Watkin Jones secures planning approval for 484 PBSA scheme in Bristol

Watkin Jones secures planning approval for 484 PBSA scheme in Bristol

Watkin Jones is pleased to announce that Bristol City Council Development Committee (‘the Council’) approved plans for the development of a 484-bed purpose-built student accommodation (‘PBSA’) scheme on Malago Road, Bedminster in Bristol earlier this week. This development represents one of the final projects of the Bedminster Green regeneration area and follows two years of negotiation and engagement with the Council.

Formerly an engineering works and foundry, the project is a prime opportunity to revive a disused brownfield site and contribute to the broader regeneration of the Bedminster Green area. The scheme will deliver high-quality managed homes for students ranging from six to ten storeys in height across three buildings. The proposals will deliver broad benefits to the local community, including the creation of a new public space and improvements to the highway infrastructure. The new student population is expected to support local businesses, including those along nearby East Street in particular.

Compared to the proposals of previous developers, Watkin Jones’ proposal promoted significant changes including reducing the number and height of buildings across the site and decreasing the number of rooms to better reflect the local character and in response to public engagement.

With support from the University of Bristol, this scheme will help to meet the higher education needs of the city that continues to be a premier destination of choice for both UK and international students as numbers continue to rise. Importantly, it has been designed sustainably to support the Group’s ESG strategy. The scheme will be BREEAM ‘Excellent’ and WiredScore ‘Gold’ enabling the best connectivity for students, in addition to an EPC rating B.

Watkin Jones is expected to partner with its award-winning management company Fresh to deliver well-maintained, 24-hour on-site services for students. As a leading and long-standing student accommodation developer, Fresh can ensure the site is well cared for and that the student population is well integrated with the existing community. The site offers excellent public transport links and includes storage for 130 bikes, three disabled car spaces that can accommodate EV charging, significant new tree planting, and green landscaping along Malago Road, seamlessly integrating with the council’s highway improvements and river restoration works.

Ben Wrighton, Head of Planning at Watkin Jones commented:

“We are very excited to announce planning approval for our second project in one of Bristol’s key regeneration areas and our third active project within the city.

“Our commitment to providing high-quality, and well-managed purpose-built student accommodation will in part address the significant growing demand from the University of Bristol. We look forward to continuing our efforts to meet this growing need alongside the City Council and the local communities.”

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