Filton at heart of 2023 developments across Bristol region

Many major property developments are coming down the pipeline to Bristol this year with huge schemes across the city planned. More than 2,500 new homes were built in the city last year, and thousands more are expected this year, as well as big commercial developments.

As well as new homes, new developments in Bristol this year include train stations, hotels, shops and offices. Elsewhere, buildings far past their best, like the Galleries shopping centre or the Grosvenor Hotel, will likely see major progress towards their eventual replacements.

A giant regeneration project is expected to finally get under way this year around Temple Meads train station. This project received a £95-million boost from the government, and will see the area around the station redesigned, with much more planned east of the station, including a new university campus, student flats, hotels, offices, and a secondary school.

A huge amount of work is due to take place this year on converting the Brabazon Hangars at the Filton Airfield into a new arena, but the arena isn’t expected to open until next year. Just north of the arena, thousands of homes will also be built. YTL, the company which owns the arena, has permission for 3,700 homes and is trying to get permission for another 3,000.

Plans for a Bristol underground network could make some progress this year. The mass transit plans championed by Bristol mayor Marvin Rees would see four light rail lines built, costing billions of pounds. The next step, in the long journey to making these plans reality, is consulting the public on various options for the plans.

But it’s unclear when, or if, the West of England combined authority will launch this public consultation on Bristol’s mass transit system. That was initially due to happen in January last year, but has seen repeated delays. And if Labour lose the next local elections in the city, in May 2024, it’s also unclear if a new administration would carry on with Mr Rees’s underground.

Construction on the new Ashley Down train station will begin at the start of this year. Once opened, the station will run trains every half hour to Temple Meads and Filton Abbey Wood. The new train station will be built off Station Road, and work should be completed in 2024.

Another new train station is expected to open this spring. The Portway Park and Ride train station, in Shirehampton, will be the first new station to open in Bristol since Parson Street station opened in 1927. Trains will run half hourly along the Severn Beach line, running through the city. The station lies next to an existing park and ride, and has cost just over £4 million to build, with plans stretching back over a decade.

Bedminster will see thousands of new homes built over the next few years, with construction on some sites beginning or continuing in 2023. Two major regeneration areas have been earmarked, around Mead Street and Whitehouse Street. Permission has already been given to redevelop the old Bart Spices warehouses on York Street and build 221 apartments there.

The battle to build 260 homes on Brislington Meadows will take 11 days, starting at the end of January. A public inquiry will hear an appeal from Homes England about their plans to build 260 homes on the south Bristol site, which local campaigners have fiercely fought. Council chiefs were initially in favour of development here, but then backtracked and have tried to stop it. But the decision on granting permission now depends on the public inquiry.

A huge eyesore near Temple Meads is likely to finally be demolished this year. Grosvenor Hotel, which has long been left derelict, could be knocked down as the council is ramping up pressure on the building’s owners to either make it safe or demolish it — particularly after a fire late last year. The council wants to redevelop the site but doesn’t own it, at least not yet, as compulsory purchase orders take a long time to go through necessary legal procedures.

More details about a major redevelopment scheme at the Galleries shopping centre, in between Broadmead and Castle Park, are expected to be revealed early this year. Developers Deeley Freed previously said they would submit a planning application around the start of this year to knock down the shopping centre, and build 450 homes, offices, student flats, a hotel, shops and cafes. Construction work is due to start late next year.