Application Details

Council BCC
Reference 22/02889/LA
Address Bristol Zoo Gardens Guthrie Road Bristol BS8 3HA  
Street View
Sitecode Bristol_Zoo_Gardens
Ward Clifton
Proposal Works to listed buildings to facilitate the redevelopment of the site to include 196 residential units (Class C3), community floorspace (Class E, F1 and F2), and open space with associated landscaping, play space, parking, accesses (pedestrian, cycle and vehicular), and infrastructure. Works to listed building including: access-works to the Guthrie Road entrance gates; the conversion of the Entrance Lodge to facilitate community floorspace, the residential conversion of the Giraffe House, and various restoration and refurbishment works to the Aquarium (former Bear Pit), Monkey Temple, and Birds of Prey Aviary to secure their future as part of accessible landscaped gardens.
Validated 13-06-22
Type Listed Building Consent (Alter/Extend)
Status Pending decision
Neighbour Consultation Expiry 28-11-22
Standard Consultation Expiry 02-12-22
Determination Deadline 08-08-22
BCC Planning Portal on Planning Portal
Public Comments Supporters: 1 Objectors: 33  Unstated: 3  Total: 37
No. of Page Views 0
Comment analysis   Date of Submission
Nearby Trees Within 200m

BTF response: OBJECT

Public Comments

Not Available    on 2023-04-25   OBJECT

1) The site was "gifted" to the people of Bristol under the auspices of a charity but thisdecision to change its use was taken without due process, without a defensible business case andwith permanent damage to the public interest that is indefensible.2) The argument for change of use is based solely on the basis of potential profit, ignoring theharm caused to the animals and the environmental impact caused by the proposed constructionand loss of habitat. The proposed redevelopment is not only aesthetically unpleasing and out ofscale but denies to the people of Bristol the public amenity which they have enjoyed for almost twocenturies and which should continue to be enjoyed in the future.3) in the rush to push through this change of use alternative approaches to use of the site have notbeen explored, denying the people of Bristol an opportunity to safeguard this historic site for thefuture.4) If planning permission were to be granted this would not only run counter to Bristol's long-standing reputation for forward-thinking environmental values, it would - in a stroke - replace itsglobal reputation for care for the natural world, history and heritage with one of crass philistinism.

Not Available    on 2023-04-24   OBJECT

The proposed demolition of parts of listed buildings, including the aquarium buildingsand the total demolition of the gorilla in enclosures incorporated in the iconic Giraffe House areunacceptable and undermine their listed building designation.It is noted that the aquarium was not surveyed, so a proper assessment of the aquarium/bear pitlisted building has not been made. I therefore object to this proposed development on theadditional ground that proper process has not been followed here.The Victorian Society's report concludes that: The NPPF is clear that it is desirable to 'sustain andenhance' the significance of heritage assets (para 190a), and that 'great weight should be given tothe asset's conservation' (para 199). Furthermore, that 'Local planning authorities should look foropportunities for new development within Conservation Areas and World Heritage Sites, andwithin the setting of heritage assets, to enhance or better reveal their significance.' (para 206). Theamended proposals do not ensure this, and the Victorian Society maintains its objection to theproposals.The creation of a railing instead of the original door to the Monkey House changes its aspect andis against the spirit of this Grade II Listed Building.

Not Available    on 2023-04-24   OBJECT

My first home was in Stoke Bishop just over the Downs from the Zoo, starting in 1937.One of my and my late sister's great treats was to visit the Zoo, to enjoy the gardens and get toknow the animals.

I strongly object to the current plans and sale of the site on the grounds that the Zoo Trustesshave a duty to entrust the historic garden for perpetual use and enjoyment by my erstwhile fellowcitizens of Bristol. The historic buildings could be used for first class environmental studies inconjunction with the Universities.This important site in a prime location should not be asset stripped in order to provide an out oftown visitor attraction at Hollywood Towers, the Cribbs Causeway site.

My further objection is that, whilst the treatment of animals is rightly very different from what it wasin the 1930's, the sheer difficulty for the majority of inhabitants of the City and County of Bristol inreaching Cribbs Causeway will deter many of them from visiting the new siste, especially from thesouthern parts of the area. The traffic - particularly in the summer months - will be affected by thenearby conjunction of Motorways, and indeed of the shoppers visiting The Mall. I understandparking (in the historsic grounds of the new site) will also be a factor, unless visitors can bebussed in from siste specific reserved parking in The Mall.

This application is ill thought out as to the consqeuences to the Citizens of Bristol (for whom theZoo site in Clifton was given in perpetuity), and to the likely availability to them of access to thenew site.

Not Available    on 2023-04-17   OBJECT

I am saddened to see this historic site being turned into unaffordable housing. Thecurrent site is an open space for all residents of Bristol and beyond. PLEASE reconsider. Thereare so many other ways to make this space an attractive place for all Bristolians to come andenjoy that could be self-funded. It doesn't have to be flats - especially not the high-end flatsproperty developers will turn it into. SHAME.

Not Available    on 2023-04-07   OBJECT

The current proposals mean irrevocable damage to the historic design, layout and useof the Botanical and Zoological Gardens. Since their design by the local architect Richard Forest in1836, the gardens were intended for the recreation and education of the citizens of Bristol andbeyond for succeeding generations. Although overlaid by subsequent buildings for housing moreanimals from the 1930s onwards, the original design, including the long walk and borders, lakeand pavilions are still evident. The layout of the historic gardens should continue to be used for thepurposes for which it was designed.For generations, the people of Bristol, of all ages and backgrounds, have enjoyed the communalvalue of the gardens, the green space, the opportunities afforded to spend time with families,friends, to celebrate milestones of family history such as weddings and funeral wakes. Inparticular, the level paths and beauty of the gardens, with or without animals, have provided anintensely valuable resource for children and adults with multiple physical and learning difficulties.The closure of the gardens to some of the most vulnerable people in our society is an unjustifiableloss.The current proposals for development of substantial housing within the site destroys the historiccharacter and use of the site, and will undoubtedly become little more than a gated site for wealthyowners, with very limited or indeed no public access in any meaningful manner.The introduction of garages, parking spaces and roads for cars on the site is unacceptable given

the increasing desire of Bristolians to limit car use and would be an unwelcome, unjustifiableintrusion into the site.The design and layout of the proposed dwellings are oversized, too high and do not complementthe existing buildings nearby, especially the architecturally significant elements of Clifton College.

Not Available    on 2023-03-07   OBJECT

It is well known, but little regarded, that there are many disadvantages in preparingdesign proposals from the metropolis for the genius loci of an historic city in the provinces and thisscheme illustrates it very well..

But there is one potential advantage for a metropolitan elite, concernng the provision of privateoutdoor space, and an exploration of that feature alone will serve to demonstrate how ill-fitting arethe proposals for the Bristol Zoo site. London has demonstrated time and again the inability oftheir architects to design effective, private outdoor spaces for flats, since the first C20 mansionblocks grew balconies. Reduced of late to becoming transparent, wind and rain stricken andoffensive of townscape with residents' clutter, such balconies are mostly entirely unsuited to theBritish climate. Flat-owners have been progressively failed by architects, in even medium-riseblocks. Unfortunately the London architects for the zoo site still fail to grasp these issues. Whenthe designs are coupled with flat roofs and hideously level parapets, one has to start askingquestions such as why are the ground- and first-floor flats not given open space on ground levelwith private stair access, and roof pavilions as climate havens on flat roofs given to second- andthird-floor flats, served by private stairs and dumb-waiters?.

Such solutions provide ready opportunities to create modelled roof scapes that would respond to

listed buildings and the historic streets of Clifton, and the need for a green architecture. Wherewere such assessments by the client body at concept and by the planners at pre-applicationstages?.

This retired conservation architect accordingly supports the analysis of the project by Downs forPeople, the objections of the Victorian Society, Bristol CAP, and Avon Gardens Trust. Equally theidea of a virtual zoo is unhelpful.

Not Available    on 2023-03-02   OBJECT

This space, without animals, should be for all the people of Bristol to enjoy. Theproposed plans do not reflect this ethos.

Luxury housing is not an appropriate plan for this space. Moreover, the cutting down of so somany trees would be so damaging.

Support heritage and history for all of Bristol to enjoy. Rather than financial wealth for a few. Thereare so few chances to save local hertigate sites, save this space for the future generations.

Not Available    on 2023-02-24   OBJECT

The application proposals breach the Planning (Listed Buildings and ConservationAreas) Act 1990 (the "LB and Conservation Areas Act") in failing to preserve or enhance thecharacter or appearance of the area (Article 72(1)). Clifton Conservation Area was designated in1970 and the Conservation Area Appraisal was updated in 2010.

The Clifton Conservation Area Appraisal lists Bristol Zoo among six "crucial landmarks nationallyand on Bristol's landscape" (para 6.3.2). "The variety and quality of views in Clifton are a criticalcomponent of the area's special interest," (para 6.2.3) The proposals conflict with Long View L25,Local View LC21 and a Landmark of City Wide Importance (see Map 4). The cumulative effect ofhigh density housing development on West Car Park and Bristol Zoo will result in a canyon effect.This will result in substantial harm to neighbouring listed buildings, heritage and the CliftonConservation Area, in conflict with the Appraisal and the LB and Conservations Area Act.

