Western Harbour

Western Harbour

The Western Harbour project area, information about the regeneration project and the Western Harbour Advisory Group, connected projects and how to get involved.

The Western Harbour project area

Western Harbour (jpg, 2.4MB) (opens new window) is the area around the Cumberland Basin, which stretches from Baltic Wharf in the east to beyond where the River Avon meets the floating harbour in the west.

To the south, the area follows Coronation Road and Clift House Road then continues to take in the A370 Jessop Underpass and A3029 Brunel Way and extends west to the Portishead railway line.

To the north of the Plimsoll Swing Bridge, the boundary follows Hotwells Road, Dowry Place and Oldfield Place.

The opportunity 

Western Harbour is a key area in the continuing regeneration of Bristol’s city centre and the floating harbour. 

It’s a significant gateway to the city, in a historic and landscape setting, and has the potential to grow and thrive.

Western Harbour is one of the Growth and Regeneration Areas in the Local Plan Review (2019). The need to replace parts of the highway infrastructure at Cumberland Basin also provides an opportunity for change in the area.

The Local Plan sets out the intention to develop Western Harbour to create:

  • a mixed and inclusive community
  • opportunities for new homes, workspace, leisure and services

The project is an opportunity to:

  • build sustainable and affordable homes close to the city centre
  • create new jobs
  • encourage people to use their cars less
  • create good quality public space for all
  • improve access to the water

This will support Bristol's economy by improving connections between homes, jobs and the rest of the city.

The regeneration will also address flood risk and the climate and ecological emergencies.

Find out more about the project in our frequently asked questions (pdf, 633KB) (opens new window) .

Upcoming engagement

We have listened to your feedback. In consultation with the Western Harbour Advisory Group, we’ve appointed Turner Works, an independent organisation, to develop a shared vision for the area. We’ll ask citizens to tell us what you think, and we’ll listen to your views. 

The vision will set out the city’s hopes for the future of Western Harbour. 

The vision will then underpin the next design phase of the project and its future delivery. 

This work will start in summer 2021. Visit Harbour Hopes for more information.

What's happened so far

Bristol Local Plan review

In spring 2019, we held a public consultation on a draft Local Plan Review which included the Western Harbour regeneration project. See the results of that consultation.

The review of Bristol's Local Plan is continuing and will set out how Bristol will grow over the next 20 years. Find out more about the Local Plan review.

Transport feasibility study

To help us better understand the options for Western Harbour’s transport network, we did a transport feasibility study in August 2019.

The study assessed 10 approaches to replace the road network around the Cumberland Basin with new routes across the River Avon. From this study, in August 2019, we asked for initial views from the community on the three approaches that it considered most viable.

This engagement was designed to inform further thinking about the area before any significant work was done, but we realise that this was not well received. You can find a summary of the responses in our Western Harbour engagement report.

We've decided to spend more time talking to local and citywide communities about what they want for the area. This is why we're doing a more formal engagement for the project. 

Proposed project timeline

2021 to 2022

  • engage with people all over the city to develop a shared vision for Western Harbour 

  • identify opportunities for meanwhile uses or temporary uses of the space

Start of the formal development process

2022 to 2024

  • masterplan development in collaboration with communities, businesses and stakeholders 

  • meanwhile use 

  • new Local Plan

2024 to 2026

  • scheme development: planning applications, funding and delivery route

2026 onwards

  • scheme delivery: works start on the ground

Western Harbour Advisory Group

The Western Harbour Advisory Group (WHAG) was established in October 2019. It includes local community representatives, businesses, and other interested parties. The role of the group is to help shape the Western Harbour alongside the wider community. 

As agreed by the WHAG, the Terms of Reference and notes from the meetings will be published and can be found here: 

Connected projects across the city

There are several other projects taking place across Bristol that relate to Western Harbour’s regeneration proposals. These will be considered and form part of development discussions and proposals as they come forward.

Clean Air Zone

Air quality in the central area of Bristol is above legal limits. We're looking at ways to tackle this, including proposals for a Clean Air Zone.

To find out more, visit the Clean Air for Bristol website.

Harbour operations review

There is a wider review on the operational needs of the harbour taking place throughout 2021. The opportunities around Western Harbour will need to be considered as part of this review.  

River Avon Flood Strategy

Flooding from the River Avon is a risk within and around the waterways of central Bristol. A long term strategy for managing the risk from the River Avon has recently been consulted on. A report went to Cabinet on 9 March 2021, in which recommendations were approved. Find out about the Bristol Avon Flood Strategy decision details.


If you'd like to get in touch, email hello@harbourhopes.co.uk.