At the University of Bristol, we're exploring new ways of delivering education and using technology to drive advances in society, health and business. To do this, we need a cutting-edge campus that meets the needs of our staff, students and partners.
After 100 years in Clifton, we have run out of viable space for expansion and this development presents us with exciting opportunity to re-engage with Bristol and its communities.
Timescales and funding
Demolition of the former Royal Mail Sorting Office is underway as part of our planned development of a new Temple Quarter Enterprise Campus. Since securing conditional outline planning consent in July 2018, we have worked with communities, businesses, Bristol City Council and the West of England Combined Authority to shape our plans and are progressing with the next stages of the planning process.
We plan to start construction work on site in 2020 and anticipate the campus opening in 2022.
We have borrowed £200m to develop the campus and have secured major industrial, governmental and private support to help the fund the full cost for the development.
Through ground-breaking research and creative answers to global problems, our new campus will serve both local and international communities. As well as fuelling the local economy and helping to attract both UK and international investment, we will transform an eyesore into a public space that the whole city can be proud of.
We're designing our new campus to become a vibrant part of the city and provide an open and welcoming space for the local community. We want the new campus to be the base for community-focused adult education, and we are exploring the options for rooms in the academic buildings on the new campus to be made available for community meetings, exhibitions, and performance spaces. Food and drink outlets and a programme of social and cultural events during the day and evenings will help to create a lively and welcoming place.
We’re talking with communities, businesses and the Council to shape our plans, which include landmark buildings for postgraduate teaching, learning and collaboration.
We are an internationally-leading university and so we expect to attract students from many places. As well as the UK, EU and international student population we already have, we are also very keen that the new campus and wider University attracts students from local communities and the city-region.
We intend to develop new degrees, delivered in ways which mean that people seeking to re-develop their skills mid-career can do so in ways that suit their needs, such as part-time study.
The outline planning permission for the campus has been unanimously approved by Bristol City Council subject to final details which are now being agreed. The plans supporting the outline planning application can be seen on the Bristol City Council website.
The outline planning application incorporated and sets the proposed density and scale of the buildings, as well as access to the site. It doesn’t cover specific details about the appearance and layout of the new campus. Full outline planning permission was granted for the campus in June 2019. The outline permission sets the parameters of any future detailed proposals (known as Reserved Matters applications) including the maximum height of buildings, the total amount of development, the mix of uses and key points of access.
The Reserved Matters planning application for the student residential accommodation on Temple Island was approved by Bristol City Council in October 2019. The Reserved Matters planning application for the detailed designs of the academic buildings is due to be submitted in November 2019.
Construction traffic and road access
Access to the site will be from Cattle Market Road from the west and from Feeder Road to the east. Cattle Market Road has recently been altered to a single one-way carriageway running west to east with an enhanced pedestrian and cycle way.
When construction begins, we will work with Bristol City Council to develop a traffic management plan and keep disruption to surrounding highways to a minimum.
Being a good neighbour
We will work with contractors to minimise noise and disturbance during construction. We don’t anticipate that noise from the site will be higher than background noise levels from the nearby roads and railway; nevertheless best practice measures will be put in place to minimise any nuisance. Mitigation measures include dust suppression, no idling vehicle policy and minimising delivery traffic.
It is University practice that our building contractors sign up to the Considerate Constructor scheme.
Developing the site
Preparing the site
The land where the new campus will stand is currently owned by Bristol City Council. As agreed at the time of the announced purchase in 2017, site will formally be handed over to the University once it is vacant and site clearance, remediation and preparation work is complete. The Council is responsible for this work, which will include demolition of the old sorting office and removal of a cholera burial pit. It is possible that unexploded ordnance might also be found on the site, and a management plan will be developed to account for this eventuality.
Remediation work started early in 2018 and is currently ongoing. Bristol City Council have undertaken investigations on the site with oversight from engineering consultancy Buro Happold Engineering.
Network Rail will continue to own the boundary between the campus site and Bristol Temple Meads. The Council is in close liaison with Network Rail regarding the remediation works and any impact on railway operations will be appropriately agreed and managed between them.