Core Strategy Policy BCS22 requires that "Development proposals will safeguard or enhanceheritage assets and the character and setting of areas of acknowledged importance including ...Conservation Area." The proposals conflict with Policy BCS22 with regard to scale, design andmassing.

I do not accept the position of Historic England. These proposals will result in substantial harm tothe Conservation Area and the important listed buildings on Guthrie Road at Clifton College.

This application for Listed Buildings Consent should be refused.

Not Available    on 2023-02-23   OBJECT

As a member of Bristol Zoo and BOTANICAL GARDENS, I was not informed ofimminent closure.Bristol residents given no opportunity to fund raiseThere is no reason (other than financial), to destroy 12 acres of World Famous Botanical Gardensancient trees, for high end housing in an environmental crisis. Ancient trees, plants gone for ever.The site has to be preserved for future generations.

Not Available    on 2023-02-18   OBJECT

I object to this application 22/02889/LA and the associated application 22/02737/F.These two applications are a scheme for redevelopment of Bristol Zoo Gardens from a site ofpublic, natural and cultural heritage to private, residential housing and they should be consideredtogether.

I have read the report provided by Save Bristol Zoo Gardens (Report) as well as applicant's mainplanning documents. This is not a comprehensive list of reasons but several which are importantto me.

1. The Zoo provided misleading reasons for its closure.

According to the planning statement, the Zoo suffered a decline in visitor numbers from 1m toabout 500,000 a year which caused the Zoo to make a loss. The reason for this loos is blamed onthe small site, inability to meet the animals' needs, and inadequate parking.

The Report shows that the Zoo's attendance numbers are better than comparable zoos, not thatfar off London Zoo, and that the Zoo has made profits in recent years including with Governmentsupport during Covid.

The Report states that the majority of the Zoo's animals will be sold or given away. The public isbeing led to think that the majority of the animals will be kept and given larger enclosures at thenew site, when this is not the case. It may be a better match for the Zoo's conservation aims butultimately feels like they are deliberately fudging things.

Like many friends and family, who have grown up with the Zoo, we were initially behind the Zoo'sclosure as we believed the reasons given. But it looks like we were not properly informed.

2. The Zoo is a very special site for Bristol. Housebuilding should not be something to be pursuedat the expense of destroying the special character of our City.

Decent housing should be a right for all. Many Bristolians are unhoused, or live in housing whichmakes them cold and sick. Yet Bristol Post reported in 2021 that there are over 1,000 emptyhomes in the city.

Why should the Zoo be developed into houses? The site has been a well-loved public place for180 years. The fact that it charges an entry fee is not relevant. Anyone who has ever been therewill remember visitors of all description: class, race, gender, age, locals using the playground,tourists gawping, a couple on a date, a family's special day out, schoolchildren, even visitingscientists.

If housing trumps everything (which is what the current Mayor has said), then we should bebuilding on the Downs, or tearing down the Suspension Bridge in favour of a newer, wider bridge.We don't do that because these places are special and part of the character of our City. The Zoois part of Bristol's cultural heritage.

Developing the Zoo into into housing is no way "respecting the character and heritage of the site".It will mean Bristol and its citizens lose one of the defining features of our City. The Zoo and 196households will be richer, but the rest of us will be poorer for it.

3. The Zoo shouldn't be allowed to act like a private developer in relation to what has become over186 years, a public asset. Query whether the Zoo, as a charity, has powers to make thisapplication if it is against the broader public interest.

Bristol Zoological Society is a charity dedicated to conservation and education. It runs Bristol Zooas well as the Wild Place Zoo in South Gloucestershire. As a charity it has tax exemptionsbecause of the public benefits of its objectives. But what if this application can be seen as aconflict between the objectives of conservation and public benefit?

This means while it may be lawful under its constitution to take the best action for conservationand education, this comes at the expense of the value and importance of the Zoo site to the City

and its people. Does the Zoo not have a duty of care to the public?

In "A Pattern Language" (1977) by Christopher Alexander and others, it states "When you build athing you cannot merely build that thing in isolation, but must repair the world around it, and withinit, so that the larger world at that one place becomes more coherent, and more whole."

In 2023, more and more people accept that keeping wild animals captive makes them suffer. Whatif a zoo for the future doesn't do that anymore, while maintaining the public interest for some kindof zoo at this site.

Could development at this site be used to repair the damage caused by zoos of the past andcreate a positive way forward, encouraging greater empathy with animals and natural habitatsboth familiar and alien to us, to benefit the Zoo's animals and the wider public of Bristol? If the Zoodoesn't want to pursue this, could they be encouraged to sell to a publicly minded entity that will?

In summary, this site has special significance to Bristol and its people and it should not be turnedinto housing of any kind.

Not Available    on 2023-02-08   OBJECT

We object to this redevelopment on the grounds that this redevelopment will notpreserve or enhance the character of the area especially in a conservation area. The Zoo's legacyshould be sympathetic to this and therefore, special attention should be made to this objection bythe council.

Many thanks.

Not Available    on 2023-02-03   OBJECT

Object because it's the loss of a public amenity and loss of green space and loss of abeautiful historic garden with many irreplaceable trees.

Not Available    on 2023-01-24   OBJECT

I write to object to the revised plans, in particular to the plans for North block (N1, 2 & 3)of boundary buildings.Despite the tinkering of P& P's reply to previous criticism, the height of the block of 6 storeyhousing is still both domineering and inappropriate. 6 storeys is much too tall, dwarfing thecharming and iconic Main Entrance building and creating a barrier with The Downs.Moreover, the design of the these buildings, and other boundary blocks, is not site specific. Thedesigns are NOT a 'sensitive response to historic context', as P&P claim. These are genericbuildings which could drop into any urban area anywhere. Decorating ends of the North buildingswith zoo animals is merely window dressing, not addressing this issue. The present design is somediocre that it risks, in 30 years time, looking like the buildings round Bristol's Bear Pit.As the Victorian Society has explained so carefully, this zoo site is very rare. It is much loved and,if it must be developed, deserves the highest quality treatment, not shown in this present planningapplication.

Not Available    on 2023-01-04   OBJECT

Summary of ObjectionThe role of zoos within the UK and throughout the world has obviously changed over time fromwhat could be considered as traditional visitor attractions, to one where zoos are now centres oflearning and excellence whose function is to ensure the survival of critically endangered species.

From reviewing the latest available published figures, around 500,000 people visited Bristol Zoo in2019. Since it opened in 1836, over 90million people have passed through its gates. Families havebeen entertained and interacted with the animals at close quarters. They have learned about thevital conservation work that is integral to saving endangered species across the planet.

However, we are of the firm belief that the closure of this much loved and respected Zoo ispremature and ill judged.

We believe that the proposals to convert the site into a housing scheme has been poorlyconceived and designed and fails to recognise the architectural importance of the wider area.

Planning PolicyThe site of Bristol Zoo sits within the Conservation Area of Clifton & Hotwells. Clifton & Hotwells

was designated as a conservation area on 26 September 1972 and extended on 16 February1977 and 18 February 1981. The Clifton & Hotwells Conservation Area Character Appraisal wasadopted on 14 July 2010.

In exercising its planning functions in a conservation area, the local planning authority is under aduty to pay "special attention to the desirability of preserving or enhancing the character orappearance" of the area (s.72 Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990).Bristol's conservation areas are the subject of policies in the Bristol Local Plan as describedbelow.

The Local Plan now consists of the Core Strategy which was adopted in June 2011 and the LocalDevelopment Policies plan, which was adopted in 2014. These documents alongside theConservation Character Appraisal form the Development Plan and all planning decisions putbefore the Authority should be based around these local plan policies and National Planning policyand guidance.

National Planning Policy is in the form of the NPPF 2021 which provides strategic and high levelguidance to Developers and Local Authorities in relation to development proposals. Specificguidance in relation to housing development and the potential impact on heritage assets isdetailed within Chapter 16 Conserving and Preserving the Historic Environment. This chapter goesinto more detail as to what is expected of an Applicant when submitting developments proposalsand how Local Planning Authorities should measure and assess such proposal in the context ofthe importance of such heritage assets, eg Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas.

Local ContextThe conservation area of Clifton & Hotwells focuses upon the development of terraces, crescentsand streets that rise from Hotwells in the south before meeting the open landscape provided byAvon Gorge and Clifton Down to the west and north. The area is characterised by its dramaticclimb from 10m above sea level at the lowest point alongside the Floating Harbour, reaching up to90m at the highest towards Clifton Park where Bristol Zoo is located.

Bristol Zoo is surrounded by buildings that are owned and operated by Clifton College (GuthrieRoad and Northcote Road) and early, mid and late Victorian, 3 storey villas that are situated alongCollege Road and the wider urban environment beyond.

The predominant built form of the immediate area surrounding Bristol Zoo area large Victorian 3storey (plus basement) villas which are either detached or semi-detached being either two or threebays wide. These properties are set back from the pavement edge with front mature front gardensand low boundary walls. There is a very strong and prominent building line that is consistentacross the area. The dominant building materials used within these building is rubble limestone,pennant sandstone and Bathstone quoins and detailing. Windows are traditional timber sash withpanelled front doors. The overall architectural style provides a strong sense of place that manages

to combine residential elements along College Road with a strong and robust architectural style ofClifton College seen along Guthrie Road and Northcote Road.

