Bristol City Council Planning Policies

All local authorities are required to develop a local plan, setting out both their broad, strategic aims and the more specific detail of which policies apply to different parts of their area.

For Bristol, the broad strategy is set out in the document ‘Bristol Development Framework – Core Strategy’. Bristol Core Strategy (BCS) Policies with relevance to this site are set out from page 51 onwards. They are also referenced on the Policies Map, which is explained below.

However, when it comes to objecting to a planning application, the key document is the Bristol Local Plan – Site Allocations and Development Management Policies . This sets out the detail of the policies that support the Core Strategy, and states how they will be applied in practice, including when determining planning applications.

Section 2, from pages 5 to 85, sets out the detailed Development Management (DM) policies through which Bristol City Council will seek to deliver the broad aims of its strategic plan.

Each of these policies is given a reference number, for example DM17 ‘Development Involving Existing Green Infrastructure’, which sets out what the planning policies will be in areas to which DM17 applies, as it does in our case.

(Page 86 onwards lists a number of sites in the Greater Fishponds area that have been designated for specific purposes, such as housing. None of these apply to the land we are interested in – that means the site has not been listed for housing development, which helps us).

In order to see what planning designations have been applied to the proposed development site, we need to refer to two related documents:

  • Policies Map 22. The whole of Bristol is covered by a detailed policy map. The proposed development site we are interested in is in Map 22, and can be seen just under the word ‘Stapleton’ towards the top left corner. 
  • Policies Map Key  explains the  various colours, hatchings and other markings on the Policies Map.

From this we can see that a number of of designations apply to this land:

  • it is shaded light green, meaning it is designated as ‘Important Open Space’ and the Policies Map Key helpfully tells us that Core Strategy Policy BCS 9 and Development Management Policy DM17 apply
  • it is also hatched with backward leaning lines, meaning it is designated as part of a ‘Local Historic Park and Garden’, and the Policies Map Key tells us that BCS 22 and DM31 apply
  • the river bank forms the boundary of an area hatched in forward leaning lines, meaning it is a ‘Site of Nature Conservation Interest’.  BCS 9 and DM19 apply. (The proposed development site is not actually inside this area, but because it is immediately adjacent any development might have an impact on it, and therefore the planning process will have to have due regard to this. It can therefore form part of an objection).
  • the site is also designated as a ‘Wildlife Corridor’ and this aspect of DM19 does apply directly to the site.

In addition, the site is shown as being enclosed within the Stapleton and Frome Valley Conservation Area. (The outline of this area on the map gives us our logo). The developers have tried to argue that the site is ‘on the boundary’ of the Conservation Area, in such a way as to suggest this somehow reduces its status. We reject this – the whole site sits within the Conservation Area and all associated provisions apply in full.  The Conservation area is described in ’03 – Stapleton & Frome Valley (1)’. Bristol City Council has produced this FAQ guide to explain some of the key principles that underpin the planning concepts and approach taken in Conservation Areas ‘conservation-areas-faq’.

Other documents of relevance include:

For details of the Historic Parks and Gardens designation that applies to Eastville Park see Policy NE9 ‘Historic Parks and Gardens’. The proposed development site is included within the overall designation because of its importance within the whole setting of the park.

Bristol City Council LogoFull details of all Bristol City Council’s planning  policies, procedures and guidelines can be found here: ‘Planning Homepage’.

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