Parts of the site are identified as having a high risk of flooding (defined as greater than 0.5% or a 1 in 200 chance in any given year). To minimise flood risk, including allowances for climate change, the building floor levels and external spaces of the site will be raised by approximately 1.5m to at least 10.52m above sea level (0.3m higher than the maximum water level predicted in the event of a flood). As well as protecting the campus site from flooding, this will also ensure that the campus development does not increase the flood risk for third parties in the surrounding area.
Impact of the new campus
The impact of the new campus on the Bristol skyline has been an important consideration from the outset of the project. The tallest building on the site (the student accommodation block) will be 21 storeys high. A public consultation took place in April 2019 on the detailed design of the student residential accommodation.
All of the building heights have been informed by a detailed Visual Impact Assessment that was prepared as part of the Outline Planning Application and which was used to establish the maximum parameter heights that have been agreed with Bristol City Council. All of the buildings now proposed sit within those agreed parameter heights.
The new campus will have no direct physical impact on the Grade I listed Temple Meads station buildings. The impact of the development on the setting of the station's listed buildings has been considered through the design process to date and investigations and analysis are on-going. The masterplan has been amended following discussions with Bristol City Council and Network Rail to enable a new Eastern Entrance to be delivered (by others), enabling direct access to and from the campus. We continue to work closely with the Council and Network Rail to facilitate delivery of the new entrance, which we consider to be important for the regeneration of the Temple Quarter Enterprise Zone as well as the campus.
The University aims for its campuses to become net carbon neutral by 2030 and is working closely with Bristol City Council to achieve city wide energy targets.
The new campus could potentially link into the district heat network planned for the Enterprise Zone and will explore other innovative ways to embed sustainability.
Student population and housing
The student village includes provision for a total of 953 bedrooms, which will be managed by a third party and located on our part of Temple Island.
The facilities also include a 24-hour student hub, a large communal roof terrace, common rooms, a biodiversity roof, gym and outdoor fitness spaces.
Public consultation on the student residential accommodation took place in April 2019 and the Reserved Matters planning application was approved by Bristol City Council in October 2019.
The new campus fits into Bristol City Council’s plans for the Temple Quarter Enterprise Zone. The vision for the zone is for a liveable urban quarter, welcoming to all, with space for innovative businesses, new homes and new public spaces.
Public and commercial spaces
The campus will be a public space, creating new routes for people to travel across the city on foot and by bike, with links to Cattle Market Road, the future harbourside walkway and a (proposed) new Eastern Entrance to Temple Meads station.
Buildings on the new campus are likely to incorporate facilities for public use, including spaces for community focused adult education but potentially also community meeting spaces and performance areas. Business enterprise facilities, dining and meeting spaces and an allowance for commercial space (likely to include shops and cafes) will ensure the campus is populated and vibrant.
Plans for the exterior public spaces on the campus site have developed following review and consideration of Bristol City Council's Temple Quarter Enterprise Spatial Framework. Since conditional outline planning permission was granted in July 2018, a number of changes have been made following feedback. These include locating all student accommodation on Temple Island; two buildings on the Cattle Market site, instead of three, to allow for more public spaces; and better pedestrian and cycle paths through the site.
The overall development, which is part of the wider regeneration of the Temple Quarter area, will unlock new routes into and through Bristol Temple Meads station, as well as creating new walking and cycling routes to better connect East Bristol with the city centre.
Traffic, parking and transport
Reaching the campus
The two sites will be connected to the existing public transport interchange at Temple Meads Station, via the recently upgraded Cattle Market Road and the Harbour Walkway. The proposals include a new transport hub at the entrance to the Cattle Market site to accommodate services. Staff, students and visitors will be encouraged to make use of these links to reach the campus in Clifton. There will be a taxi pick up and drop off point, as well as bicycle parking on the campus, for students, staff and members of the public using the buildings regularly.
We are also developing plans to include pedestrian and cycle routes which link up with existing networks to open both the Cattle Market and Temple Island as public thoroughfares.
The campus will be car free, except for accessible parking. We encourage our staff and students to walk, cycle or use public transport to access all of our properties and the new campus will be no exception. The new campus is highly accessible, but we are also working with the City Council to improve connections to it.
We are currently in discussions with Bristol City Council to agree a package of measures to improve off site connectivity and ensure that the new Campus will not unduly disrupt existing communities. Those measures include future bus routes, changes to existing parking zones, improved walking and cycling links, contributions to junction enhancements to aid bus linkages and improvements to Totterdown Basin.