Figure 1 below provides an overview of the building type, context and character of the wider BristolZoo area. Of note and of relevance to this application is;

- Blue highlighted buildings to the south of Guthrie Road - Listed Grade II- Brown highlighted buildings located along College Road and Northcote Road. These arebuildings which add value to the townscape character and make a positive contribution to theconservation area.- Mauve highlighted buildings. Key unlisted buildings such as Cilfton Pavilion and buildingsbelonging to the Clifton College along Guthrie Road and the wider educational establishment thatcontribute to the character of the area.

Figure 1 Extract of Buildings Types surrounding Bristol Zoo. Taken from Clifton & HotwellsConservation Character Area Appraisal 2010.

Of greater importance is the wider views (medium and long distance) that are found within this partof the Conservation Area. Clifton Downs is located directly to the north of the Bristol Zoo site. Itrises up steeply to provide panoramic views over the Zoo, Clifton and beyond. The significance ofthese views cannot be overstated and Bristol Zoo as well as Clifton College adjacent are identifiedas a 'Landmark of City wide importance' within the Character Appraisal.

Figure 3 below, provides an extract of the important views that have been considered prominentwithin and adjacent to the Bristol Zoo site. As can be seen many of these views look north towardsClifton Downs (L23 - L27) but equally views are equally possible looking south from Clifton Downsacross Bristol Zoo, Clifton and the wider urban environment (See green crescent shape in extractbelow).

The applicant proposes to construct a six storey high apartment block (spanning the entire width ofthe site), along the northern elevation, that will rise above the existing ground level by some19.35m. By doing so it will completely obliterate existing views looking south from the Downsacross Clifton and the wider environs of Bristol. See photo image (figure 2) below.

Figure 2 View looking south from Clifton Down onto northern boundary of Bristol Zoo. Red Lineapproximately defines height of proposed apartment block

The overall setting and character of Bristol Zoo is one that has evolved and developed over nearly180 years. There are buildings within the Zoo site and along the periphery of the site that do notcompliment the historic character of the area but they in most instances do not impose or detract

historic integrity of overall historic importance of this area.

Figure 3. Extract of Important views as described in the Clifton & Hotwells. ConservationCharacter Appraisal. 2010.

As can be seen from Figure 4 below, a clear sense of place and architectural style has beencreated over the development of this part of the Conservation area. This has allowed the BristolZoo site and the Clifton College site to form a 'hub' of larger institutional buildings that issurrounding by smaller scale but none the less, important Victorian residential buildings. TheseVictorian villas broadly define the east and western boundaries of the Bristol Zoo (and CliftonCollege) site along College Road and Pembroke Road. The open space of Clifton Downs thenprovides a natural 'full stop' to any development directly to the north which is bordered by CliftonDown Road.

The Conservation Character appraisal states at para 6.1.4 that; The street pattern to the north ofthe conservation area is more regular, and sits more comfortably on a grid patternof cross cutting streets, with the Zoo and Clifton College at their heart.

The Applicant is attempting to redefine the very character of the conservation area by introducinginappropriate and poorly designed residential apartment blocks that will be entirely alien to thesetting of the conservation area and its setting. Such buildings will be at odds with the overallarchitectural layout and theme of this area that has taken almost 180 years to evolve. Thesemonolithic apartment blocks will impose an architectural style on this area that will be completelyalien to this character and setting of this area and will fail to preserve or enhance the conservationarea.

Figure 4 Extract of Land use within the Clifton & Hotwells Conservation Area. 2010.

Appraisal and review of the proposed designi). Comparative heights of buildings.There has been no critical analysis and discussion of the different roof heights of the proposedapartment block compared to the buildings immediately adjacent to the site along College Road,Guthrie Road and Northcote Road.

There are no cross-sectional drawings to show how the proposed apartment buildings will relate tothe existing buildings in height, scale and mass. If such drawings did exist, it would clearly showthe disparity between the height of the proposed apartment blocks compared to the educationalbuildings of Clifton College and the Victorian residential villas along College Road.

The apartment blocks (known as E1, E2 E3 and S1) will completely dominate the educationalbuildings of Clifton College, located along Northcote Road and Guthrie Road. From reviewing theproposed elevational drawings provided by the applicant, the buildings will rise up on averagebetween 14,0m to 17,0m above ground level. It is accepted that there are ground level differencesrunning north to south, but the overall impact of such inappropriately designed buildings beinglocated directly opposite these handsome educational buildings will lead to a downgrading of thearchitectural value of these buildings and will have a detrimental impact within the conservationarea.

Equally and potentially of more importance is the impact on the northern block (N1 2 & 3) on thelisted building in the North West corner of the site. (detailed as the Clifton Conservation Hub). Thisunique building which is listed Grade II will be completely dominated by the construction of thisnew apartment block. No attempt has been made by the Applicant to review or explain this impactor show the inter-relationship between the existing heritage asset and the proposed apartmentblock.

ii) Loss of open green space within the siteWhilst it is fully acknowledged that access into Bristol Zoo is via an entry fee, the Zoo has beendesignated as a Local Historic Park & Garden and an Important Open Space. The area provides atraffic free space that allows visitors to interact with the animals at very close quarters.

The proposals would completely and totally alter the character of this area by introducingtarmaced roads, parking spaces (for 121No vehicles) and garage parking throughout the site. Thesense of place would be altered from a traffic environment to a fairly standard suburban housingestate. It will resemble a gated community that will restrict access to the general public and willeventually provide communal garden areas for the sole use and enjoyment of the residents.

Inevitably the lack of parking spaces provided within the scheme, will mean that increasingly carswill be parked inappropriately along the internal access roads further detracting from what iscurrently a pleasant green open space.

There is increasing concern that despite the assertion from the Applicant that the internal greenareas will be open to the public, the layout and form of the proposed scheme will completelyalienate the general public from visiting this site. The newly formed entrances into the site willprovide direct road access into the site from College Road, Clifton Down and Guthrie Road. Theinvitation for the general public to explore the internal green space will not be clear and it will beincreasingly seen as the preserve of the use of the residents only. This is very much at odds withthe zoo's historic role as a key part of the city's green / open space fabric, reflected by its planningdesignation as a Local Historic Park & Garden and an Important Open Space.

iii). Loss of historic boundary featuresThe proposals for the development of the various apartment blocks along Guthrie Road and

Northcote Road means that entire lengths of existing rubble and pennant sandstone boundary wallfeatures will need to demolished. These stone walls range between approximately 2.5m high toabout 5,0m - 6,0m high at the junction of Guthrie Road and Northcote Road. The loss of suchhistoric features to accommodate these apartment blocks will further degrade the historic fabric ofthe Zoo site and will have a detrimental impact on the conservation area in this locality.

Equally the construction of the apartment block running parallel to Clifton Down (northernboundary) will also mean the entire loss of this boundary wall that currently exists. The drawingsdo not make it clear at all whether this boundary wall feature is being retained or not. It is assumedcurrently that the boundary wall will be demolished.

There is an equally strong boundary wall feature that exists along College Road. It is not at allclear from the proposals as to whether this 2.5m high wall will remain intact or whether this will bedemolished also. Further clarification should be sought from the Applicant as to his intentions.

iv) Enabling DevelopmentIt is accepted that in some instances in order to make a development commercially viable, somealterations need to occur to listed buildings and heritage assets. This is the case for the GiraffeHouse and other listed buildings within the site such as the Bear Pit, the Monkey Temple and theAviary building. The Applicant is proposing to convert the Giraffe house into residentialaccommodation and the remaining heritage assets will be integrated into the wider landscapingscheme for the site.However, what has not be made clear by the Applicant is the justification for such a radical changefrom one use to another. Paragraphs 199 - 208 of the NPPF (2021) goes into greater detail as tohow harm should be assessed and whether the significance of that harm is acceptable or not. Theconcluding paragraph (208) is of particular significance for this application. It states that;

Local planning authorities should assess whether the benefits of a proposal for enablingdevelopment, which would otherwise conflict with planning policies but which would secure thefuture conservation of a heritage asset, outweigh the disbenefits of departing from those policies.

It is vital that the LPA carefully reviews the justification of harm to these important heritage assetsand whether the principal of development here has been fully explained and justified. We are ofthe firm belief that the significance of harm that the proposals will have on the Conservation areaas well as the listed heritage assets do not outweigh the benefits of the proposed scheme.

v). Tenure & OwnershipThe affordable housing statement (Savills, October 2022) seems to suggest that the spread of firsthomes and affordable rented accommodation (40No units in total) will be evenly spread out acrossthe site and that as a result the scheme will be 'tenure blind'. However, if one analyses theaccommodation schedule that has been prepared by the applicant, it is evident that Block S1, all30No units within this block will be rented and managed by a social housing provider. The 10no

first homes will be spread out between Blocks E2 & E3.

We don't see how such a proposal will successfully integrate the different types of tenure into thescheme. It will only serve to potentially stigmatise the occupants of this apartment block (S1) andthe overall housing scheme will be poorly integrated as a result.

vi) Loss of a Community FacilityThere is a clear and direct link back to the Bristol Core Strategy (2011) and the Development PlanPolicies (2014) that seeks to prevent the loss of Community Facilities. The Local Plan does notprecisely define what a community facility is, but at para 2.5.2 it states that community facilitiescan be;

community centres and childcare facilities, cultural centres and venues, places of worship,education establishments and training centres, health and social care facilities, sport andrecreation facilities and civic and administrative facilities. It may also include other uses whoseprimary function is commercial but perform a social or community role i.e. sport, recreational andleisure facilities including local pubs.

