13-storey tower block part of developer’s plans for Fishponds

A THIRTEEN-storey tower block could be built as part of a massive redevelopment scheme for Fishponds.

Several other blocks of more than eight storeys appear on site plans published by developer Central Fishponds Ltd on the site of current industrial buildings Filwood House and Verona House.

The blocks would provide 780 flats, with another 120 houses also proposed for the site, which lies between the Bristol & Bath Railway Path, Filwood Road and Forest Road, opposite the Fishponds Royal Mail delivery office.

The site includes two landmark chimneys, said to be nesting places for peregrine falcons, which would be demolished if the scheme goes ahead.

Central Fishponds Ltd’s Filwood House & Verona House site makes up about one third of the wider Atlas Place project to redevelop industrial and commercial sites between the Railway Path, Lodge Causeway and Forest Road, first reported in March’s Voice.

As well as 900 homes, the developer says it wants to build “flexible business and creative workspace”, which it says could include offices, cafes, healthcare facilities, nurseries and gyms, but added: “We are keen to ensure that this space does not compete with the local high street.”

The tallest building on the plans would be 13 storeys high and overlook the Railway Path. More than ten other apartment buildings of between six and 11 storeys are on the plans, along with 120 two and three-storey terraced houses.

Verona House (left) and Filwood House (right) would be demolished and make way for houses

Filwood House and Verona House are currently home to a wide variety of businesses, from garages and manufacturers to stone supplier Bristol Marble & Granite.

All of the current buildings on the site would be demolished under the plans, which were unveiled ahead of a consultation event on March 31.

The developer said: “Our ambition is that the new community not only delivers homes, but that it also creates a place that supports the people and businesses of Fishponds.”

This would include a public open space, accessible to new and existing residents.

One of the key issues for the development is transport – and maps drawn up for the consultation do not include car parking for every flat.

The developer said: “We recognise that parking is a sensitivity locally. As such we are working hard to ensure that this scheme does not negatively impact parking in the local area.

“We are exploring how many car park spaces we will need and investigating car clubs and EV charging.”

The company said it was “keen to encourage residents to walk and cycle where possible, instead of relying on a car”, was looking to connect the site to the Railway Path and provide cycle parking for every flat.

The developer added: “We know that the local road network could serve the community better. As a result, our team is looking at ways to calm traffic in and around the site.”

The consultation documents claim the site would generate around 250 vehicle movements per hour, and that this is “very similar” to the present number, “many of which are made by HGVs”.

Describing the plans as “a nature-led development with ecological enhancements,” the developer said: “The plans will regenerate a brownfield industrial site, replacing large areas of hardstanding with new trees and plants, providing habitats for local wildlife and a pleasant environment for new and existing residents.

“The site as it is now offers little environmental value. Our plans will change this.

“We are also looking at how we can incorporate sustainable and renewable technology into the new homes. This will include solar panels and air source heat pumps.”

Tower blocks would be built on this part of the site, seen from the railway bridge on Filwood Road.

Asked about the demolition of the former Robinsons factory chimneys (above), Central Fishponds Ltd spokesperson Adam Scott-Avis said: “We recognise the importance of the chimneys locally and are carefully considering their removal.

“The issue is complex. We’re balancing housing delivery, including affordable homes, contributions to local infrastructure and the quality of new public space.”

Details of the development can be seen online at filwoodverona.co.uk, where an online feedback form for people to give their views was live as the Voice went to press.

Central Fishponds Ltd is also encouraging people who want to comment to email info@filwoodverona.co.uk, call 0800 148 8911 or write to Freepost MEETING PLACE CONSULTATION.

Mr Scott-Avis said: “We had more than 100 people join our community drop-in event and have received feedback from many more. Whilst the consultation is now closed, people can continue to share their views with us through the dedicated project contact details.

“We’re in the process of reviewing feedback and will be updating the community ahead of submitting a planning application later this year.”  

If the scheme receives planning permission, which is expected to take around a year, the company anticipates work on the site would start in 2026.