of the first steps is to develop a Community Manifesto which will inform the Regeneration Framework and plans for the area. There will then be a number of stages of engagement over the course of 2021, including design workshops, exhibitions (hopefully in person) and a period of formal public consultation.

Delivering an engagement programme during COVID-19 restrictions is challenging and we will need to rely on online and remote ways of working more than ever, supported by off-line engagement where possible. We are determined to do all we can to provide an opportunity for all to get involved and give their views.

Following completion of the Regeneration Framework, it will be the responsibility of individual landowners to develop detailed designs and planning applications for their respective sites, in line with the framework. Individual planning applications will be subject to further community and stakeholder engagement as they come forward.

Will my business be able to move into the new development?

We have made no pre-determined conclusions about the specific mix of uses in this development – this will be determined through the design process and influenced by a number of different factors, including consultation with the community and local businesses, as well as:

  1. Citywide and/or regional employment land needs assessments and studies
  2. Market demand insight
  3. The need to respond to city-wide economic challenges and opportunities (such as those set out in Bristol’s Economic Recovery and Renewal Strategy).
  4. The ambition to grow and support the evening economy, such as live music venues and other spaces, which support creative and cultural production.
  5. The objective of supporting and strengthening East Street (rather than competing with it).

If you are a local business and haven’t yet spoken to the team, please get in touch with Tom Selway at tom.selway@cadence-pr.uk.

Will you help me find somewhere new to base my business?

Bristol City Council’s Economic Development and Property teams provide support for businesses in the city who are looking for premises, including by helping with searches for appropriate premises. If existing business should want or need to relocate elsewhere, please get in touch by emailing business@bristol.gov.uk.

As this work commences and we better understand what the appropriate future economic mix of the site looks like, we will have a better understanding of what the impact on individual existing businesses will be and will be able to tailor and adapt the support we can provide.

How much influence will the Community Manifesto have?

Bristol City Council and the landowners are working with Action Greater Bedminster to help drive the conversation about the project, capture local views, insights and knowledge, and create the Community Manifesto. 

We want to hear all views on the future of the area, but it’s important to remember that there are other factors that will influence the final designs. These include:

  • Planning policy, most notably Draft Policy DS8: Central Bedminster as set out in our Local Plan Review. This draft planning policy sets the strategic ambition for regeneration of this area and will have the biggest influence on the framework.
  • Other city initiatives and strategies e.g., Bristol's One City Plan and Economic Recovery and Renewal Strategy
  • Urban design and master planning expertise (from the Stride Treglown team as well as the Council’s City Design Group)
  • Technical studies (such as infrastructure needs and ground conditions)
  • Consideration of development economics and viability
  • Landowner aspirations

A ‘scope of influence’ document is being drawn up which will set out more detail on this and will be uploaded onto the project website soon. 


How can I keep updated on what’s going on?

The best way to keep stay informed on what’s happening is by signing up to our project mailing list. We will also keep this website up to date throughout the course of the project.

Where/when can we see proposals for the site and what it will look like in the future?

We have not yet developed design proposals for the site. These will be shaped by design work carried out by expert specialists; community and stakeholder engagement, and the findings of technical assessments. We will be sharing proposals for the area with the local community as they are developed.

How many new homes will be provided and how many of them will be affordable?

At this stage we do not know how many new homes will be built, but it will be influenced by a number of factors, including:

  • The development capacity of individual sites;
  • An appropriate design response for each site (for example, we know that building height will need to be mindful of not obstructing the views across the city from Victoria Park);
  • Feedback from community and stakeholder engagement;
  • Considerations of development economics and viability (e.g. what scale of development is required in order to make the scheme commercially viable when balanced against development costs and the provision of supporting infrastructure); and
  • The specific mix between residential and other uses (such as employment uses).

What provision will there be for schools and doctors?

Service provision is considered at both plan making and planning application stages. Bristol’s Local Plan will be developed with the full input of city stakeholders including health, education, and other service providers to ensure growth and regeneration is underpinned by supporting facilities.

As part of the development of the Regeneration Framework, an analysis of need and capacity will be undertaken to help us understand whether existing and planned infrastructure is sufficient, or whether new infrastructure is needed.

As part of the planning process, developers are required to help fund the cost of improved or new infrastructure through the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) or Section 106 planning obligations.

What about the risk of flooding?

Working with the Environment Agency, the Council has developed The Bristol Avon Flood Strategy to protect the city from the River Avon flooding. It has been developed in a way that ensures that there are no adverse impacts outside of the project’s direct area of benefit, this includes the Whitehouse Street area.

Any sites that are re-developed around Whitehouse Street will need to demonstrate how they are able to drain or store surface water during periods of high river levels.

How will this link with other work going on in the area?

We’re aware that there are many different initiatives underway in the area, such as:

Plans for the regeneration of the Whitehouse Street area will be developed with these in mind. 

How does this link to the work happening at Bedminster Green?

Both the area around Whitehouse Street and Bedminster Green are included as Central Bedminster in Bristol’s Draft Local Plan, which has been identified as an Area of Growth and Regeneration. The two areas are being brought forward as separate projects and are at different stages, but the Council and developers are working to ensure that both projects contribute to the wider area, to benefit local people, businesses, and visitors.

We are using lessons learnt from Bedminster Green and actively implementing them in the early stages of the Whitehouse Street regeneration.

At the end of this process, will the regeneration framework will be voted on by the council?

Yes, the framework is expected to go to Cabinet in January 2022.

What are the limits to the influence the community will be able to have on the project?

We have published a scope of influence document that shows the range of areas the community may have influence over, and the other factors that will shape the Regeneration Framework.

How is the impact of noise caused by businesses being considered for housing in the area?

The final proposals for the area , for example the mix of housing and businesses, will be determined as the project progresses. As part of the work undertaken throughout the project, things like the potential impact of noise and traffic will be considered in the context of what is being proposed for the area.

The area will include multiple building sites over many years - what will the impacts be?

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.

What will the impact be of the CAZ (Bristol’s Clean Air Zone)?

We appreciate that the introduction of a charging Clean Air Zone will be challenging for some people.

We’ll do what we can to support people who are most impacted, including low income workers, small businesses and residents inside the zone. Visitors to hospitals within the zone will be exempt from the charge.

There’ll be grants, interest-free loans and one year exemptions for people including:
  • Residents and businesses within the zone
  • Residents and businesses travelling into the zone for work
  • Individuals earning less than £24,000 a year, and no more than £12.45 per hour

The one year exemptions are to give time for people to take advantage of financial support to upgrade to less polluting vehicles. We’ll share more information about exemptions and the financial support to help people switch to a cleaner vehicle once our business case is approved. You can find information on what support has already been agreed on the Bristol City Council website.

As we have not drawn up plans for the Whitehouse Street area yet, we do not yet know what the impact of the CAZ will be on future residents, businesses or visitors. This will be considered once we know more.

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