Both Local Plan policy DM5 and Core Strategy Policy BCS12 make direct reference to the fact thatthe loss of Community Facilities will not be permitted unless it can be clearly demonstrated thatthere is no longer a demand for the facility or that the building/s are no longer suitable toaccommodate the use and the building cannot be retained or adapted to another community use.Furthermore Policy DM5 goes onto state that the loss of a community facility will only beacceptable is a replacement facility can be provided in 'a suitable alternative location'. The locationof the Wildplace Project is in a location (off Junction 17, M5) that will require visitors to arrive viacar or other motorised transport. The site is totally inaccessible to people without the means of acar. The appeal of the Bristol Zoo site is that is centrally located and it is accessible via bus or byfoot or by bicycle.

We would strongly argue that the Applicant has not fully and sufficiently demonstrated that thealternative uses of the Zoo as a community facility has been fully and carefully explored. Therehas been no critical analysis and explanation as to whether the buildings and the site as a wholecan be enhanced, adapted or whether a mixed use scheme could be introduced in order to keepthe Zoo site operating as a commercial concern in its current location.

The Zoo has played a crucial and integral role in the local community for the past 180 years. TheApplicant appears to be ignoring the very strong relationships that have developed over this periodbetween the local community and the zoo and is basing decisions about the future of this facilitypurely of commercial and financial objectives. Scant regard has been paid as to the potentialimpact that the closure of this facility will have on the local community and its potentialreplacement in a total unsustainable location that can only be accessed if families or individualshave a car.

ConclusionsThe City of Bristol Local Planning Authority have a legal duty which is clearly set out in the ListedBuildings & Conservation Act. The LPA must have special regard to protecting listed buildings andthe character and appearance of conservation areas. They must ensure that the setting andcontext of these important heritage assets are duly protected, preserved and enhanced.

The NPPF (2021) places considerable weight on ensuring that these importance heritage assetsare duly protected and requires Decision Makers to pay due regard to ensuring that such assetsare not negatively impacted by development proposals. LPAs are clearly advised that they shouldrefuse planning permission if the impacts of a development outweighs the benefits of such aproposal. (ie the delivery of housing units).

Overall the proposal that has been submitted by the Applicant for consideration does not preserveor enhance either the character or appearance of Clifton & Hotwells conservation area. Theimpacts on the various listed heritage assets (within and adjacent to the site) have not been fullyjustified and explained. The benefits of the proposal do not outweigh the impacts on theseimportant buildings as defined above.

The loss of green open space within the site is of great concern and the proposals put forwardprovide no evidence that this space would be guaranteed for public use in perpetuity.

We would recommend that your officers recommend refusal of this application and urge you tosupport our objection of this application. Both Local plan and National planning policy provide aclear route to substantiating a refusal of planning permission. Notwithstanding the above we haveoutlined below a number of reasons for refusal which we believe are relevant and pertinent to thisapplication.

Reasons for RefusalThe proposed development due to its insensitive design, form, scale, positioning and due to theloss of original fabric, would fail to respect the existing special character and historic significanceof the listed building. It would also harm the character and appearance of Clifton & Hotwellsconservation area. The harm is not outweighed by adequate public benefit and therefore theproposal is contrary to the NPPF, adopted Policies BCS21, BCS22, DM26, DM30 and DM31,Sections 66 and 72 of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 andrelevant guidance from SPD2 - A guide for designing house extensions and alterations.

The proposed development at roof level would impose visual disharmony and the impact on theadjacent educational and residential buildings. The change in building height would be particularlynoticeable when viewed from Clifton Downs and would undermine the appearance of theConservation Area thus failing to accord with Sections 66 and 72 of the Planning (Listed Buildings

and Conservation Areas) Act 1990. The proposed works would amount to substantial harm, it isconsidered that there are insufficient public benefits associated with the development and wouldtherefore fail to accord with the requirements of Paragraph 202 of the NPPF and Policies BCS22 -Conservation and the Historic Environment of the Bristol City Council Core Strategy (adopted June2011) and DM31 - Heritage Assets of the Bristol City Council Site Allocations and DevelopmentManagement Policies Document (Adopted July 2014) and is therefore unacceptable.

By virtue of its siting, scale, form, mass and overall design the proposed development as currentlydesigned would therefore appear as an unsympathetic and overly prominent addition in thissetting, failing to preserve the character of the established street scene; this part of the Clifton &Hotwells Conservation Area or the setting of surrounding Listed Buildings. Accordingly, theproposal conflicts with Section 16 of the National Planning Policy Framework (2018); Section 16(2)of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990; Core Strategy (2011) PoliciesBCS21 and BCS22 and Site Allocations and Development Management Policies (2014) DM26,DM29 and DM31.

The Applicant has failed to suitably demonstrate that the loss of this important community facility isjustified. The evidence put forward does not provide sufficient justification as to why thiscommunity facility has to close and why an alternative or more suitable appropriate use cannot befound in this location that would allow the site to be utilised and be maintained as a communityfacility for the longer term. Core Strategy (adopted June 2011) Policy BCS12 and Site AllocationsDevelopment Management Policies DM5. (Adopted July 2014) and is therefore unacceptable.

Not Available    on 2022-11-29   OBJECT

After reading through the planning permissions I am shocked at how we have beenmislead. I was under the impression that the focus was going to be placed on creating a localgarden that would represent the zoo's history. Instead there is going to be a large housingdevelopment that destroys so much of the incredible wildlife that the zoo has.

I think another tourist attraction would be a much better use of space and would drive the tourismindustry in Bristol. We could have a Bristol kew gardens.

I have many memories as a child playing in the zoo gardens and now as a young adult waslooking forward to doing the same with my children.

Please stop this housing development, it's going to do a large amount of damage for many manyyears, when there is an easier much more pleasant solution.

Not Available    on 2022-11-13   OBJECT

I have re-read the revised documentation that has been submitted, but have beenunable to identify any changes that in any way address the points that I raised in our initialobjection. It would appear that the concerns over the style and density of the development and thesevere overbearing nature of the proposed construction in a low rise neighbourhood have notbeen in any way listened to.

I would like the committee to consider our previous concerns to be very much still current, andrequest that they reject this development for something in keeping with the character, heritage andstyle of the surrounding streets.

Not Available    on 2022-09-03   OBJECT

I would like to make it clear that the majority of the opposition to the currentdevelopment plans have nothing to do with neighbours being 'entitled'. The Zoo site is in aConservation area, that does not mean new housing cannot be built, it means that developersneed to have sensitivity when designing the housing. Building styles that are incongruous with thesurrounding historic building are damaging to the character of the area. Key reasons for the Cliftonarea being a desireabld part of the city to live are its proximity to green space and characteristicarchitecture. The proposed height of some of the planned buildings detract from the view of theDowns from some aspects whilst also not blending in with existing architecture. These are genuineconcerns that are being hand waved as entitlement. For Clifton to remain a unique part of thecityeffort needs to be made to retain what makes it unique.

Everyone is aware of the need for more housing Bristol. Clifton has already had many of itsproperties converted to multiple occupancy dwellings. Again, the reluctance to add additionalhousing is not coming from a place of selfishness. Clifton is already quite densely populated for anarea of its size. It also has high numbers of visitors. Parking is already an issue with currentresidents and visitors. Adding housing inevitably means more cars, exacerbating the issue. Bristolpublic transport is not affordable or reliable enough for these new residents to rely as their primarymode of transport so building new housing is essentialy baking in the need for parking for these

new residents. That is potentially 60+ more cars in an area that stuggles with parking and traffic.

It is easy to claim that residents are being entitled but only residents have a true appreciation forhow the plans might impact their local area.

Not Available    on 2022-08-23   SUPPORT

I would like to record my support for the zoo's development plans to counter thenegativity of entitled neighbours, horrified at the idea of much-needed housing being built in thispart of Clifton. The designs are sensitive, with buildings only proposed where buildings alreadyexist; traffic will be far less than current zoo visitors - and the public will be given free access intothe beautiful gardens. While it is incredibly sad that the zoo has to close, this application needs tobe approved so that the people of Bristol can benefit from the additional housing - and the zoo canrealise the sale and obtain funding to continue its valuable work.

    on 2022-08-19  

There seems no compelling financial reason to close the Clifton site other than to make money to develop Wild Place.

IV. The constraints on the use of the Downs north of the zoo – and the potential of the land - need clarification. All the land between the zoo’s north boundary and the main road, including the land outside the zoo’s main entrance, is part of Clifton Down. Under the 1861 Downs Act, this land must be used for the public resort and recreation of Bristolians. It is also common land, to which there is a right of access on foot. The pedestrian route along the zoo boundary wall probably qualifies as a public right of way through long use. The recreational value of this land should be maximised. The creation of a grand entrance to the proposed conservation hub and the retention of a large car park (that could only be used by visitors to the Downs) would not achieve this. The construction of large buildings on the boundary of the land would reduce the recreational value of this part of the Downs.


I Public access to the zoo grounds

1.1 The significance of the gardens is eloquently described at para 4.31 (page 75) of the heritage statement. The zoo’s proposals will significantly reduce the attractiveness of the gardens. The proposed public access would be some compensation: the gardens would complement the recreational uses of the Downs well.

