Evidence used for the Local Plan

Planning evidence

We use studies and assessments to make decisions about our planning policies.

Land use, development and planning policy research

Research into land use, development and other planning policy issues is carried out by our Strategic Planning team.

This includes Bristol City Council’s annual Development Monitoring Report, Residential Development Survey and Business Development Survey.

Design and conservation

You can find some documents that we use as evidence on the Conservation pages.

Central Area Context Study

This study from September 2013 has information on the historic development of Bristol and changes that have affected the central area of the city:

Economy and employment

The Economic Development Needs Assessment (pdf, 3.1MB) (opens new window) t looks at employment land demand and supply across the West of England.

Flood risk

Strategic Flood Risk Assessment (SFRA)

The SFRA looks at how likely it is that different parts of Bristol will flood in the future.

SFRA Level 1 reports have an overview of the flood risk in Bristol:

SFRA Level 2 reports have more detail about areas in Bristol:

There are maps that go with the SFRA technical report:

To obtain flood depth information from the Avonmouth Severnside SFRA flood model, for planning application and other purposes, use the Avonmouth Severnside SFRA Flood Depths web map

Central Area Flood Risk Assessment

This is a study on tidal and river flood risks in Central Bristol that we made with the Environment Agency.

You can look at a summary report of the Central Flood Risk Assessment (pdf, 7.2MB) (opens new window) . You should use this alongside the SFRA as this has the most up to date information for the centre of Bristol.

To get the information used in the study, email the Environment Agency at SouthWestEnquiries@environment-agency.gov.uk.

Surface Water Management Plan (SWMP)

We’ll use the SWMP to help us deal with flooding caused by heavy rainfall.

The SWMP model summary (pdf, 1.3MB) (opens new window) has details of the flood modelling conducted.

If you need this information in an alternative format, email flood.data@bristol.gov.uk

There's information on parts of Bristol that have the highest risk of surface water flooding contained in the Level 1 Strategic Flood Risk Assessment report and accompanying surface water flood risk maps found above. 


We carry out assessments to see what sites in Bristol might be suitable for different types of housing:


The Avonmouth infrastructure study looks at flood risk, ecology and transport in the Avonmouth and Severnside area:

Natural environment

The Parks and Green Space Strategy (pdf, 2.9MB) (opens new window) has information on how green space in the city should be used.

Severnside and Avonmouth Wetland Habitat Project

This project looked at what areas of land would be suitable as a habitat for wetland birds:

Shops and shopping centres

The South Bristol Retail and Centres Study (pdf, 10.4MB) (opens new window) has information on retail needs and town centres for the south of Bristol.

City Centre Retail Study

This study looks at how we can meet the needs of city centre retail development:

Sustainable energy and design