Ambitious vision for Western Harbour published

Ambitious vision for Western Harbour published

Draft vision for Western Harbour proposes 50 per cent of affordable homes in all new developments and conversion of a bonded warehouse to a mixed-use cultural hub for the whole city.

11 March 2022

Inspired by community feedback, the vision builds on the area’s heritage and identity and will guide detailed masterplanning later in 2022. Riverside Garden Centre and pump track would be accommodated within the area.

An exciting draft vision for Western Harbour has been produced following months of conversations, comments, and events with local people to explore the identity and potential of the area.

Until 22 April, Bristolians who visit, work in and travel through Western Harbour – and those who don’t yet – can share their views on the commitments identified within the draft vision.

The vision is the result of an extensive programme of public engagement carried out in the second half of 2021.1 The programme aimed to hear the hopes and aspirations that people from across the city had for the future of Western Harbour as it changes. The document draws on hundreds of engagement responses to set out the key commitments that will guide change, including informing detailed masterplanning starting later in 2022, based on the common themes and ideas given by Bristolians.

Recognising the importance of historic, cultural and community uses within the regeneration area, like the bonded warehouses, Riverside Garden Centre and pump track, the draft vision proposes to accommodate these within the area, including converting one of the bonded warehouses into a mixed-use cultural hub to benefit the whole city.

The draft vision also reflects the challenges facing Bristol, including the climate and ecological emergencies and the housing crisis. It contains commitments to reducing local traffic and improving sustainable travel options, increasing biodiversity, and achieving net-zero carbon during the development. High-quality new homes would be a mix of sizes and tenures, 50 per cent of which would be affordable.

The area’s connection to the River Avon would be at the heart of any new development, providing access to nature and recreation, tranquil spaces, and boosting the river as a wildlife corridor.

The council has deliberately taken a long-term, step-by-step approach to the regeneration of the area, acknowledging the significance it holds to people from across Bristol and the need to ensure any plans reflect what Bristolians want it to be.

The consultation and additional public feedback on the draft will help to refine a final vision. These commitments will then – subject to endorsement by Cabinet – help to guide and shape masterplanning starting later in 2022, which will set out in detail where the new homes, jobs and infrastructure that Bristol needs could go.

Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol, said: “This vision gives us a clear understanding of the kind of place Bristolians want Western Harbour to be. The ideas and principles set out in the vision are ambitious and far-reaching. We are committed to making Western Harbour an example of how transformative, positive change can come forward that supports community life, while meeting the challenges of climate change, biodiversity loss and changes to how we live, work, and play in our cities.

“We know how important this area is to local people and to the wider city. To make sure the vision reflects community hopes and aspirations, we have spent months engaging with and listening to the community to get to this point. These conversations have shaped the draft vision for Western Harbour, and now we want more feedback from the public before any more detailed decisions about the future are made.”

The consultation on the draft Western Harbour vision is open until 22 April 2022 at: 

A summary and full engagement report are available at

For a paper copy or alternative format, please call 0117 922 4409, or email

[1] From September to December 2021, the engagement programme ran: 

  • 10 Creative Workshops in person 
  • 2 Creative Workshops online 
  • 7 Listening Labs online 
  • 2 in-person sessions at Riverside Garden Centre and at Docks Heritage Weekend 
  • 2 Walk and talks 
  • 2 Visioning Days 
  • 1 month-long exhibition

Online, the council received: 

  • 599 comments on the Harbour Hopes Map
  • 81 online ‘Place Principles’ – ideas or guides to be followed when making changes at Western Harbour

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