1.2 Public access cannot be secured in perpetuity by planning conditions or s106 agreements: residents would be able to apply to have conditions amended or removed to increase their privacy and security.

1.3 Other ways of securing public access include:

• Restrictive covenants. Better but still inadequate. Assuming that it retains an interest in the land through ownership of the site of the proposed conservation hub, the zoo could sell the site with a restrictive covenant requiring public access. The weakness is that the zoo could agree to the covenant being removed at a later date, or an application could be made to the courts for the covenant to be removed.

• Rights of way. Much stronger. For linear routes only. The zoo and Bristol City Council, as the local highway authority, could make creation agreements to establish footpaths on the site ( see Once established, rights of way are hard to remove. .

• Right of access to all the site. Just as strong and would cover the lawns etc as well. Under section 16 of the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000, owners of land can dedicate it for public access in perpetuity. This is binding on subsequent owners.

• Designation as a town or village green. Also strongly protective. There are plenty of precedents in Bristol, including Canynge Square and the Mall Gardens in Clifton. The zoo can apply for voluntary registration under the Commons Act 2006. (See


1.4 The application proposes that the costs of maintaining the grounds should fall on residents. This will not guarantee the current high standards. The zoo needs to establish an endowment fund of, say, £5million to achieve this.

II Parking history

(1) Past parking constraints

2.1 The documents submitted by the zoo rest heavily on assertions about the zoo’s decline, quoted below from the planning statement. The same assertions are repeated in that statement at para 6.12 and in the design and access statement (page 10) :

“ 1.3. Since the Zoo’s peak in the 1960s, when approximately 1 million people visited the site each year, visitor numbers have decreased significantly to approximately 500,000 (pre-covid). This has resulted in the Society making a loss in recent years. 1.4. The primary reasons for this decline are the constrained scale of the site, which limits the Society’s (the applicant’s) ability to appropriately meet animals’ needs, and the loss of parking provision serving the Zoo. “

2.2 This statement is not consistent with the zoo’s last two applications for planning permission to park on the Downs; its reports on parking to the Downs Committee; or its annual accounts at

2.3 We deal with the fall in visitor numbers and the zoo’s finances more fully in the next section. On parking, the zoo has never claimed in its planning applications or reports to the Downs Committee that visitor numbers have decreased because of lack of parking provision. It has instead successfully argued for special concessions – such as five-hour parking on the roads on the Downs and near the zoo – and made unsubstantiated claims that its viability would be threatened if it were no longer allowed to use the Downs off Ladies Mile as its main car park. The zoo caused traffic chaos for many years by making no attempt to limit visitor numbers in line with the parking available. It even made a half price Groupon offer in 2015 that brought northwest Bristol to a halt.

2.4 In its annual reports to the Downs Committee, the zoo emphasised that it could easily manage with the (steadily reducing) parking provision planning committees allowed on the Ladies Mile site. Because of COVID, the site has not been used since 2019. The zoo’s report to the Downs Committee for that year is attached. It notes that:

“During 2019, Bristol Zoo Gardens used the designated area of land off Ladies Mile for car parking on 22 days during the Easter school holidays, May bank holiday and Summer school holidays. A total of 3,499 cars were parked, an average of 159 per day. As in previous years, the number of days used is comfortably within the days permitted. Parking was used on 4 fewer days than in 2018 and 509 fewer cars in total. “

2.5 The zoo’s annual reviews and accounts from 2011 onwards do not attribute changes in visitor numbers to parking constraints. The annual accounts from 2013 onwards do, however identify

pressure on parking as one of the principal future risks facing the zoo. The 2013 accounts were published in July 2014. Possibly coincidentally, one of DfP’s members, a qualified accountant, had pointed out a year earlier that, if the financial viability of the zoo were considered materially dependent upon the Ladies Mile car park (as the zoo claimed in support of its planning application), this would have been identified as a risk in its audited annual financial statements. At that time it was not.

(2) Consequences of High Court challenge 2.6 Downs for People successfully challenged the grant of a twenty-year licence to the zoo to continue to park on the Downs off Ladies Mile. This led to a court order last year that established no part of the Downs could in future be set aside for parking for activities that were not on the Downs. The order allowed the Ladies Mile site to continue in use until October 2022 and the zoo’s North car park until the end of 2023.

2.7 The zoo’s planning statement gives an inaccurate impression of the consequences. It says:

“ 6.14 Regarding parking, the loss of facilities that the Zoo has historically relied upon, are well documented. The parking on the Downs and* off Ladies Mile, has reduced in recent years in accordance with the planning permissions granted. This left the Zoo primarily reliant on the North Car Park. However, this site sits on Downs land, and a recent High Court legal ruling has confirmed that use of both the North Car Park and Ladies Mile will be lost to the Zoo from 2024. In total, there are 340 spaces in the North Car Park and West Car Park, and 600 temporary spaces at Ladies Mile

6.15 As a result, from 2024 Bristol Zoo Gardens will have no car parking spaces available (on-street parking in the form of pay and display and the use of 36 parking permits only), which is insufficient to run a viable visitor attraction, irrespective of recent financial pressures”

*the ‘and’ is presumably a typing error. There is just one site on the Downs, off Ladies Mile.

2.8. This is misleading: it underestimates the past and present parking available to the zoo. Further, it does not mention that the zoo has decided to sell its west car park, the only parking provision on its own land. The parking available to the zoo is:

• North car park. Taken from the Downs over decades. 180 spaces. Parking for non-Downs activities must end by 31 December 2023.

• West car park. Opened in 2002. 160 spaces. Zoo is selling site for housing. • Downs off Ladies Mile. Area with space for 660 cars licensed since 1960s. Use grew, with

the zoo seeking permission for 102 days in 1996 and often using more than the space allowed. Planning committees gradually reduced the annual allowance to 30 days in 2019. Zoo repeatedly promised to make arrangements that would end its use of the site. Parking for non-Downs activities must end by 1 October 2022.

• Parking on neighbouring roads. When a Residents’ Parking Scheme was introduced in 2015, the zoo successfully lobbied for a five-hour limit (the length of an average zoo visit) in these roads, rather than the three hours originally proposed. There are 330 metered spaces. At weekends and Bank Holidays, parking is free of charge both in these spaces and in the rest of the area covered by the Residents’ Parking Scheme.

• Parking on roads on the Downs. When the council introduced parking restrictions on the roads on the Downs in 2016, the zoo pressed successfully for the parking limit to be set at

five hours instead of the four originally proposed, with no restrictions on Bank Holidays. There are 1550 spaces on the roads on the Downs.

2.9. The most obvious way for the zoo to deal with the loss of the North car park and the Ladies Mile site would have been to build a multi-storey West car park. It anyway has continuing access to 330 metered spaces and 1500 free spaces on weekdays and 1830 spaces at weekends. Further, it has repeatedly committed itself to reducing the need for parking but has done little about it. It has benefited from significantly improved local bus and train services but resisted introducing a park-and-ride service itself. More time has been spent drawing up travel plans than in implementing effective measures.

III Pre-COVID plans

2.10 The suggestion that lack of parking required the closure of the Clifton site is at odds with the strategy Saving Wildlife Together, which the zoo published in June 2019 ( attached). This saw Wild Place developing further in the years to 2025 as a “global wildlife adventure”; meanwhile the Clifton site would become an exciting “animal discovery centre”, appealing to a more local visitor base. There were plans for significant capital investment at the Clifton site, not closure. There was no mention of parking problems. There was only recognition that transport should be an enabler, not a blocker, and that alternatives to car travel were needed (p16).

III Visitor numbers and financial difficulties

3.1 The zoo’s annual reviews/accounts and its statements in support of its planning applications, do not support the assertion quoted in para 2.1 above that the zoo has made losses in recent years because visitor numbers have decreased to about 500,000. The decrease is attributed to the constrained scale of the site limiting the zoo’s ability to meet animal needs, as well as parking problems, but this is nowhere mentioned elsewhere.

3.2 The table below shows the visitor numbers given in the annual accounts, the increase/decrease from the previous year, and the explanation given for this.

Year Visitors % change Reason given 2010 523000 2011 579 613 + 10.8 Fine weather and painted gorillas. 2012 589,552 +1.7 Animatronic DinoZoo 2013 554,494 - 5.9 Not clear. (More admission income though, from higher prices). 2014 528,036 -4.8 No DinoZoo. 2015 545,722 +3.3 Groupon promotion 2016 562,192 +3.0 Baby gorilla Afia 2017 523,166 -6.9 No baby gorilla 2018 *512,920 - 2.0 2019 512,934 0.0 2020 217,768 - 58 COVID 2021 313,146 +44 COVID

* Originally recorded as 478,126, a drop of 8.6%. Corrected the next year.

3.3 While visitor numbers may be lower than in the 1960s, they were clearly steady for a long period. The foreword to the 2011 annual review referred to “strong visitor numbers”. In 2012 the zoo enjoyed “the best visitor numbers for over ten years”. When submitting its last planning application in 2016, the zoo declared that it was ‘flourishing’.

3.4 It is hard to detect any lasting financial problems in the zoo’s annual accounts. The ‘net movements in funds’ ie gains/losses for the Bristol Zoological Society as a whole have been:

2011 - £167k

2012 + £962k

2013 + £3.493m

2014 - £306k

2015 + £785k

2016 - £505k

2017 + £1.587m

2018 +£1.292m

2019 + £1.9m

2020 - £955k

2021 - £387k.

