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New Homes: Bristol
Bristol was selected as the best city to live in Britain by the Sunday Times in 2014. Its strengths include prime access to the countryside, combined with a buzz-worthy nightlife and wealth of independent businesses.
The city’s economy has been on the upswing, linked to modern electronics, aerospace, and digital media industries. Bristol’s docks were once its centre of commerce, but these have been redeveloped and are now thriving cultural centres for residents.
With many young professionals moving to Bristol, there’s been a surge in demand from first time buyers. New homes in Bristol are an attractive proposition thanks to the government’s Help to Buy scheme and the city’s excellent transport links. It’s next to two major motorways, and offers its own international airport and train station.
Local investment and schemes
Bristol’s economy has grown at a faster rate than any other regional city over the past decade. Its economy has grown 19.2% in the past five years alone, fuelled by the property market. The government has been interested in promoting Bristol as part of the Northern Powerhouse, and to this end there has been significant investment in the city.
North Somerset, Bristol, Bath, and North East Somerset and South Gloucestershire councils are working together on a joint strategic planning strategy to tackle the need for new homes and infrastructure. This Joint Spatial Strategy will be used as a map for future developments up until 2036. The councils have calculated that this region will need 85,000 new homes by that time.
At the moment, 56,000 have already been planned. The new Joint Spatial Plan is due to be published in autumn 2016.
Major developments: New homes
Emersons Green is one of the major new developments in Bristol. The Bristol & Bath Railway Path provides easy access to the city centre, making the housing estate ideal for commuters. Development’s currently underway in the area north of the Rosary Roundabout, with space set aside for 2,500 new homes, business units, two new primary schools, and a secondary school.
There will also be a new park and ride facility, footbridge, and cycling paths for residents. The Bristol & Bath Science Park and a new NHS Treatment Centre have also been constructed in Emersons Green.
Another hot area for new homes right in the city centre is Broadmead. This is Bristol’s shopping quarter, known for The Galleries, Quakers Friars, and Cabot Circus. In addition to the cinemas, shops, and restaurants, there’s also a number of new build apartment buildings including Broad Weir and The Horizon developments.
Major developments: Redevelopments
Bristol’s numerous heritage buildings have been converted and restored in areas like the waterfront. The Harbourside area of Bristol has been completely redeveloped, converting old warehouses into contemporary apartment buildings for young professionals.
Work is also slated to begin on a former City of Bristol College campus. Planning permission has been given for the conversion and redevelopment of the Grade II listed Brunel House, along with an adjacent apartment block. The site will be home to 92 new houses and apartments, with garden courts and balconies. Brunel House was once used as an orphanage.
It’s part of the Ashley Down Conservation Area which has already been in the process of redevelopment for new housing.
Local commuter hubs
The greenbelt surrounding Bristol is the site of much attention for new homes. Developers Taylor Wimpey have announced plans for a new development known as The Vale, which will offer up to 4,500 new homes. This will be placed on a site in North Somerset, bounded by the A370 Long Ashton bypass and south Bristol.
Up to three new villages would be formed as part of The Vale, along with new schools, village centres, and commercial space for local services. There are also existing local hubs for commuters on the outskirts of Bristol. Nailsea is a popular location, with a Sustrans route straight into Bristol city centre.
The town council has sold land on Engine Lane to Barratt Homes, which plans to build 185 new affordable properties on this site. This will include open space and play areas.