The West of England Combined Authority, South Gloucestershire Council and Bristol City Council are jointly working on a vision for the north fringe of Bristol. This document will be called the ‘Strategic Infrastructure-led Masterplan for the north fringe of Bristol’ and will set out a vision for the area and recommendations for how the vision can be delivered.
As part of this work, we want to hear from residents, businesses and other members of the community to help us finalise the strategic masterplan, which will set out our aspirations for this area for the next 30 years.
We are running public engagement for six weeks (6 May - 19 June 2022) to gather views on:
A summary of the masterplan is provided on this webpage.
If required, you can pick up a hard copy of the survey from one of these locations. Please check opening times of the libraries before arriving (South Gloucestershire library opening times / Bristol library opening times):
If you would like to request hardcopies of any of the materials, or would like to request a copy of the draft technical report, please contact:
If you have any questions, please take a look at our frequently asked questions.
The north fringe is an area in South Gloucestershire between the northern edge of the City of Bristol and the M4 and M5 motorways. It includes the communities of Filton, Cribbs Causeway, Patchway, Bradley Stoke, Stoke Gifford, Little Stoke, Harry Stoke, Henbury and Brentry.
It is an important area for the region’s economy. It is a centre for commercial and retail activities as well as being home to many global aerospace and engineering businesses, the University of the West of England and South Gloucestershire and Stroud College.
The final strategic masterplan will set out a vision for these areas up to 2050 and include recommendations for how the vision can be achieved.
This document will help us make decisions to guide the nature of new development and future transport schemes, green spaces and improvements to our local high streets and neighbourhoods.
We believe that through investment, we can help close the inequality gap, support sustainable growth and respond to the climate and ecological emergency.
This plan will influence new growth ensuring it is sympathetic to the character of the area and meets the future needs of residents.
Our approach has people at the heart of it. This vision will set out how we can reshape and strengthen communities across the area through creating stronger high streets with safer facilities for pedestrians, cyclists and wheelers; increasing local employment and enhancing the character and identity. We want to ensure the area is not just a great place to live, work or visit but also to stay and explore.
So far, we have spoken to a number of stakeholders including technical specialists, local councillors, businesses, education providers across the area to understand the key challenges and opportunities that need to be addressed.
Discussions have focused on what the area looks like now and opportunities for how it might change over the next 30 years. This has helped us prepare a draft strategic masterplan.
Stakeholder workshops – Sep to Oct 2021: We held stakeholder workshops to share our initial vision and understand the strengths and opportunities of the area.
Presentation of draft outputs – Feb 2022: We presented our early thoughts on the vision and opportunity areas for the draft masterplan.
Public engagement – spring 2022: We are now seeking your views to help us finalise the masterplan to ensure we are reflecting your priorities in our vision for the area.
Our priorities are delivering sustainable, inclusive communities, infrastructure, and growth whilst addressing the climate emergency and widening opportunities for residents, businesses and visitors by sharing prosperity, and raising the quality of life for all.
These intentions are summarised in the draft vision for the area:
"Over the next 30 years [by 2050] the north fringe of Bristol urban area will continue to be a major economic driver in the West of England and the wider South West.
It will continue to maintain and re-shape its role as a major focus for employment, commercial and retail activity, education, and learning."
"Harnessing innovative transport solutions and green technologies will help to create a climate resilient north fringe with a thriving low carbon economy and lifestyle reflected in our travel, homes, businesses and communities.
The distinctive identities and heritage of the existing communities and neighbourhoods will have been strengthened."
"The development of new and existing neighbourhoods will follow the 15-minute neighbourhood principle to create neighbourhoods which are better connected with residents and workers able to access local amenities and employment by high quality public transport, walking and cycling links."
"Nature and access to green space will be enhanced through opportunities to provide new, improved and better-connected green spaces, within the existing urban area which support adaptation and resilience to the changing climate, restore nature, improve health and wellbeing and which connect to the wider countryside, to create a greener north fringe where people and nature thrive."
Ensuring that the north fringe of Bristol maintains its role as a major economic driver in the West of England, making the West of England economy one of the most prosperous, innovative, and vibrant in Europe.
Improving health and wellbeing by provision and access to a greater range of social, cultural, community, recreational facilities and green spaces for new and existing communities in the north fringe of Bristol.
Better integration of green spaces to protect and restore nature, provide resilience to changing climate, support wastewater management and improve health and wellbeing.
Providing a more integrated, convenient, safe, attractive, accessible for all, sustainable transport network with priority given to public transport, pedestrians, cyclists and wheelers (e.g. wheelchair users).
Ensuring that all proposals enable thriving communities with a clean and biodiverse environment, where natural assets and historic assets are protected, and natural resources are used prudently.
Providing utilities (such as energy, digital and water networks) that will support future growth and be future proofed against changes in technology, policy and the climate.
Taking a comprehensive and integrated approach to new development to ensure new sites contribute towards the broader vision.
Supporting residents across the north fringe of Bristol to reach their potential and develop the skills needed to continue to drive economic growth in the region, in line with the Local Industrial Strategy.