In the years immediately before COVID, the Society’s finances look very healthy.

3.5 When announcing closure of the Clifton site in November 2020, the zoo said that it had suffered operating losses in four of the last six years and declining visitor numbers. As shown above, both these statements are questionable. It also said: “The impact of Covid-19 has caused us to radically rethink our plans about the future and how we address the fundamental and persistent challenges that we face in order to save Bristol Zoological Society.” In its 2020 accounts, the zoo again blames COVID for its abandoning the 2019 strategy which would have kept the Clifton site (para 2,10 above). But the zoo’s accounts show – and the figures in para 3.4 confirm – that the zoo has been to a large extent protected from the impact of the pandemic by a £2.5 million payout from its insurers, as well as by the Government support available to furlough staff etc.

3.6 There seems no compelling financial reason to close the Clifton site other than to make money to develop Wild Place. Sale of the site was not thought necessary in 2019: it is not clear why it is now.

IV Constraints on the land north of the zoo boundary

4.1 The land between the wall marking the zoo’s northern boundary and the main road, currently occupied by the zoo’s North car park and the approach to its main entrance, is subject to a number of constraints. The planning application recognises this but does not always express the constraints correctly. These are:

• Part of Clifton Down. The land is all part of Clifton Down, which is owned by the Society of Merchant Venturers (SMV) and subject to the Clifton and Durdham Downs (Bristol) Act 1861. It is the Downs Act and not SMV ownership that prevents use of this land other than for “the public resort and recreation of the citizens and inhabitants of Bristol”. It cannot be built on. The land does not have to be used as a car park: if it is, only Downs users will be able to park there from 2024. This was spelt out in the court order that brought our High Court challenge to an end. Anyone who ignores the order will be in contempt of court. Equally the land does not have to be restored to grassland as the heritage statement suggests (fig 101). It cannot be used as a grand entrance to the new conservation hub ( fig 104) unless this is somehow of benefit to Downs users

• Common land. This has been common land “from time immemorial” (1861 Downs Act). This limits what can be done without specific permission from Defra’s Secretary of State. It also means there is a statutory right of access on foot.

• Right of way. The planning application points out (page 130 of Heritage Statement) that there is an ‘unofficial’ pedestrian route along the zoo’s boundary wall. This is the route the road followed, probably until 1828. This route would almost certainly qualify as a public right of way, certainly for pedestrians and possibly for cyclists and even cars. If designated as a right of way, the route will need to be left unobstructed, or changed by legal action.

4.2. The Downs Committee is currently considering the use of this land. Downs for People is pressing for it to be used in a way that adds most recreational value. It could create a walking route to rival the Promenade and use the open space for a variety of activities. Development within the zoo site, particularly along the north boundary wall, will impact on this site and on those walking to it from the higher parts of the Downs. The current proposed height and bulk of the buildings will produce some overshadowing and overlooking.

Downs for People 18 August 2022

Our commitment to wildlife is centuries old and born out of a desire both to better understand life on our planet and to inspire people to engage with the fascination of nature. Today our mission is focused on saving wildlife, not alone but together with all the people that we engage and inspire. Our vision is for wildlife to be a part of everyone’s lives and for people to want to, and be enabled to, protect wildlife now and for the future.

This Strategic Plan sets out our direction for the next five years. Our ambitions are bold as our challenges require a strength of vision that will ensure the long-term future of Bristol Zoological Society.

Success will depend fundamentally on a new concept for Bristol Zoo Gardens that places a greater value on visitors’ interaction with and understanding of individual animals, an ‘animal discovery centre’, whilst we continue to develop Wild Place to be an even greater global wildlife adventure. Both must be family-friendly attractions that entertain and delight our visitors with a world-class experience as well as an extraordinary collection of animals. Given its long history at the forefront of the development of zoos, Bristol Zoological Society is better placed than most to define what zoos should look like in the 21st Century.

Only from these foundations will we be able to grow and develop our already significant conservation and education programmes, both here in the UK and across the world, whilst influencing policy and decision-makers to ensure a sustainable future for wildlife and people. We must build on our existing partnerships and reach out to the diversity of audiences in our city and region and be prepared to work differently with new partners, supporters and funders who share our commitment to saving wildlife together.

Our vision1


We have identified five objectives that together will support our vision for wildlife to be a part of everyone’s lives and deliver our mission of saving wildlife together:

1 Saving wildlife2 Growing our impact3 Increasing our reach4 Joining the conversation5 Sustaining our future

We recognise that in some areas, such as conservation and education, we must make the most of our investment in recent years and ensure the optimum use of existing resources and infrastructure. However, in other areas such as public engagement, outreach and communications we must invest in order to grow our business, impact and influence.

By 2025 we will:

• Grow the proportion of species in our collection with targeted conservation action, such as breeding programmes, scientific research and links to field projects, to 50%.

• Grow the number of visitors to our two attractions by 30% and increase our visitor revenue.

• Engage and inspire over 75,000 schoolchildren and students per annum in formal education, an increase of 34%.

• Lead on five big local, national or international conservation issues, so more people know who we are and what we stand for.

• Generate £25m in capital investment, derived from a range of sources including philanthropy, commercial funding and our own assets, to transform the visitor experience.

Our objectives

Who we are

Bristol Zoological Society was founded in 1835 and Bristol Zoo Gardens opened to the public in 1836. It is the fifth-oldest zoo in the world, the oldest outside a capital city, and the first one recorded to be called a ‘zoo’. Bristol Zoo Gardens conceived and built the world’s first nocturnal house in 1953, was the first zoo in the UK to breed chimpanzees, gorillas and Sumatran orangutans, and built the UK’s first underwater tunnel in its Aquarium. In 2013 we opened our sister-site, Wild Place in South Gloucestershire, with a vision for it to be a national centre for wildlife.

We have a long and impressive history on which our new Strategic Plan will build to ensure the continued success of this extraordinary Society.

Our collectionBristol Zoological Society cares for nearly 10,000 animals of 400 species, with nearly 1,400 threatened animals bred in 2018. The collection is diverse and includes species from a variety of taxonomic groups including mammals, fish, invertebrates, reptiles, amphibians and birds. We are recognised as a leader in understanding and improving animal welfare among UK zoos. The animal collection exists within a rich and diverse landscape of plants and trees, numbering more than 100,000 specimens, which define the character and personality of both Bristol Zoo Gardens and Wild Place.

Bristol Zoological Society was a founder member of one of the first formalised collaborative conservation breeding programmes, started in the late 1960s with the formation of the Okapi Consortium. Today, we participate in 93 European Association of Zoos and Aquaria conservation breeding programmes, of which 15 are coordinated by Bristol Zoological Society staff.

We are actively growing the number of breeding programmes that use animals born or reared in captivity for restocking and re-establishing wild populations. These have included white-clawed crayfish, water voles and barberry carpet moths in the UK; Partula snails in French Polynesia; and African penguins in South Africa (using hand-reared wild birds). Other restocking projects that we are working on include pink pigeons in Mauritius and Desertas wolf spiders on Desertas Grande, a small island off Madeira.


Our field conservation and science

The Society established a research department in 2006, and this has grown significantly to become our Field Conservation & Science department. We conduct evidence-based conservation and research across 14 projects in 10 countries on 4 continents working through 31 local partner organisations. Our greatest focus is on sub-Saharan Africa and the Western Indian Ocean, as well as native species in southwest England.

Our scientific work is broad in scope and covers field conservation biology and ecology as well as many aspects of zoo biology, veterinary medicine and social science. We regularly host national and international conferences and between 2007 and 2017, we published 136 peer-reviewed papers in scientific journals and books, averaging 12.4 papers per annum. This puts us into the top 10 zoos in Europe for peer-reviewed publications.


Our reachThe Society has engaged many millions of visitors since opening, and across our two sites we remain one of the most popular zoos in the UK, attracting nearly 700,000 visits in 2018. Our visitors are our greatest potential source of conservation action, and in recent years we have joined forces with other organisations to lead targeted campaigns to change consumer perspectives on materials and food ingredients such as palm oil, charcoal, and fish.

Importantly, we also work proactively to create opportunities for those who are disadvantaged in some way to visit Bristol Zoo Gardens and Wild Place. Our Access to Nature bursary scheme is designed to provide community groups with an out-of-classroom learning experience and our Wild Detectives programme is working with four Bristol charities to engage children and young adults who have mental health issues. We also seek to reach out and engage people beyond our two zoos. For example, our volunteers and staff deliver programmes to more than 50 community groups in Bristol each year.

The Society’s two zoos are often held up as exemplars of education in zoos, and we have won numerous awards for our education sessions. In 1999 the purpose-built Conservation Education Centre was opened to support the delivery of programmes for schoolchildren, and our Institute of Conservation Science and Learning opened in 2015 to enable the delivery of higher education programmes. Today we engage more than 35,000 schoolchildren each year in our education sessions at Bristol Zoo Gardens and 6,000 at Wild Place, over 3,000 schoolchildren off site, and more than 300 university students across seven higher education degree courses in collaboration with the University of the West of England, Bristol; University of Bristol; South Gloucestershire and Stroud College; and the University of Gloucestershire.

