Bristol Zoo: Plans for more than 60 homes on former car park edge 'one step closer'

Artist's impression of the development Credit: Bristol Zoo

Plans for more than 60 homes to be built on the former Bristol Zoo car park have edged another step closer, according to bosses there.

The former West Car Park site has now been bought by a housing developer, The Hill Group.

The plans involve more that sixty new homes which will be built on the site of the former zoo car park.

Bristol Zoo closed in September last year, with bosses saying they needed to sell the land to fund a new conservation zoo at the Wild Place Project.

The new project, which will be called the Bristol Zoo Project from summer 2023, will create new visitor facilities, new exciting play areas, new animal homes with new species, and a conservation campus for students, scientists, and the breeding of highly threatened animals.

Construction is expected to start in 2024.

Controversial plans to transform the whole of the zoo's site into a multi-million pound housing development of nearly 200 homes were approved last month.

Members of the city council's planning committee voted six to three to grant the zoo's planning application to redevelop the historic site in Clifton which closed last September after 186 years as a public attraction.

The plans include the building of 196 homes, up to six storeys high with 20 per cent of them classed as 'affordable'.

Justin Morris, Chief Executive of Bristol Zoological Society, said: “Our journey to develop a progressive conservation zoo at Wild Place Project has moved a significant step forward, with the sale of the West Car Park in Clifton to Hill.

"The sale follows Bristol City Council’s decision to grant planning permission for West Car Park and an unsuccessful judicial review challenge, which means planning permission for the site is now beyond challenge.

“As Clifton residents since 1836, we want to leave behind a legacy that we can all be proud of.

"Hill has developed a high-quality housing proposal for our former car park, which delivers this and provides sustainable, much-needed homes for Bristol of which 20 per cent will be affordable.

“With our planning application for the sale of Bristol Zoo Gardens also approved by Bristol City Council, it is great to see the progress being made on the redevelopment of this historically important location.”

Andy Hill, Group Chief Executive of The Hill Group, added: "This is an important site for the city of Bristol, both in terms of redeveloping a former part of the historic zoo and providing high-quality accommodation in such an architecturally rich part of the city.

"We are pleased to have completed our acquisition of the site, and now look ahead to delivering a development that reflects the heritage of Clifton while also addressing the housing needs of the local area.”