Some of Bristol's biggest planning decisions made this year

The Ashton Gate development is one of several high profile plans to have been given the go-ahead Credit: KKA Architects

Thousands of new homes have been granted planning permission by Bristol City Council in 2022.

Many of the proposed developments have proven controversial, attracting hundreds of objections.

Councillors have often faced a tricky balancing act between protecting the quality of life for neighbours already living in the area, and the need to build homes.

Here are 11 of the biggest planning decisions of the year.

1 - Ashton Gate Sporting Quarter

Councillors approved a new basketball arena and 510 homes on greenbelt land in Ashton Vale in October despite concerns about damage to the environment.

The new sporting quarter will be directly west of the existing Ashton Gate Stadium and include a sports and convention centre, a 232-room hotel, 125 apartments, offices, shops, a gym, club museum and multi-storey car park.

The Longmoor Village housing scheme, which received almost 200 objections alone, will see up to 510 homes built on a meadow north of the metrobus route and west of Silbury Road, near the Long Ashton park and ride, which is popular with dog walkers and a haven for wildlife, including bats.

How the proposed development at the former Bart Ingredients factory in Bedminster would look Credit: Donard Homes

2 - Former Bart Spices site

Plans for 221 flats in three blocks that would obscure the famous view of Totterdown were granted permission in August against officer advice and despite more than 300 objections and a 4,000-name petition opposing high-rises in the area.

The development, on the former site of Bart Spices warehouses between York Street and Mead Street, got the go-ahead even though there were fire safety concerns over the seven-storey building which has only a single escape route, while the other two, both 11 floors high, would obstruct the view of the coloured houses on top of the escarpment.

Many of the flats would have windows on just one side, limiting natural light, but committee members voted by 6-3 that housing needs outweighed these issues after hearing the design could be improved without a new planning application and building control would have to sign them off for safety.

A development brief for the wider Mead Street area was adopted by the council earlier that month which would eventually see 1,500 new homes along York Road stretching from Bath Road to St Luke’s Road.

Trinity Road police station CGI Credit: Alec French Architects

3 - Trinity Road police station redevelopment

Social housing will replace the police station in Trinity Road, Old Market, after councillors gave permission for 104 flats in August.

Concerns included the impact on nearby Trinity Centre music venue, although architects designed the apartments to be protected from noise.

The three blocks include a smaller, community police station.

Artist's impression of what the Bristol Zoo car park development would look like Credit: Barton Willmore

4) Bristol Zoo car park

Seven houses and 55 apartments will be built at the zoo’s former staff car park off College Road after the development control committee granted approval for the second time in November.

Its previous decision in 2021 was quashed when locals threatened to take legal action amid concerns about the impact on architectural heritage.

Bristol Zoo closed in September after almost two centuries there and is relocating to sister site the Wild Place Project in South Gloucestershire.

Councillors are yet to decide a separate planning application to redevelop the actual zoo site, including 200 new homes.

5 - St Pauls flats

Blocks between four and 10 storeys high containing a total of 358 flats near the M32 in St Pauls were given the green light in October, despite fears it would force locals out of the area and that only one-fifth of the proposed homes were classed as affordable.

The project, in Dove Lane, includes a central square, pedestrianised thoroughfare and commercial and business space.

6 - Former New Fosseway School site

Members granted outline permission to the council’s housing company Goram in December for up to 200 homes at the former site of New Fosseway School in Hengrove, although they were concerned they were doing so without seeing all the details.

Residents objected citing concerns over existing traffic problems and GP waiting times.

The development, which includes a new pedestrian, cycling and emergency access, open space and a play area, will see as many as 130 houses and 70 extra-care flats for elderly people.

New Fosseway School was demolished a decade ago and moved to a new building at the Bridge Learning Campus in Hartcliffe.

How the Dovercourt depot site would look from above Credit: Allford Hall Monaghan Morris

7 - Lockleaze old council depot

Goram also received consent for 140 homes on an old city council depot in Lockleaze in October.

Residents warned that the site, east of Dovercourt Road, had access issues.

Half of the homes will be “affordable”, a mix of two, three and four storeys tall.

Developers will widen the pavement leading to the old depot, and will s install traffic calming measures on Dovercourt Road.

8 - Old DWP offices and Cold War nuclear bunker

Approval was given to bulldoze vacant offices and build 160 homes at the former DWP and driving test centre in Flowers Hill, Brislington, as well as bringing a Cold War nuclear bunker back into use.

No objections were received to the proposals to breathe new life into the neglected Grade II-listed Bristol War Room by giving it a community or commercial use.

The shelter was built in 1953 to “protect the functions of regional government from the atomic bomb and to coordinate civil defence”, a report to councillors said in March.

9 - Student flats near Temple Meads

The site of Chinese food wholesaler Chanson Foods will be turned into accommodation for hundreds of University of Bristol students after planning permission was granted in July despite a risk of flooding.

Three new towers from eight to 12 storeys would be built in Avon Street providing 471 student beds, with the development linked to the institution’s proposed new Temple Quarter campus.

A legal document will protect nearby Motion’s use as a nightclub while the design of the new buildings will protect occupants from noise.

The Environment Agency objected to the scheme but withdrew this last month, although it remained concerned and insisted on a number of conditions before the blocks could be built.

10 - Students flats near Temple Meads

Another huge new block of student flats near the railway station was approved in November, this time for 260 beds.

The six-storey building in Gas Lane would replace a car repair workshop, offices and a car park, with surrounding pavements and roads upgraded.

A roof terrace, courtyard, lounge and social spaces are also included.

Brislington Meadows artists impression Credit: Homes England

11 - Brislington Meadows… the showdown looms

A public inquiry will take place in the new year over plans by the Government’s land and property agency Homes England to build 260 homes on Brislington Meadows.

Campaigners are trying to protect the wildlife haven, and they received a boost in December when Bristol City Council development control committee voted unanimously to reject the scheme, which has received 575 objections.

But Homes England had already lodged an appeal after the local authority missed the deadline to make a decision, which means it is now out of its hands and will instead be determined by a planning inspector.

Bristol mayor Marvin Rees made a U-turn just days before the local elections in 2021 when he announced that no homes should be built there, despite the council persuading the government agency to spend £15million of taxpayers’ money buying it from three different parties the year before.

The 11-day inquiry starts on January 31.

Credit: Local Democracy Reporter Service/Adam Postans