Planning evidence

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

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:

Equalities Impact Assessment

We carry out equalities impact assessments to make sure our policies meet the needs of different groups of people in Bristol:

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

Surface Water Management Plan (SWMP)

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

The SWMP phase 1 report (pdf, 5.8MB) (opens new window) has information on parts of Bristol that have the highest risk of surface water flooding. You can also look at:


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


The Bristol Infrastructure Delivery Programme June 2010 (pdf, 603k) (opens new window) has information on the infrastructure we’ll need to support future development.

Avonmouth Infrastructure Study

This looks at the challenges of 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


Bristol Affordable Housing Viability Study

This study looks at different sites in Bristol to see if they could be used for affordable housing: