Bristol Local Plan: Hundreds of homes planned for greenbelt land on city outskirts

Fields off Bath Road could be earmarked for housing under the draft Local Plan Credit: Bristol City Council

Hundreds of homes could be built on greenbelt sites on the outskirts of Bristol according to a consultation on the new Local Plan.

Up to 750 homes could be built on land off Bath Road in Brislington. The site is on the greenbelt near the Park and Ride, which could be relocated to make more room for housing.

350 homes could also be built off Elsbert Drive in Bishopsworth on a site partially in North Somerset.

The two sites have been allocated for housing under the draft Local Plan set out by Bristol City Council, which sets out where development should take place in Bristol over the next 20 years.

Councillor Nicola Beech said: “Our Local Plan is informed by residents’ priorities and illustrates for developers and partners what we want to achieve in development terms and the journey we will take to get there.

“The latest policies introduced to our Local Plan over recent months will help us to deliver the homes our city will need in the right places, but crucially also in a more sustainable way than ever before.

350 homes could also be built off Elsbert Drive in Bishopsworth Credit: Bristol City Council

"I can’t think of any document that will be so crucial to the delivery of buildings that will support future generations of Bristolians.

“The types of homes we build, and where we build them, will be the biggest determinants of the carbon price the planet pays for our population growth — so it is essential we prioritise brownfield sites and build densely wherever appropriate to reduce pressure on greenbelt sites.”

However, three sites which were at risk of development are now no longer allocated housing in the new Local Plan. Campaigners have hailed this change as a victory for the environment.

Hundreds of homes are planned for Yew Tree Farm in Bishopsworth, Brislington Meadows and the Western Slopes, but removing these sites would make it much harder for developers to get planning permission to build there.

Danica Priest, a local environmental campaigner, said: “I have to say overall I’m impressed.

"There are some really good things in here and it feels residents have been heard on many points.

"Developers and landowners will be splashing out on fancy lawyers to fight the council, so that’s why it’s so important we get as many comments from residents as possible.

“Western Slopes, Yew Tree Farm and Brislington Meadows are all being removed from the plan.

"Please pat yourselves on the back for this because this is definitely people-powered.

"Developers will be challenging this in a hearing, so we need as many comments as possible supporting the protection of Yew Tree Farm, Western Slopes and Brislington Meadows.

“Another thing I love is developers will now have to contribute to keep public toilets in Bristol open.

"It’s not a huge cost to them but it’s a massive benefit to us. All development over 60 dwellings will also have to provide allotment space. I love this idea.”

People wishing to respond to the consultation have until January 20 to do so.

Then next summer a draft plan will be published for representations, before being examined by the planning inspector early 2024.

The finished Local Plan will then be signed off autumn 2024.

Credit: Local Democracy Reporter Service/Alex Seabrook