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:
- pdf Central Area Context Study: Chapters 1 to 3 (5.19 MB)
- pdf Central Area Context Study: Chapter 4 (10.86 MB)
- pdf Central Area Context Study: Chapters 5 to 6 (2.32 MB)
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 email@example.com
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:
- pdf Citywide SFRA Level 1 report from December 2020 (1.78 MB)
- pdf SFRA user guide (121 KB)
- pdf Functional floodplain with river network map (8.89 MB)
- pdf Historic flood map (1.13 MB)
- pdf Sequential Test, 2080 Flood Zone 3 map (16.85 MB)
- pdf Sequential Test, 2120 Flood Zone 3 map (31.36 MB)
- pdf Sequential Test, present day Flood Zone 2 map (13.92 MB)
- pdf Sequential Test, present day Flood Zone 3 map (13.59 MB)
- pdf Surface water flood risk, 2080 map (19.22 MB)
- pdf Surface water flood risk, 2115 map (18.04 MB)
- pdf Surface water flood risk, present day, 30 year return period map (15.11 MB)
- pdf Surface water flood risk, present day, 100 year return period map (23.33 MB)
- pdf Surface water flood risk, present day, 1000 year return period map (20.54 MB)
SFRA Level 2 reports have more detail about areas in Bristol:
- pdf Avonmouth/Severnside SFRA Level 2 summary report from February 2011 (5.60 MB)
- pdf Avonmouth/Severnside SFRA technical report (1.70 MB)
There are maps that go with the SFRA technical report:
- pdf Avonmouth/Severnside SFRA Figure 1.0 (1.82 MB)
- pdf Avonmouth/Severnside SFRA Figures 2.1 - 2.5 (7.34 MB)
- pdf Avonmouth/Severnside SFRA Figure 3.1 (1.79 MB)
- pdf Avonmouth/Severnside SFRA Figures 4.0 - 4.15 (15.54 MB)
- pdf Avonmouth/Severnside SFRA Figures 5.0 - 5.12 (18.90 MB)
- pdf Avonmouth/Severnside SFRA Figures 6.0 - 6.10 (9.05 MB)
- pdf Avonmouth/Severnside SFRA Figures 7.0 - 7.5 (18.58 MB)
- pdf Avonmouth/Severnside SFRA Figures 7.6 - 7.12 (16.25 MB)
- pdf Avonmouth/Severnside SFRA Figures 7.13 - 7.19 (15.24 MB)
- pdf Avonmouth/Severnside SFRA Figures 7.20 - 7.21 (15.80 MB)
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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:
- pdf Bristol Urban Potential Assessment: February 2018 (908 KB)
- pdf Strategic Housing Market Assessment at the West of England: Executive summary (830 KB)
- pdf Strategic Housing Market Assessment at the West of England: Full report (3.66 MB)
- pdf West of England, Housing Need and Affordability Assessment May 2005 (884 KB)
- pdf Gypsy and Traveller Accomodation Assessment 2020 (2.63 MB)
- pdf Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA) 2009 (6.97 MB)
- pdf Student Accommodation Topic Paper July 2014 (1.16 MB)
If you need an assessment in a different format, email email@example.com
The Avonmouth infrastructure study looks at flood risk, ecology and transport in the Avonmouth and Severnside area:
- pdf Avonmouth and Severnside Integrated Development, Infrastructure, and Flood Risk Management Study April 2012 (10.40 MB)
- pdf List of Appendices for the Avonmouth Infrastructure Study (18 KB)
- pdf Appendices 1 to 5 for the Avonmouth Infrastructure Study (11.16 MB) (Appendix 4 to be added at a later date)
- pdf Appendices 6 to 10 for the Avonmouth Infrastructure Study (9.79 MB)
- pdf Appendices 11 to 15 for the Avonmouth Infrastructure Study (9.61 MB)
- pdf Appendix 16 for the Avonmouth Infrastructure Study (18.81 MB)
- pdf Appendices 17 to 21 for the Avonmouth Infrastructure Study (9.61 MB)
- pdf Avonmouth Severnside Outline Development Strategy Report April 2012 (2.05 MB)
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:
- pdf Severnside and Avonmouth Wetland Habitat Project Stage 1: Distribution of wetland birds within the study area (491 KB)
- pdf Severnside and Avonmouth Wetland Habitat Project Stage 2: Review of consent at Severnside and Avonmouth Impact Assessment (1.23 MB)
- pdf Severnside and Avonmouth Wetland Habitat Project Stage 2: Figures (13.61 MB)
- pdf Severnside and Avonmouth Wetland Habitat Project Stage 2: Appendices (2.08 MB)
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:
- pdf City Centre Retail Study Stages 1 and 2 (2.54 MB)
- pdf City Centre Retail Study Appendices (7.01 MB)
- pdf City Centre Retail Study Explanatory Note (652 KB)
Sustainable energy and design
- pdf Bristol Citywide Sustainable Energy Study (7.94 MB)
- pdf West of England cost of carbon reduction study: Non-technical introduction (148 KB)
- pdf West of England cost of carbon reduction study: Full report (1.34 MB)
- pdf Carbon offsetting in the West of England (2.36 MB)
- pdf An evidence based strategy for delivering zero carbon heat in Bristol (2.88 MB)
- pdf Bristol City Council Zero Carbon Heating and Cooling Study: Whole Life Carbon and Cost Appraisal (9.16 MB)
- pdf Summary of evidence in support of planning policies NZC1-4 (216 KB)