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What's on the horizon for Bristol's Western Harbour?

The western end of the Floating Harbour has evolved over the centuries, seeing feats of engineering, the changing fortunes of dock workers, and becoming a key route in and out of Bristol. As the city responds to a changing climate, ageing infrastructure, the increasing threat of flooding and shifts in how people live, work and travel, it's important we shape a place that meets these challenges head on, while valuing what makes this part of Bristol so special and unique.


November 2023 – Masterplanning Team, Western Harbour Advisory Group

Bristol City Council is looking to develop a masterplan that will turn the vision for Western Harbour from broad principles into a tangible long-term plan, setting out a big-picture guide to future development. We’re hoping to find an outstanding professional team who can work with the city on this exciting project.

The deadline for tenders is 18th December 2023. Tenders then will be evaluated on price, quality and social value contributions. It is anticipated that the selected consultant will be in place by the beginning of March 2024.

Alongside this, the Council will be recruiting for new members of the Western Harbour Advisory Group who can work with the Council and appointed team to champion the needs of their communities throughout the masterplanning process. The recruitment will start in the new year.

October 2023 – Local Plan Update

At the end of October, Full Council approved Bristol’s new draft local plan for publication. Now that the draft plan is published, Bristol residents, as well as the many stakeholders involved, are invited to send representations on the new draft plan over the next ten weeks.

When this process (known as Regulation 19 pre-submission) closes in January 2024, the representations will be delivered to the government’s Planning Inspectorate to carefully review the evidence that our approach is based on to make certain it meets with the rules on local plans. Once a local plan is adopted after that by Full Council in 2025, that will officially replace the current plan agreed in 2014.

For more information and to find out how you can contribute see the Local Plan Review page on the BCC website.

July 2023 - Masterplan, Community Working Group

On 16th June, the West of England Combined Authority (WECA) Committee confirmed its support for Bristol City Council’s funding application for Western Harbour. Following this, on 4th July it was agreed that Bristol Council would enter into the grant agreement and would spend the funding on masterplanning. You can read the report that was considered at Bristol City Council’s Cabinet here

The masterplan will turn the broad principles contained in the vision for Western Harbour into the parameters for future development. Alongside this, we will also create an Infrastructure Delivery Plan that will support the renewal and or replacement of the ageing road network.

You can read the Vision for Western Harbour here and explore the results of the community engagement that helped produce it here.

June 2023 - Historic England review of listings

Earlier this year Historic England carried out a review of a selection of the listed buildings and scheduled monument designations in and around Cumberland Basin and Underfall Yard.

Work has now finished, with updated list entries including the grade II listings of Avon Crescent Substation. Read more about the listings here.

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The Best Light

In high-viz jackets, with clipboards and hardhats, looking confused, Bristol poets Caleb Parkin and Tom Sastry were ‘in-residence’ in the area asking the important questions: How do you feel about this place? How do you feel about it changing? What do you think will happen? What do you remember happening here? This poem responds to the people they met along the way.

Click on the image below to watch the video in your browser.