What is the Bristol Heat Network Local Development Order, why we're developing this and how can you have your say.

What is the Bristol Heat Network Local Development Order

Bristol Heat Network

The Bristol Heat Network is a new network of underground pipes that will deliver affordable, low-carbon heat and energy across the city. Our Heat Network will eventually cover central Bristol and other areas across the city, powered by low carbon energy centres.

The heat network replaces the need for individual buildings to have their own heating systems and often uses heat recovered from industry or from renewable sources, as well as producing fewer carbon emissions.

Local Development Order

A Local Development Order provides permitted development rights for specified types of development in defined locations. They are flexible and locally determined tools that Local Planning Authorities can use for the delivery of appropriate development in the right places.

The Bristol Heat Network Local Development Order is proposed to help facilitate the installation of the Bristol Heat Network in appropriate areas. The description of development within the Order states that the Bristol Heat Network Local Development Order would grant:

'permitted development rights for the installation (whether temporary or otherwise), inspection, maintenance, alteration, replacement, repair and removal of a heating transmission and distribution system and ancillary infrastructure comprising of pipes, cables, wires, ducting, valve chambers and heat exchange equipment, including ancillary above ground infrastructure such as informational signage, cabinets, buildings, structures and enclosures reasonably necessary for the purpose of the development permitted, together with any engineering operations and reinstatement works reasonably necessary for the purpose of the development permitted within the defined areas of land in the City of Bristol as shown on the Order map Go to https://eur03.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fbcc.maps.arcgis.com%2Fapps%2Fwebappviewer%2Findex.html%3Fid%3Dea5777a8f0a343aca1e03fef8b6a39f6&data=05%7C01%7C%7C8736155b81da4779317308daf7b1b870%7C6378a7a50f214482aee0897eb7de331f%7C0%7C0%7C638094639912554687%7CUnknown%7CTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJWIjoiMC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIjoiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWwiLCJXVCI6Mn0%3D%7C3000%7C%7C%7C&sdata=A8Pk7T7AzhNE7019LfWSVxNiigvKh%2BntwPj8OkUGWog%3D&reserved=0 (opens new window), subject to conditions.'

In areas considered to be more sensitive to development, such as those in close proximity to environmental or heritage designations, development for which the Order grants planning permission will be subject to appropriate restrictions, conditions and prohibitions where necessary. These measures aim to safeguard any sensitive areas and ensure the Order and the resulting installations do not have a significant or detrimental impact on its surrounding environment.

Why we are undertaking this work

To realise our ambitions of carbon neutrality, almost every building in the city will need to switch to low carbon heating or connect to a Heat Network.

The aim of the Order is to encourage and facilitate the implementation of the Bristol Heat Network to:

  • deliver the infrastructure to enable the distribution of low carbon energy sources
  • achieve reductions in the Council's CO2 emissions and contribute to the city's aim of carbon neutrality by 2030

Where we are developing

The boundary of the Local Development Order would cover the administrative area of Bristol City Council. 

The development permitted through the Order is identified on the Order Map Go to https://eur03.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fbcc.maps.arcgis.com%2Fapps%2Fwebappviewer%2Findex.html%3Fid%3Dea5777a8f0a343aca1e03fef8b6a39f6&data=05%7C01%7C%7C8736155b81da4779317308daf7b1b870%7C6378a7a50f214482aee0897eb7de331f%7C0%7C0%7C638094639912554687%7CUnknown%7CTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJWIjoiMC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIjoiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWwiLCJXVCI6Mn0%3D%7C3000%7C%7C%7C&sdata=A8Pk7T7AzhNE7019LfWSVxNiigvKh%2BntwPj8OkUGWog%3D&reserved=0 (opens new window) that includes only highway land and council owned green spaces and is subject to conditions within the Order.

Areas considered to be more sensitive have been identified on the Order Map and have been excluded from the Order. These measures aim to safeguard any sensitive areas and ensure the Order does not have a significant or detrimental impact on its surrounding environment.


We consulted on Ask Bristol Go to https://www.ask.bristol.gov.uk/bristol-heat-network-local-development-order-consultation (opens new window) about the draft Order, Order Map, Statement of Reasons and Environmental Impact Assessment Screening Report.

The consultation closed on 20 January 2023.


A copy of the Order, Order map and the council's statement of reasons for making the Order can be inspected below:

Supporting documents