Western Harbour regeneration

Western Harbour regeneration

The Western Harbour project area, why change is proposed, about the governance of the project, how to find out more.

Visit the Western Harbour project website for further news and information.

The Western Harbour project area

The Western Harbour project area is at the western end of Bristol’s Floating Harbour.  

To the north, the boundary follows Hotwells Road, Dowry Place and Oldfield Place, and includes the elevated flyover system.  

The central area includes the part of Spike Island west of Avon Crescent, Cumberland Basin and the Plimsoll Swing Bridge. 

To the south of the New Cut the boundary follows Brunel Way and Jessop Underpass. 

Western Harbour is part of a wider area identified in the Local Plan Review for Growth and Regeneration. Find out more.

Western Harbour project area

Map of the Western Harbour project area

Why change is proposed at Western Harbour 

Aging infrastructure 

The existing 1960s road network needs significant investment. As the infrastructure gets older it costs more to maintain than it would to replace. Current estimates indicate the cost of replacing the highway structure would be around £50m. 


Bristol has a housing crisis, with around 16,000 people on the Bristol City Council housing waiting list in 2021. Western Harbour is a sustainable location for new homes. 

Sustainable location  

Western Harbour is mostly brownfield, previously developed land within walking and cycling distance of the city centre. This makes it a good location for the homes, jobs and public spaces people in Bristol need, while meeting the challenges of the climate and ecological emergencies and protecting greenspaces in and around the city.

A vision for Western Harbour 

No proposals have yet been designed for Western Harbour.  

In 2021 Bristol City Council ran an engagement programme on the future of Western Harbour to inform a vision for the area. The vision:

  • aims to reflect local people's hopes and aspirations for the area
  • makes broad commitments to what kind of change will happen in the area

Members of the public were invited to read and comment on the draft vision for Western Harbour to help us refine the document for formal publication in the summer.

The consultation is now closed. 

Feedback from this consultation will be published on the Harbour Hopes website. The vision will be updated accordingly.

Read the vision for Western Harbour 

Visit the Harbour Hopes website to:

  • read the vision document
  • find out what happened during the engagement and what people said in the Western Harbour Engagement Report

The consultation and additional public feedback on the draft will help to refine the final vision for the area. The vision will then go to Bristol City Council’s Cabinet in summer 2022. If endorsed, the next phase of the project will be to develop a masterplan and associated delivery plan. The masterplan will set out in more detail what Western Harbour might look like in future, including where new homes, jobs, public spaces and infrastructure might go. The vision will help to guide and inform the masterplan. 

Project timeline 

September 2021 to December 2021: Harbour Hopes engagement 

  • Bristolians asked what their hopes were for the future of Western Harbour 
  • Read the Engagement Report

10 March 2022 to 22 April 2022: Draft vision for Western Harbour consultation 

7 June 2022: Cabinet meeting

  • The vision goes to Bristol City Council’s cabinet to be considered 

Summer to autumn 2022: Bristol City Council chooses the masterplanning team 

  • Subject to endorsement by Cabinet, Bristol City Council looks for the team who will take the vision forward 

Autumn 2022 to spring 2024: masterplan development

  • More detailed proposals for the area are developed alongside consultation with the community 

2025: planning applications and approvals

  • Details of a scheme for the area are developed with ongoing consultation throughout 

2026: work commences on the ground with a 6 year delivery timeframe 

Connected projects across the city

There are several projects happening in Bristol that will impact the Western Harbour project. We’ll need to consider these projects as more detailed proposals for the area develop. 

The West of England Spatial Development Strategy and Bristol’s emerging Local Plan Review will consider how the city will develop over the next 15 to 20 years. 

The Bristol Avon Flood Strategy sets out the vision and principles for better protecting homes and businesses from flooding from the river, with land affected all the way up to Netham Lock and beyond. The principles in this strategy will be considered in the context of Western Harbour through the masterplanning stages of the project. 

The Harbour Operations Review is a review of how best to meet the statutory responsibilities of the Harbour taking place in 2021 to 2022. The opportunities around Western Harbour will need to be considered alongside this.   

The Clean Air Zone seeks to improve air quality in Bristol for our health and our environment. Starting in summer 2022, a daily charge will apply to older and more polluting vehicles driving in the zone, which will be reinvested back into the local community.

Western Harbour Advisory Group (WHAG)

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 Western Harbour alongside the wider community.

As agreed by the Advisory Group, the Terms of Reference, agenda, attendees and notes from the meetings are published here.

Find out more

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