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Council deal boosts ZHA Bristol plans

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Bristol Council has handed a boost to Zaha Hadid Architects’ (ZHA) plans for a large mixed-use scheme in the city, approving the site’s lease to project backer Legal & General

The local authority’s cabinet voted in favour of forming a strategic partnership with the speculative investment giant, including handing over the Temple Island plot on a long leasehold and allocating £500,000 for development of proposals.

ZHA published its designs for the 3ha site near Bristol Temple Meads railway station last summer, imagining 550 homes, a 345-room hotel and two major office buildings.

Weeks later, Bristol City Council scrapped approved plans for a Populous-led arena on the site. According to a report by consultant KPMG, a better cost:benefit ratio could be achieved by developing the Temple Island site without the sports and music venue, and building an arena on an out-of-town site at Filton.

Earlier this year it emerged that Grimshaw and Missouri-based venue specialist Manica Architecture would design a 17,000-capacity stadium at Filton.

Now the council has put the second part of the vision into motion, setting up a relationship with Legal & General to bring forward the Zaha Hadid Architects scheme for the Temple Island site.

’There is a significant opportunity for the city council to capitalise on current momentum and likely future investment in to the Temple Quarter by enabling the delivery of a landmark mixed-use development on Temple Island,’ said a council report.

‘The council has been in discussions with Legal and General regarding the development of the Temple Island site. Legal & General has a recent history and experience in partnering councils, such as Newcastle and Sheffield, to bring forward, fund and progress significant and complex urban regeneration projects, and has proven expertise in the area.’

The report added that interest had been received from prospective hotel and conference facility operators, while market testing had ’validated the scale’ of the proposed conference facility.

Legal & General said in a statement: ‘We are pleased to confirm that Legal & General has moved an important step forward in working closely with Bristol City Council on proposals for Temple Island, which it is envisaged will include a hotel, conference centre, office space and much needed housing, including affordable, in order to unlock the social and economic potential of this key Bristol city centre site.’

ZHA director Jim Heverin said last summer: ‘Our design for Temple Island is derived from the existing architectural fabric of Bristol, aimed at regenerating the area around Temple Meads station. With a particular emphasis on providing new, green public spaces, this proposal integrates a range of work, live and civic uses which will create a new vibrant quarter for the city.’

Populous Bristol Arena  3

Populous Bristol Arena 3

In doubt: Populous’s Bristol Arena proposals

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Readers' comments (1)

  • This area is not 'around Temple Meads station' - it's beyond the station, on the far side of the tracks, and there's no indication here of how this 'island' development can be integrated (if at all) with the station - with its good rail connections and rather chaotic bus stops.
    The station itself is isolated from the city centre by a daunting barrier of very busy 'ring road' designed in the days when pedestrians were considered a nuisance. The was an underpass, but when last visible (many years ago) the escalator was derelict and gathering rubbish.
    I wonder how all this figures - if at all - in KPMG's calculation of cost benefits ratios?

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