Providing new and affordable homes.
We have presented below some illustrations, which demonstrate how the vision might work in key locations across the area. We have identified six locations across the area where there are opportunities for change. These are illustrative examples only and we would really like to hear your feedback. The list includes: Cribbs Causeway; UWE / Abbeywood to Stoke Gifford; Aztec West Business Park; Highwood Road; Bradley Stoke; and the A38.
The first example shows how, in the long-term, the changing retail market could open up the opportunity for Cribbs Causeway to become a local centre as well as a regional shopping centre.
Simple changes could transform the area, including more efficient use of space currently allocated for car parking, improving green spaces and a greater mix of development including residential development and the creation of ‘streets’ along with night-time economy activities including bars and restaurants. Expand image (opens new window)
In the area connecting the University of the West of England through to Stoke Gifford, changes could include improvements to pedestrian walkways, better access to bus services and Bristol Parkway station and encouraging development which offers more local amenities, such as shops and cafes, that overlook streets. This will enhance community identity and personal security by encouraging more pedestrian activity in the area.
Some of these concepts are already being explored in more detail as part of our separate Parkway masterplan project. Expand image (opens new window)
Aztec West, like many out-of-town business parks, was developed in the early 1980s and many of the older buildings may only have one refurbishment left in them before they become redundant.
As the demand for out-of-town office space changes, and the number of employees able to work from home increases, there may be opportunities to use the land differently. For example, introducing alternative uses, such as community facilities and retail, whilst increasing employment through the development of innovative and agile workspaces.
These changes could also help improve connections between Aztec West and the surrounding local communities.
Similar concepts could be considered for other business parks in the area, including the Almondsbury Business Park. Expand image (opens new window)
This example shows how by improving connections between the existing local centre along Rodway Road and the opposite side of Highwood Road, communities can be brought closer together. There could also be opportunity for mixed-use development, including more community facilities. Expand image (opens new window)
This drawing demonstrates how there is potential around Bradley Stoke town centre to create a local high street by improving access and public spaces.
This may also open up opportunities in the longer-term for the centre to grow to offer more amenities and night-time economy activities, such as restaurants, to support the 15-minute neighbourhoods principle. This is the principle that residents have access to most, if not all, of their needs within a short walk or bike ride from their home.
Whilst Bradley Stoke is being used as an example here, other local centres could be transformed in a similar way through small interventions. Expand image (opens new window)
The A38 could be transformed by making changes to some of the large junctions and introducing a more pedestrian friendly environment along the length of the route.
This would transform the A38 so that it no longer forms a major barrier between communities, but instead becomes a street with people and the environment at its heart, without impacting on its role as a main road.
Some of these ideas may not be realised for another 30 years.
For any new development that comes forward it is essential that plans support each of the objectives of the strategic masterplan.
As well as a long-term vision we have also identified some short-term projects that can be started now. We would also like to hear your views on these.
There is an immediate opportunity to understand how the existing green spaces and waterways, across the area, can be enhanced and better connected.
A formal assessment is recommended to help identify the best options for enhancing these natural spaces to gain the maximum benefit for people and the environment.
In residential neighbourhoods, tree planting and greening of streets is recommended to improve the quality of the environment for residents and visitors to the area as well as providing benefits for climate mitigation and resilience.
Planting of street trees along major routes is recommended only once thought has been given to how those routes are likely to change in the future to ensure that any planting of shrubs or trees will enhance the function of roads and streets.
Creating 15-minute neighbourhoods, where residents have access to most, if not all, of their needs within a short walk or bike ride from their home, can have wide-reaching benefits.
Through this approach we can create more attractive places for residents and visitors as well as reducing the need for people to travel. Improving access to community facilities in local areas can also reduce social inequality by enabling access to key facilities for those without access to a car.
Potential opportunities to enhance Aztec West have been presented as one of the six illustrations included in the draft strategic masterplan.
In order for these opportunities to be realised, further study of this area is recommended as a priority to shape the nature of renewal and replacement of existing buildings that are coming to the end of their life and the nature of new development coming forward to fill existing empty sites.
A full corridor review is recommended to understand how this major road can be reimagined to better serve and connect local communities whilst retaining its function as a strategic transport corridor. The review should set out the phasing for changes to the corridor over the next 30 years.
The existing A38 Junction with Highwood Road is extremely large and difficult to cross as a pedestrian, cyclist or wheeler. There may be opportunities to reconfigure the layout of the junction to improve access by pedestrians, cyclists and wheelers and make more efficient use of the space, potentially freeing up land for alternative uses.
The A4174 near Abbeywood and UWE is currently a significant physical barrier to pedestrians cyclists and wheelers. Therefore, a feasibility study is recommended to identify opportunities to improve crossing for pedestrians, cyclists and wheelers.
There are several schemes planned to improve connections for pedestrians, cyclists and wheelers. However in the strategic masterplan, some remaining gaps in provision have been identified which could be improved to ensure all major routes are covered by continuous high-quality connections. Local connections and provision along quiet routes can then be developed as other developments come forwards.