Community housing plans unveiled for farm next to M32

PLANS to build 12 homes in a “community-led” housing project at a farm next to the M32 have been lodged with the city council.

The Bridge Farm site, between Bell Hill in Stapleton and Glenfrome Primary School in Eastville, was bought five years ago by the Ashley Vale Action Group, to repair and reuse the Grade II-listed farm buildings and create “an affordable, sustainable, community-led housing scheme”, named Little Bridges.

The land in the application is allocated for self-build, custom and community-led housing on the council’s draft local plan, which has still to be formally approved.

Plans to build 11 three-bedroom and one one-bedroom house overlooking Glenfrome Road, between the existing farm buildings and the school site, have been submitted.

AVAG’s planning statement says: “The proposal is co-housing and therefore also provides shared community facilities, a common house, an energy hub, and communal amenity areas.”

As the houses are self-build, their appearance will be agreed later in the planing process, “allowing individual self-builders a degree of design freedom”.

A plan shows where the self-build homes would be sited, overlooking Glenfrome Road between the existing farm buildings and Glenfrome Primary School

It is part of a wider project at the farm, which also involves restoring the existing farm buildings, for accommodation and for “education, gatherings and celebrations”, and using the rest of the three-and-a-half acre site for growing trees, flowers, vegetables, fruit and farming animals, as well as creating “wildlife corridors” at the edges.

AVAG added: “The overarching vision for the site as a whole is for One-Planet Living, where land is safeguarded for regenerative agriculture and biodiversity so that it may contribute to the food, health, welfare, and livelihoods of the residents.

“The land will evolve organically benefiting from the input of both residents, and the wider community.”

Bridge Farm Cohousing Group, which is coordinating the scheme, said: “Bristol is one of the leading places in the country for community-led housing, where people get together to find their own solutions to the housing crisis. 

“Cohousing communities are intentional communities run by the residents, where each household is a self-contained home, but the residents share facilities and community spaces. Cohousing communities are places where you know your neighbours.”

One objection has been made to the plans, from a neighbour who said: “The point of passing this land to this community group was to protect the city’s badly-needed natural green space from development and housing.

“The group must not now be allowed to change that mission and start developing it for housing and profit.”

The plans can be viewed on the council’s website by searching for application 23/00912/P.

The group is encouraging people to get involved with work at Bridge Farm, including fortnightly Sunday volunteer work days. For more information visit

Top picture: How the housing at Bridge Farm could look from the M32 Eastville flyover, in an image supplied with the planning application.