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

pdf The Bristol employment land study (5.03 MB) looks at employment land demand and supply.

To see economy and employment evidence about the wider region, visit the West of England Combined Authority website.

Our pdf note on employment land evidence (162 KB)  outlines the context in which this study can be considered and how we will progress work on this topic.

If you need these documents in an alternative format, email jack.allan@bristol.gov.uk 

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  pdf a summary report of the Central Flood Risk Assessment (7.15 MB) . 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 WessexEnquiries@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 pdf SWMP model summary (1.28 MB)  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 of housing need and of sites in Bristol that might be suitable for different types of housing:

If you need an assessment in a different format, email blp@bristol.gov.uk


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

Natural environment

The pdf Parks and Green Space Strategy (2.87 MB)  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 pdf South Bristol Retail and Centres Study (10.37 MB)  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