FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
We have anticipated some of your most common questions about the proposals for Baltic Wharf. If your question isn't listed below, please get in touch by visiting the contact page or by sending an email to hello@balticwharfhomes.com.
Why build new homes at Baltic Wharf?

Bristol City Council is committed to make the most of the development land available in the city to build the new homes and infrastructure we desperately need. This recognises the dramatic shift in people returning to live in or close to the city centre in the last 20 years.

This urban renaissance has led to apartment living being commonplace in Bristol. The more successful schemes combine homes with cafes, shops, community uses and workplaces to create vibrant spaces with high quality public realm.


Why do we need more new homes?

It is widely acknowledged that the current housing crisis has led to the under provision of housing and particularly affordable housing within Bristol. Although much is being done in the City to address the crisis, there are key issues with affordability, rough sleeping, and lack of social housing. Bristol currently has over 13,000 families on the affordable housing register and a further 710 people in temporary accommodation.

Comparing house prices in Bristol to those in other Core Cities in the decade between 2008 and 2018 indicated that Bristol had the highest average housing costs of all the Core Cities in this period, and also the highest percentage increase – over 56%, compared to a UK average increase in costs of just over 32%.


What will happen to the Caravan Club?

The site is the Baltic Wharf Caravan Club who were given notice by Bristol City Council a few years ago. The Caravan Club are hoping to move to the old Police Horse and Dog Training Centre on Clanage Road and have a planning application with Bristol City Council, planning reference 20/01930/F.


Is there any commercial space provided?

Ground floor commercial space is proposed on the harbour frontage, which enhances activity in this corner of the harbour and helps define Baltic Wharf as a new destination. The commercial space will complement rather than detract from The Cottage Inn and Underfall Yard, and could incorporate some local social enterprises, which will enhance footfall and promote social activity to further enliven the harbour setting.


What type of homes are proposed?

We are looking at around 165 homes, predominantly two bed but some one and three bedroom homes. 40% will be affordable housing, including social rent and some shared ownership homes.

All apartments exceed Nationally Designed Space Standards and all apartments have private amenity space, either as ground floor gardens, terraces or balconies. 88% of apartments will have direct or oblique views towards water.


What kind of affordable housing is proposed?

Affordable housing represents 40% of all new homes proposed, with 77% of affordable housing provided as Social Rent and 23% as Shared Ownership.

Tenure is distributed with separate entrances and circulation cores to assist in housing management and ownership. All shared ownership apartments are accessed from a single core.

All apartments are designed to the same generous space standards and have the same provision of private amenity. The podium gardens space in the west of the site is accessible to private and affordable apartments. Car parking is provided for all tenure types.


How much car and cycle parking will be provided?

Approximately 80 new car parking spaces will be provided (inluding a minimum of 20% with electric charging points), representing a ratio of no more than 0.5 car parking spaces per new home proposed. This will also included a car club space, to encourage residents away from individual car ownership. These will be situated below a podium garden deck or behind the buildings on the eastern boundary. No parking will be visible on the public route.

The proposals also include a minimum of 288 cycle parking spaces, predominantly on Sheffield Stands, in accordance with council policy, located in secure stores within the buildings.


Do the proposals include any green features such as trees?

The site is currently 83% hard-standing with some existing trees and areas of amenity grass. The trees are of mixed age and the tree survey suggests that some have a relatively short lifespan.

It is likely that some of the trees will need to be removed to accommodate the necessary raising of ground levels to eliminate flood risk and to enable a coherent site plan with safe and usable amenity spaces around the buildings.

This unfortunate loss of trees does however, present the opportunity for replacement planting of greater variety and quality, which will be locally characteristic and long-lasting, and which will include semi-mature native trees with high ecological value providing a good habitat for birds and invertebrates.

In addition, the new landscape plan includes areas of varied shrub and perennial planting, which will support pollinators.

Moreover, where roofs are not directly accessible from the core, they will be green/biodiverse to enhance their ecological value. The landscape proposals will ensure that there will be an enhancement in the overall quality and quantity of planting.


How will bins be stored and collected?

Refuse will be stored adjacent to the residential cores, then moved to a centralised collection store adjacent to Cumberland Road, to avoid refuse vehicles entering the site.


Is the site at risk of flooding and, if so, how will this be dealt with?

The Environment Agency flood maps show the site within Flood Zones 2 and 3. This means a Flood Risk Assessment is required and flood mitigation measures will need to cater for projected maximum flood levels anticipated within the next 60 and 100 years.

Based on this, ground levels will need to be raised for both the commercial and residential space, and flood attenuation space provided to ensure that flood risk is not increased on adjacent land.

The level change could be accommodated by a ramped access and a series of steps and terraces creating amenity space with direct views towards the harbour. Elements such as timber seating, planters with trees, perennials and grasses will soften the appearance of the steps and provide year round interest. The level change could also incorporate a small scale water feature.


What feedback have you received to date?

We have received some initial feedback from pre-application discussions with Bristol City Council officers and the Design Review Panel, who offer guidance and feedback on how proposals for development could be improved. We have also started to receive feedback from stakeholders.

Feedback has been positive in principle, but we've been asked to bring the height down from seven to six storeys (at the highest point). This will be a collaborative and iterative process, and the design will continue to evolve as we receive feedback from people that have an interest in the proposals. We are very open to feedback on how the proposals can be improved.

The main public consultation starts now where we are keen to hear your thoughts on the emerging proposals. Areas we are particularly interested in is design materials, landscaping and any concerns you may have.


Isn't there a conflict of interest with Goram Homes being part of Bristol City Council who will be determining the planning application?

Goram is owned by Bristol City Council but is kept at arm's length. Never-the-less, it is not uncommon for Council's to submit their own applications and Officers treat them no differently to public applications, if anything, they are often harder on them. We will still consider all feedback and want to deliver a quality development, with high levels of affordable housing, that meets our, and the cities principles.

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