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

Visit the Western Harbour project website Go to (opens new window) for more 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. 

We've worked with the city to create a vision for Western Harbour and through further community consultation and engagement, we want to create a masterplan to determine the future. This includes the:

  • layout of roads, public spaces and buildings
  • height and scale of buildings 
  • mix of uses 

This process will inform the local plan review.

Western Harbour project area

Map of the Western Harbour project area

Why change is proposed at Western Harbour

Aging infrastructure

We need to update or replace the Cumberland Basin road system, an important local and regional transport route.

As the infrastructure of this road has become older, maintenance is more expensive. We'll need to renew or replace large parts of the system in future. The Western Harbour project is an opportunity to make wider improvements to the area at the same time.


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
  • meeting the challenges of the climate and ecological emergencies
  • protecting greenspaces in and around the city

A vision for Western Harbour

No proposals have yet been designed for Western Harbour.

Broad principles for the area will be developed in the masterplanning stage, starting in autumn and winter 2023, informed by the commitments set out in the vision for Western Harbour.

The vision for Western Harbour was approved by Bristol City Council's Cabinet on 12 July 2022, following a public consultation carried out earlier that year.

Read the vision for Western Harbour

Visit the Harbour Hopes website Go to (opens new window) to:

  • read the vision document 
  • find out what people said during the engagement programme held between September and December 2021  
  • find out what people said about the draft vision during the public consultation held between March and April 2022

Project timeline

The following dates are a guide only and may change.

September 2021 to December 2021: Harbour Hopes engagement 

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

12 July 2022: Cabinet meeting

4 July 2023: grant offer considered by Bristol City Council's Cabinet

March 2024: appointment of masterplanning team

  • Bristol City Council appointment of the masterplanning team

February 2024: refresh the Western Harbour Advisory Group

Summer 2025: complete Western Harbour masterplan

  • The masterplan will develop detailed proposals for the area, alongside consultation with the community

Autumn 2025: Bristol City Council seeks further funding for key infrastructure projects

2026 and 2027: planning applications and approvals

  • We'll develop details of a scheme for the area with ongoing consultation throughout

2028: work starts on the ground with a 6 year delivery timeframe

Western Harbour Advisory Group (WHAG)

The Western Harbour Advisory Group (WHAG) was set up in October 2019. 

The group is in the process of being refreshed. Up to 16 members will be in place by early March 2024 and remaining throughout the development of the masterplan. 

The role of the group is to help shape the 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.

In February 2024 applications will open for new group members. For more information and how to apply, visit the Harbour Hopes website.

Find out more

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