Council agrees deal with L&G to develop Temple Island site

ZHA_DieselDepotSite_View 03_Temple Island Bristol rival proposal_Zaha Hadid Architects

A cluster of Zaha Hadid-designed buildings are one step closer to being built in the centre of Bristol after the council approved a strategic partnership with developer Legal & General.

Plans to build a Populous-designed arena on the five-acre Temple Island, by the city’s main rail station, were scrapped by mayor Marvin Rees last summer – who said a mixed-use scheme would cost less and be better for the local economy.

L&G have long been eyeing up the site and commissioned Zaha Hadid Architects last year to design a scheme with a conference and exhibition centre, a 345-room hotel, two office buildings and 550 new homes, even though the Populous scheme had planning consent.

Now the council has said it will strike a deal with L&G to hand over a 250-year leasehold on the site, on the condition that a mixed-use scheme goes ahead.

A briefing paper approved at yesterday’s crunch meeting stated that the partnership would include commitments around carbon neutrality, modern methods of construction and affordable housing.

An application for outline planning permission is expected to be submitted to the council later this year or in early 2020.

A Knight Architects-designed footbridge leading from St Philips to Temple Island has already been completed but is boarded up on the island side to prevent access to the as-yet undeveloped site.

The bridge was built to improve access to the Populous-designed arena, which was spearheaded by former Bristol mayor and RIBA president George Ferguson – and which cost £12m before it was canned.

Alternative plans are now being drawn up for an arena on the site of the former Filton Airfield, five miles north of Bristol.

The site already has outline permission for 2,675 homes, three schools and 62 acres of employment space – but now Grimshaw Architects are working with client YTL to produce plans for a music venue in the Brabazon hangars.