Our vets also provide exotic animal clinical and didactic teaching, electives and assessment to University of Bristol undergraduate veterinary students. In addition to teaching, our Field Conservation & Science staff also supervise a large number of undergraduate and post-graduate research projects, including PhDs.


Our placesAt both Bristol Zoo Gardens and Wild Place, we are the fortunate custodians of much valued built assets and historic landscapes, full of rich diversity that we must continue to cherish. We maintain many different habitats that hold great amenity value, across both our zoos, which we must protect for our visitors and future generations as the world develops around us.

Our peopleThe success of the Society has only been possible due to our people. The Society is governed by 12 Trustees who freely give their time to ensure that we deliver our charitable objects. Each Trustee serves for up to 9 years and as a result the Society has been overseen by several hundred people during its history.

Our Board of Trustees is supported by a number of sub-Committees with Lay Members who provide a broader range of perspectives and experience to the Society. In particular our Conservation, Ethics and Sustainability Committee ensures our research and conservation work is carried out to the highest ethical standards

Further to this the support of our Royal Patron, ambassadors and shareholders is invaluable in realising our mission.

The Society also has many volunteers, some of whom have supported us for more than 25 years and now number in excess of 350 in total. Our Volunteers work with us in all areas of activity to enhance our programmes and in particular support our education, public engagement and outreach work.

As a complex organisation delivering a wide range of activities we employ more than 270 colleagues. We work across two sites in the UK as well as 10 countries in the world. Our people are our greatest resource, and our future success depends on our investment in them.


Our challenges

Above all else we must, through this Strategic Plan, ensure a financially sustainable future for Bristol Zoological Society. As a result, we must recognise the changing needs and expectations of visitors, staff, stakeholders and supporters whilst delivering a long-term complementary vision for our two zoos.

Conservation challengesThe planet has lost 1.3 million km2 of forests alone since 1990; this is more than five times the size of the United Kingdom. Other habitat types, including grasslands, wetlands and marine ecosystems are also being impacted by human activity. There are no longer any safe havens for species outside of protected areas. Recent studies have shown that even minimal deforestation substantially increases a species’ extinction risk. Healthy habitats and healthy animal populations are inextricably linked, and we must continue to integrate wildlife monitoring with habitat restoration in the wild places where we work.

Social challengesHistorically the environment has not featured amongst the top issues that concern the UK public and more often than not, concerns about the environment solely focus on the impact of our changing climate.

However, a younger generation are increasingly passionate about the environment; but, they do not associate zoos with its protection. We must ensure that our public and stakeholders clearly understand our relevance to society today, in particular our mission as a conservation charity, and that our focus on the environment is evident in everything that we do.

We must play a leading role in raising awareness about the importance of biodiversity, foster a sense of responsibility for the species that inhabit the world in which we live, and enable positive behaviours that support the conservation of wildlife.


The benefits for human health and wellbeing of connecting with nature are also becoming better understood and this must come to be an increasingly important part of our thinking, as the way in which we live our daily lives continues to change at a rapid pace.

The population of Bristol has become increasingly diverse and some local communities have changed significantly. There are now at least 45 religions, at least 180 countries of birth and at least 91 main languages spoken. Bristol also has 42 areas in the most deprived 10% in England, including 6 in the most deprived 1%. This situation is replicated in other major cities within our catchment such as Cardiff and Newport. We must respond to this rapidly changing landscape across our region and be open to different forms of engagement if we are to maintain and increase our reach.

Consumer challengesAudience expectations are high in an increasingly competitive tourism and leisure market and we must ensure that we live and exhibit our brand and our values. Bristol Zoo Gardens has lost market share in recent years and must build on its long heritage, the strong affection of the people of Bristol and its civic authority to define a bold new future.

Families are increasingly keen to experience more time together, away from screens, creating time to connect and escape everyday life. The Society must respond to this through a compelling, fun and easy experience that makes the most of our passionate colleagues and volunteers and the inherently different settings of Bristol Zoo Gardens and Wild Place.

In particular transportation to our sites must be seen as an enabler, not a blocker, to a decision to visit. The car will always provide a popular mode of transport for a family audience; however, we must continue to offer greater travel alternatives which must be affordable and reliable to the point at which they are genuine alternatives to the car.


Financial challengesOverall income growth has slowed as a result of a strong competitive environment and lack of new exhibits at Bristol Zoo Gardens. In parallel, operating expenditure has grown faster than revenue. We must rigorously assess our existing and future business opportunities and ensure that we have the skills and expertise to achieve the full potential of any one activity.

Above all else we must increase our capital investment across our two sites, both front and back of house. The optimum use of our land and property assets alongside a more compelling and engaging capital fundraising campaign will ensure that we create the capacity for investment over the next five years and beyond.


201 Saving wildlife

Our conservation work is framed by a five-year Conservation Master Plan that sets out in more detail how we will deliver the objectives below.

Conservation breeding and reintroductionWe will continue to develop and lead conservation breeding programmes, particularly those that aim to bolster wild populations of target species through reintroduction and other conservation translocations, such as the white-clawed crayfish in southwest England and Partula snails in French Polynesia. We will develop the Society’s animal collection to increase its direct contribution to ex situ conservation to at least 50% of the species that we keep. We will work with International Union for Conservation of Nature Specialist Groups and other stakeholders to assess the need for captive assurance populations, bring about mandates and make space available for such programmes within the limits of our operation.

Conservation geneticsWe will develop the Bristol Zoological Society Conservation Genetics Laboratory as part of our Institute of Conservation Science and Learning and, through this, enhance the population viability analyses for our target species with genetic information. We will use our in-house laboratory to determine the taxonomic status of animals of unknown origin, thus enabling their inclusion into European Association of Zoos and Aquaria studbooks.

Conservation medicineWe will develop a business plan to establish a world-class Vet Hospital at Wild Place, including a specialist exotic animal service and the capacity for European residencies. We will integrate conservation medicine into our existing field conservation projects as appropriate and continue to supervise post-graduate students in conservation medicine projects. We will lead on the development of a standard methodology to assess animal welfare, replicable across all zoo collections, and ensure that the species in our collection continue to receive the highest standards of animal husbandry and welfare.

Field conservation and scienceWe will actively monitor the status of species we aim to conserve in each field project, and aim to put them on a path to ‘downlisting’ on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List of Threatened Species. We will develop a surveying and monitoring strategy and programme, and introduce it gradually to each field project.

We will identify causes of habitat loss in our key project sites, and work with other stakeholders to implement habitat restoration activities. We will maximise the value of the Bristol Zoo Gardens and Wild Place sites for the conservation of native species through integrated ecological site management, and develop native species strategies for both sites.

We will work in constructive partnerships with other organisations in our field conservation and science projects, including universities, other conservation organisations, governments and other stakeholders. We will make our conservation work more easily accessible to staff, visitors and the wider community and develop a Bristol Zoological Society Conservation Index that easily conveys how our conservation activities are performing.


242 Growing our impact

Our zoos must be family-friendly attractions that entertain and delight our visitors with a world-class experience as well as an extraordinary collection of animals. We will grow the number of visitors to both Bristol Zoo Gardens and Wild Place by 30%, engaging more than 900,000 a year and, as a result, grow visitor revenue.

Our zoosWe will develop Bristol Zoo Gardens and Wild Place to be more distinct from each other through the delivery of a bold and compelling new vision for Bristol Zoo Gardens and the continued development of Wild Place. Both must recognise and exploit the increasing value that consumers place on ‘experiences’ and the opportunity to escape everyday life.

Bristol Zoo Gardens will become Britain’s first animal discovery centre, where visitors can learn to live as animals do and experience what it is like to be an animal living in a particular environment. A series of fun, immersive and interactive ‘life zones’ will encourage visitors to dive in and understand how animals have adapted to survive in different habitats and help determine what the future for these animals might be.

Each ‘life zone’ will be highly immersive, with walkthrough exhibits of charismatic animal species; opportunities for visitors to test their ability to adapt to different environments through play and interaction; and a significant use of theatre and drama to ensure that each has a distinct character and personality.

In contrast, Wild Place will continue to develop as Britain’s global wildlife adventure, where visitors will be transported as explorers to discover animals in the world’s wild places, learning about the importance of their habitats and what the future of these might be. Each wild place will be a naturalistic habitat, with large, charismatic ‘flagship’ animal species that visitors ‘discover’ as they explore.

Changing behavioursEngaging this number and breadth of visitors is our greatest opportunity to save wildlife, and we must empower them to do it together with us. As the great Sir David Attenborough said, “No one will protect what they don’t care about; and no one will care about what they have never experienced”.

We will engage our visitors with the wider pressures on wildlife such as unsustainable palm oil production and timber extraction, overfishing, or plastic pollution and importantly provide them with the tools to change their behaviours and work with us to reduce these pressures.

Visitor experienceVisitors will be at the heart of how we think and what we do. The personal interaction with our staff will be second to none and our visitors will become our ambassadors. We must ensure a high-quality experience pre-, during, and post-visit at both Bristol Zoo Gardens and Wild Place.

The experience at Bristol Zoo Gardens will drive repeat visitation, increased membership and visitor donations. Importantly, the catering offer will adapt to meet these needs, with a focus on improved customer service and a proposition that is consistent with the values of the Society. There will be greater investment at Wild Place to improve visitor facilities, in particular to develop an improved arrival and exit experience and a new restaurant, to meet the needs of day visitors who may have travelled from afar.

