Cumberland Basin & Western Harbour plans: History and timeline

Rather than give lots of individual links for everything referred to below we encourage those that want to explore further to use the relevant pages of the website of the Bristol Neighbourhood Planning Network (BNPN). References starred and numbered below refer to the numbers on the contents list on the web pages here.

  • April 2021. The Council add a Frequently asked Questions section to the Western Harbour webpages which can be found here.

  • April 2021. Bristol City Council have now published their brief as part of their Invitation to Tender for the Western Harbour Placeshaping Vision. To quote from their tendering advert "Bristol City Council are seeking to appoint a multi-disciplinary team led by one organisation or consortium with urban design, communication, creative engagement and place making expertise to lead, commission and deliver a programme of local and city-wide inclusive engagement with Bristol citizens and stakeholders.

    The consultant will be expected to directly commission and work with a diverse range of established Bristol based organisations from across the city who have a successful track record of working with communities of place AND communities of interest to deliver the inclusive engagement programme.

    The co-created vision will set out the aspirations of the community, city and Council for the future of Western Harbour. The vision will then underpin the next design phase of the project, a masterplan for Western Harbour and its future delivery." The full document can be viewed here.

  • February 2021. Following on from the February 2021 statement referred to below, both the Stakeholder Group and the Community Association were pleased to get a very prompt and detailed response from Chris Dooley, Bridges and Highways Structure Manager at the Council. His response can be read here.

  • February 2021. The Cumberland Basin Stakeholder Group and the Community Association together agreed to send a statement and request for information regarding the Plimsoll bridge and the Cumberland Basin Road Scheme. The statement can be found here.

  • February 2021. As we had not had any response from the Mayor to our letter of 14th December we wrote again on 10th February. The letter is here.
  • December 2020. The Cumberland Basin Stakeholder Group (CBSG) write again to the Mayor. Firstly, to encourage him to agree not to take note of the engagement about the three road options presented to us in August 2019, but to take note of the planned engagement regarding the whole Western Harbour idea to be carried out in 2021. Secondly, we point out to Marvin that his portrayal of the public meeting organised by the Labour Party in January does not match our memory of it. This was picked up from a webinar with the University of Pennsylvania.  This can be seen on YouTube here (The bit about Western Harbour is from about 33 minutes in, but it is all worth a watch). The CBSG letter to Marvin can be seen here.
  • September 2020. We write again to the Mayor asking for clarification on what constitutes "Western Harbour". Our email and the response from the Mayor can be viewed here.
     
  • August 2020. With no response to our email of 29th June we write again on 12th August, and the Mayor responds on the 27th August. Our email and the response from the Mayor can be viewed here.
     
  • June 2020. On 29th June we respond to the Mayor's letter as we fundamentally disagree with part of what he is saying. The letter can be viewed here.

  • May 2020. On 27th May the Mayor responds to the letter sent in April. His response can be viewed here. N.B. The Caravan Park site and the Payne's Yard site are both within the line for the Western Harbour development and Clanage Rd abuts onto it. So these developments will have an influence going forward.

  • April 2020. The Cumberland Basin Stakeholder Group write to the Mayor of Bristol asking for reassurances about engagement before development in the light of the Covid 19 lock-down which is preventing meaningful engagement as planned.The letter can be viewed here.

  • January 2020: The WHAG agrees to an “early engagement plan”. BCC officers will meet with residents and business interests within the red line of development indicated by the Local Plan. Members of the WHAG, led by John Savage, will meet with other stakeholders both local and interests that are Bristol wide. The purpose of these meetings will be to outline more clearly exactly what stage the process is at, to explain more clearly the highway options that are still on the table (up to 7 possibly) and to listen to ideas and views from as many as possible.

  • November 2019: Bristol Council’s Cabinet papers are published with the Arup report and a summary of the engagement process. These can be found in Cabinet papers here. (N.B. This is a huge document as it also contains everything about the Clean Air Zone which went to Cabinet at the same time. You have therefore to turn to page 1008 to find the papers to do with Western Harbour!) The Arup report can be viewed separately through the (BNPN) site*2

  • October 2019: The Mayor decides to establish the Western Harbour Advisory Group (WHAG) and invites Dennis Gornall, as Chair of the CBSG to join. Details re the WHAG can be found here.

  • 11th September 2019: HCCA and the CGSG held a public meeting on 11th September after the public engagement sessions, and before the deadline for comment on the 15th of September. This was well attended by some 180 people. A summary of this meeting and the general spirit of the reactions of those present was sent to the Mayor and senior officers at BCC on the 14th of September. You can read that summary here * The Mayor’s response on the 24th can be seen here.
     
  • August/September 2019: BCC publish their ‘Initial Western Harbour Engagement’ document and ask for people’s views on three changed road configurations which “can be compared against an approach of investing in maintaining the existing infrastructure”. A number of open public engagement sessions were held by BCC and there was the opportunity to complete an on-line survey.*4

  • April 2019: At this time also the Local Plan Review was up for consultation. Again as far as Western Harbour was concerned this lacked substance because progress had not been made on the plans for adjusting the road network.*16

  • April 2019: Members of the CBSG met with BCC officers and staff from Arup to discuss their plans for “consultation” documentation and displays on road alteration options which were planned for May/June.

  • October 2018: The CBSG wrote to the Mayor with 3 particular requests:
    • That artist’s impressions and computer graphic images of development ideas should be clearly marked as such. This is to avoid people believing that what was being shown (at the State of the City Address for instance) was real and the Mayor’s plan. This was accepted.
    • We asked for information as to when we could see the Arup report and discuss ways of sharing it with the community and enter some kind of discussion with BCC about the options. We did not get a full answer on this, and indeed, it was not until the cabinet papers for 5th November 2019 were released that we could see what the report is saying.
    • We asked for the red line of the boundary for the developmental area to be changed such that the buildings on Avonquay Island opposite the Pump House Pub would not be included. This was to help the organisations there secure longer leases to their premises from BCC and thus facilitate their chances of bidding for grants to support their activities. Happily, after further meetings, this was granted and soon after this, longer leases were granted as well.

  • October 2018: Again at the Mayor’s ‘State of the City Address’ raises the potential of “Western Harbour”.*12

  • June 2018: Members of the CBSG met with members of the Mayor’s office to press for early community involvement in any thinking around this development. On 28th June the Mayor set out his response to the request for community involvement.* 14

  • Early 2018: At this time we also became aware of the Mayor’s ‘Bristol Investment Brochure’ which highlighted “Western Harbour” as one of the ‘major opportunities for investors and developers’ in Bristol.*15

  • April 2018: The Bristol ‘Local Plan Review’ (the emerging draft of a replacement Development Plan for Bristol) was out for consultation and a meeting was held in Holy Trinity Hotwells with BCC officers to hear about the proposals for our area and the Local Plan generally. In a way, this meeting produced more heat than light as it was soon very clear that very little could be said about the development until the report from the consultants, in this case Ove Arup & Partners (Arup), became available. This was because it was felt that little could be planned until decisions had been made as to whether and/or how the road network might be altered to increase the potential for development land that could be used.

  • February 2018: Dennis Gornall and Councillor Mark Wright meet with Alison Bromilow from Bristol’s Neighbourhood Planning Network (BNPN) to discuss creating a Cumberland Basin Stakeholder Group (CBSG) as both a vehicle for dialogue with Bristol City Council (BCC) and to protect the interests of local people as the plans develop.

  • October 2017: Marvin Rees’ ‘State of the City Address’ refers to the idea of a major development in the area of Cumberland Basin.