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BRISTOL | Callowhill Court | Broadmead | Mixed-Use | Appr

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  • A1 use (retail): >59200 m²
  • A2-A5 use: >22200 m²
  • Leisure: >7400 m²
  • Hotel: >7800m²
  • Residential: >12600 m²
  • Carpark: 1000 spaces

Project Aspiration said:
The project’s primary aim is to reinforce and improve Bristol’s
position as a first tier regional shopping destination. To do this
the redevelopment of Callowhill will focus on creating a critical
mass of accommodation attractive to shoppers and tenants. The
configuration of the new commercial space has the opportunity to
create a new destination at the heart of Bristol, serving both retailer
and shopper needs.

The development is intended to be mixed use and provide a balance
of retail and leisure space such as bars, restaurants and activities.
The diverse mix of uses will extend the current daytime activities
into the evening, developing a new night time economy.
In addition, other city centre uses, such as hotel and residential
space, will be integrated into the overall project proposals to bring
vibrancy and vitality to Callowhill throughout the day.

The Bristol Alliance have spent considerable time reviewing the
most appropriate way of regenerating Callowhill. When balancing
available site, the projected regional retail demand, deliverability
and resident and retailer expectations, they have generated a brief
to deliver a target of 74,000 sqm GIA of new commercial space.
The Bristol Alliance believe this quantum of development to
be deliverable but also essential to bring long term economic
sustainability to Bristol. This additional space will enable Bristol to
accomodate new retailers, extend the current retail offer and meet
demands of projected population growth.

This amount of space can accomodate new anchor tenants not
currently in Bristol, allowing for a curated mix of new retail and
leisure tenants on a scale that will create a critical mass of new
shopping and leisure that will be attractive to residents across the
Brief Summary said:
The site area identified for redevelopment is 31,500 sqm, and is
currently home to a built footprint of 24,089 sqm. This current space
extends to a Gross Internal Area of 39,000sqm. However, due to the
outdated format, type and specification of the space only 24,500
sqm of area is suitable for useful occupation
. The majority of this
space is at ground floor level with very few retailers using upper
floor space.

The application proposes up to 74,000 sq m (GIA) of new commercial
floorspace (Class A1 to D2).
The scheme has been prepared to
enable maximum flexibility in terms of the floorspace areas that can
be delivered within the maximum floorspace threshold (74,000 sq
m GIA). This includes up to 59,200 sq m of Class A1 floorspace, up
to 22,000 sq m of Class A2 to A5 floorspace, and up to 7,400 sq m
of Class D2 floorspace. In addition, the masterplan should include
up to approximately 12,600 sqm of residential space and 7,800 sqm
of hotel space. The total of these areas exceeds the total area cap
of 74,000 sqm to enable flexibility between use types as the project

The brief, with allowance for demolition and comprehensive
redevelopment, the more intensive use of the site and higher
development density associated with the application proposal will
deliver a net increase of main town centre use floorspace within
the City Centre of approximately 57,400 sqm (gross)
. To enable the
development to effectively function it is essential to provide new
visitor car parking. The masterplan includes a zone for up to 1000
new car parking spaces.



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There about 6-8 stops they have to replace/relocate. Bond Street and Bond Weir would be highly likely. Temple Way and Lower Castle Street also. 2-3 per street could cover it. Newgate would also be convenient place to relocate stops but the combination of the multistorey and narrow pavements make it awkward to do that at the moment.

There are whispers of filling in the bearpit, and re-organising that whole area, which could involve also accommodate more buses. But again that's all rumour and hearsay at the mo'.

Interesting choice of retailers chosen for the illustrative images, I wonder how many of them would actually be interested in taking up leases in Broadmead. Also, where are all the buses going to get rerouted to?
It's a bit bizarre in that they've used both real and fake brands and chains in the images rather than just make up ones.
I doubt that. There's been plans to redevelop that area of Broadmead long before then.

Cribbs expansion was always going to face massive opposition; literally councils in WSM, Taunton, Bath, Gloucester, Swindon, Newport etc all objected to it.

The fact that the national economy is doing poorly, plus the legal headaches of dealing with so many tenants and landlords at once will also be a factor in slowing the process down. If it does fail it'll likely be due to a recession in the next couple of years.
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Pity about the Meredith's plan not making it. It wasn't perfect but it would have given Broadmead a bit more 'oomph' visually; at the very least the plans looked as good as anything you'd have seen in the 1920s-1930s. Likely would have looked similar to the 1950s stuff around Queen's Rd. Much of that era is clearly emulating the more sleek, streamlined stuff [but that the city missed out on] that was going up in the 1930s.

Even now you can still see there's quite a marked difference all over central Bristol when it comes to the earlier post-war stuff vs what you begin to see from the mid 1960s onwards; when they prioritised planning around the car and what that did to the city centre. You definitely get a sense they were initially trying to boldly rebuild with a conscious attempt to 're-densify' the city centre, but with their own mark and trying to avoid the previous over-crowding and squalor. Lots of Bath or Portland stone, or decorative murals tiles and motifs. Or you had somewhere like No.1 Redcliff street that incorporated parts of the historic vernacular [Bristol Byzantine].

I went to Oxford last week, and managed to get a look at the recently redeveloped Westgate Shopping mall. It's probably the closest development that Callowhill Court would probably come closest to resembling if it ever gets off the ground.

It's not perfect but it gets a lot right.

-There's no distinction between the new bit and the older 1960s shopping centre at all. I was surprised at how nice the older part was actually. The quality of finish for the entire thing just felt very high. John Lewis>House of Fraser in more ways than one.

-Layout wise there didn't seem to be much in the way of real awkwardly designed areas that make it difficult to rent out units. It's also big, like really big.

-The south side facing the dual carriageway that, whilst a long impermeable wall, is an improvement over the one Cabot Circus has aesthetically speaking. At least with Westgate they incorporated the architectural history of the city into the design.

-The roof top spaces were a really neat feature, well landscaped and more extensive than what I was expecting. Decent number of places to eat with outdoor seating. Eastern section had a nice vantage of the spires. Also a nice touch was that you could enjoy the views without having to go to one of the restaurants.
It's what they should have done when Cabot Circus was first built; but I can understand why they didn't. Hopefully CHC can achieve something on par.

-There was also had a food court on the lower ground floor that looked pretty decent too. The mall had a good few stores and chains that Bristol could do with.

-Lack of a dependency on having a huge multi-storey car park. There was some underground parking but it is quite minimal and the expectation is really that you should use the buses. Very different from Bristol where the possible lack of a multi-storey for CHC gets touted as being doom for the project.

Some downsides:

-It's only really well incorporated with the existing main shopping area by its north entrance, but not so much everywhere else where it either turns its back on or is quite overbearing. The view from the rooftop terrace whilst nice, if you look down you're seeing quite closely into people's back gardens and houses on the estate next door. Probably not great if you live there [although not the worst thing either tbh].

-The external wall facing Thames St, whilst better than Cabot Circus is still a long impermeable wall.

-Rest of the shopping area in Oxford looked a little bit worse for wear in certain bits.

-Still a mall at the end of the day, make of that what you will!

Not quite a bad thing really but parts of Westgate felt maybe a bit too open in some areas, like they had too much space they didn't know what to do with.
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