MORE than 1,000 new homes could be built as part of plans to transform a huge area of land in the centre of Fishponds.
People are being asked to give their views on a master plan to turn an industrial and commercial area currently occupied by companies including Graphic Packaging International, Bristol Marble & Granite and TGS Automotive Group into a mix of new homes and commercial development.
The scheme has been named Atlas Place, and covers a 14.8 hectare (36 1/2 acre) area bounded by the Bristol & Bath Railway Path, Lodge Causeway, Forest Road and Enfield Road.
The site includes industrial buildings on either side of Filwood Road and Goodneston Road, where around 400 people currently work.
The initial master plan has been published online by the developers, after discussions with Bristol City Council, to ask for residents’ views before detailed plans are drawn up.
They say the first company is likely to move out this year but others could stay for up to five, with the redevelopment completed by 2030.
The area has been split into three different sites.
The first to be redeveloped is likely to be the Graphic Packaging International site on the corner of Filwood Road, Enfield Road and Goodneston Road (pictured above), where 230 people work for the US-owned firm.
The website says: “The company plans to relocate to a new, modern, fit for purpose premises within the wider Bristol region in 2023.”
Around 260 homes are planned there, mainly houses but also apartment blocks.
On the opposite side of Filwood Road is a site owned by a group called Central Fishponds Ltd, which could see up to 900 homes, including flats, built alongside “flexible employment/commercial space”.
The site is bound by the railway path on one side but the plan mentions new road access via both Filwood Road and Forest Road, which it adjoins near the Briar Way junction.
Kent-based Central Fishponds Ltd, previously named Frontdoor Properties, bought the site in 2019.
It includes Filwood House and two landmark industrial chimneys from the former Robinsons packaging factory (below), which are understood to be nesting sites for birds of prey.
The third site, owned by Sussex-based Castel Ltd, has been earmarked for a “residential-led development, including commercial and public open space”.
The number of homes planned for the site is not disclosed but it is likely to be the most densely populated. The figure of “245 dwellings per hectare” is given, about four times as many as on the Graphic Packaging site, so it is likely to include flats.
The Castel Ltd site borders Lodge Causeway, the railway path, Goodneston Road and Filwood Road, and is currently home to businesses including TGS Automotive Group at Oakwood Park (below) and Total Access scaffolding.
The consultation website can be found online at atlasplacefishpondsfuture.com and comments are being invited until March 20.
After that the developers say there will be a further stage of public consultation and engagement later in the spring, with more detail on what is proposed for each site, before separate planning applications are submitted to the council in “late spring/summer”.
The developers say: “Before detailed designs for the site are proposed, we want to understand what local people think of Atlas Place and the surrounding area – what’s good, what’s bad and how could it be improved for residents.
“Your feedback will help us to understand how Atlas Place could be reshaped in a way that is right for Fishponds.”
Comments have already been posted ranging from concerns over traffic and road access to provision of new parks and schools.
The area was included as a likely Central Fishponds brownfield redevelopment site, capable of accommodating 1,500 homes, by the city council in its 2019 local plan review, and is inside the city council’s Hillfields ward.
Councillors Ellie King and Craig Cheney called on residents to have their say.
They said: “The area has long been in need of regeneration; the prospect of bringing affordable housing, improved green spaces, and active travel routes to ‘Central Fishponds’ is very welcome.
“We will also work to reduce the impact of any increased traffic or parking issues that new developments can cause, and will continue to make the case for additional investment in local schools, doctors and dentists.”
Top picture: Both the Graphic Packaging International building and Verona House, home to Bristol Marble & Granite, look likely to be demolished and redeveloped as part of a regeneration plan for the area.