Knowle people react as plans to demolish Broadwalk Shopping Centre are scrapped

  • Watch Ross Arnott's report.

People have spoken out after plans to demolish a shopping centre in Bristol to make way for up to 850 flats were voted down by the council.

Proposals would have seen a complete redevelopment of Broadwalk Shopping Centre, including a demolition and rebuild.

The new site would have included shops, restaurants and green spaces for residents.

There had been opposition from the local community though, with campaigners saying the plans for a 12 storey block of flats would have put too much of a strain on the infrastructure in the area.

The plans had been set for the green light with planning officers recommending them for approval but Bristol City councillors unanimously voted them down on Wednesday night.

The decision has been praised by many including Sian Ellis-Thomas who volunteers as part of the Friends of Redcatch Park that is situated nearby.

"Well the redevelopment that was planned was too big, too tall and far too dense," she said.

"Nobody has a problem with that centre being redeveloped and everyone wants that. It is not though a situation of development at any cost it has to be right for the community.

"My hope is that the developers come back and talk to us. This place is amazing and there is a huge amount of potential here."

Local residents protesting earlier this year about the proposed development. Credit: BPM Media

For those who were using the centre on Thursday the announcement had been greeted with positivity.

"I am very pleased, obviously 850 homes would destroy the infrastructure of Knowle," one said.

"It is too much and it is good it has been rejected, this centre is our pride and joy and we need shopping here," another said.

There is though a warning from councillors that if plans are continuously thrown out that the centre could continue to decline.

Councillor Gary Hoskins says that development of the site is 'needed'.

Footfall has dropped off in recent years with a number of the bigger shops and smaller independent businesses closing their doors.

"We are now stuck in a position that everyone agrees that we need redevelopment here but we all want it differently," Councillor Gary Hoskins said.

"The trouble is the money that is required. It means that you can't just design what you want and go and build it."

Cllr Hoskins said that the developers are expected to confirm whether they will appeal the council's position in the next week.