AudiencesWe will seek to target different audiences at our zoos, growing the penetration rate of different market segments and making the most of the potentially different catchment areas. This will help ensure that not only is the proposition distinct at each attraction, but in parallel there is a clear focus on the needs of different audiences.


3 Increasing our reach

Diverse and disadvantaged communitiesWe want to reach audiences from a broad range of backgrounds, reflecting the diversity of the West of England population, and ensure that we are accessible to all. We will deliver socially inclusive programmes, engaging disadvantaged communities that may not have had the chance to visit one of our sites before.

We will expand our Access to Nature bursary scheme to at least 15 groups per year. We will double the number of Zoo to You community outreach visits to more than 100 a year. We will continue to engage children and young adults from disadvantaged backgrounds with our Wild Detectives programme at Wild Place Project.

SchoolchildrenWe will position Bristol Zoological Society as a centre of excellence for informal science learning, whilst broadening our relevance to other subject areas such as geography, art and history. Informal learning will be embedded in the visitor experience with an increased capacity for participatory learning provided through the development of new exhibits.

We will grow the number of schoolchildren attending our education sessions at both Bristol Zoo Gardens and Wild Place to more than 60,000 a year, the equivalent of every schoolchild in Bristol. Similarly, we will grow the number of schoolchildren visiting both attractions to more than 75,000 a year, representing c.58% of the schoolchildren in the West of England Combined Authority.

Higher educationWe will review our existing higher education offer and increase student numbers on existing courses where appropriate and feasible. In addition, we will review our plans for additional higher education provision at Wild Place, as part of our plans for a new vet hospital, and develop a business case.


4 Joining the conversation

LeadershipWe will lead the national and international zoo community, in particular by using our ‘One Plan’ approach to conservation, and help others to apply this to their organisations. We will become a national leader in promoting positive behaviour change to our visitors, leading to more wildlife-friendly actions. We will use our convening power to ensure local, national and international discussion and debate on topical issues. In particular we will reclaim our leadership position locally as one of the pillars of the city and region engaging with wildlife-related environmental issues and stimulating greater thought and consideration of these.

Communicating our relevanceWe will be louder and prouder about our charitable status and grow local and national support for our conservation and education work. We will voice our expert opinion on local, national and global wildlife-related issues that concern us, even if they are controversial in nature. We will be open and transparent about all aspects of our work, including the quality of space for all animals in our collection, thus encouraging debate and developing new thinking in the zoo community and beyond.

Influencing the future

We will work together with the International Union for Conservation of Nature, the international zoo community and others to develop new ideas and approaches to biodiversity and wildlife conservation. We will influence national government policy on issues concerning the environment such as the illegal wildlife trade. We will play a much more active role in discussions about the future priorities for Bristol and the region, in particular the development of the ‘western powerhouse’ and the devolution of responsibility and funding from national government to the regions.


Harnessing social mediaDigital and social media represent an extraordinary opportunity to be part of a much bigger conversation. We will increase the use of social and digital media to communicate our relevance and stimulate debate, and we will renew our website with a mobile-first approach that supports access from anywhere. As a result, we will grow the number of social media followers and digital media visits.

Growing our fundraisingDonors are critical to our future success, and we will not achieve this Strategic Plan without them. In recent years the Society has grown its donor base and in 2018 raised more than £1m in external funding.

We will grow our existing levels of revenue fundraising to support the programmes set out in this Strategic Plan. In particular, we will recognise the value and potential support of our shareholders, members and visitors, with fundraising campaigns designed specifically to appeal to their priorities whilst meeting the needs of the Society.

In support of our new vision and masterplans for Bristol Zoo Gardens and Wild Place we will develop a case for support and campaign plan to significantly grow our capital fundraising.


5 Sustaining our future

Our peopleWe will increase employee engagement and satisfaction to create champions for our brand. Specifically, we will ensure that staff and volunteers are treated with respect and fairness and that we focus on improving the wellbeing of our employees.

There will be a greater emphasis on the continued development of our colleagues, in particular managers, with an increased focus on succession planning, the development of colleagues and improved resilience throughout our organisation. We will ensure greater collaboration between Bristol Zoo Gardens, Wild Place and the Institute of Conservation Science and Learning through the promotion of a ‘One Society’ culture.

Our finances

We will create a sustainable growth in revenue and profitability to enable us to support the Society’s mission. In order to ensure sustained support for our conservation programmes we will review how we consider restricted funding as distinct from commercial activities. We will ensure we have suitable levels of funding in place to support the delivery of this Strategic Plan, either through commercial activities, fundraising, bank funding or sale of land and property assets. We will invest in systems and processes to support the growth and efficiency of the Society.


Our placesOur new masterplans will not only provide for a more compelling visitor experience but also ensure that we make best use of our two zoos as high-quality urban green spaces that enhance the wellbeing of our visitors. We will have a considered and fully developed approach to investment across our estate. We will develop a property strategy, which will ensure that we optimise the use and value of our properties, capturing and taking advantage of future opportunities, whilst also developing an asset management plan to enable considered and sustained maintenance of our estate.

Our environmentCaring for and sustaining the environment is central to our mission and this philosophy will flow through everything that we do. Over the next five years specifically, we will aim for all procurement to be sourced sustainably, in particular our food and packaging materials. We will reduce the environmental impact of our operation, focussing on our energy and water consumption, both in our zoos and in our field conservation projects, and on our waste production. We will showcase our achievements in environmental sustainability to our visitors, through enhanced public engagement, and instil in our visitors an appreciation of the importance and benefits of sustainable living.


Bristol, Clifton and West of England Zoological Society Ltd.

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Ladies Mile 2019

Annual report of use of land off Ladies Mile

January 2020 EK


During 2019, Bristol Zoo Gardens used the designated area of land off Ladies Mile for car parking on 22 days

during the Easter school holidays, May bank holiday and Summer school holidays.

A total of 3,499 cars were parked, an average of 159 per day. As in previous years, the number of days used is

comfortably within the days permitted. Parking was used on 4 fewer days than in 2018 and 509 fewer cars in


2016 2017 2018 2019

Days used 41/45 27/40 26/35 22/30

Total cars parked 10,067 6,532 4,008 3499

The car park is staffed from opening to mid-late afternoon when the car park is no longer needed and visitors

have stopped arriving. BZG is sensitive to causing damage to the land and avoids use of the land when the

ground is wet, even if the weather is fine on the day.

Revised parking area

agreed with Downs

Rangers, avoiding trees

to North and allowing

meadow to be retained

to South East

The path access is

mowed, and remainder

is left uncut

Page 2 of 4


The Zoo continues to support sustainable travel measures for staff and visitors.


 Covered parking for visitor cycles in North Car Park

 Secure covered cycle parking for staff

 Changing, shower and locker facilities for staff

 Electric vehicle charging in North & West car parks

 Bicycle maintenance sessions for staff

The real time bus information screens in the gift shop have suffered several technical difficulties due to

software issues at the provider end. This has resulted in a change of software which is not supported on the

current screens, however plans are in place to replace the hardware in 2020.


The Bristol Zoo Gardens travel discount has been confirmed by Good Journey as one of the most generous in

the country, not just in the local area.

 33% discount on entry with proof of cycling, bus, train, coach, tourist bus or Park & Ride

 Online advanced ticket purchasers can claim their discount on arrival for a partial refund

 ‘Members cycling stamp card’ providing £5 off annual membership renewal in return for traveling by

bike 5 times to the Zoo

 Discounts promoted via social media and member newsletters

 Route 8 buses promote the discount on vinyl décor inside the bus


 Support for cycle purchase, including electric bikes via interest free loan

 First Bus commuter scheme for reduced monthly and season tickets via the app

 Interest free loan for annual bus and train season tickets

 Guaranteed ride home for staff travelling by bike, public transport or car share in case of emergency

 Car park pass eligibility revised on a needs basis, in addition to seasonal restrictions

 Transport updates via email and internal newsletter, including extraordinary travel arrangements for

local events

 Green Team with representation from all departments to discuss and promote sustainable initiatives

including travel


The Zoo’s ability to influence public and staff travel choices is outweighed by the perception of the reliability,

affordability and convenience of public transport. As local public transport infrastructure improves we would

hope to see more visitors using sustainable transport modes, however if uptake of the admissions discount

increases significantly it will need to be reviewed to ensure it remains affordable and appropriate.

Page 3 of 4


Travel Surveys have been conducted in most of the last 10 years and allows the Zoo to look at patterns of

travel since 2010. Surveys are carried out in the peak season, July-August, often in the School Holidays.


Trends from 2010-2018 show that around 75% of our visitors travel over 10 miles to visit in peak season. This

restricts opportunities for using public transport, with around 80% of visitors (excluding school parties) coming

by car. However, car occupancy is consistently high, an average of 3.5 guests per car, meaning that the vehicles

are being used sustainably in terms of behaviour.

We continue to offer a sustainable travel incentive of 33% discount on entry, and the uptake of this increased

again in 2019 after a drop in 2018. This may be due to perceived issues of bus reliability during city centre

works in 2018.

This is shown below as % of paid entry:

June July August

2016 1.5% 1.5% 1.9%

2017 3.7% 3.0% 6.1%

2018 2.4% 2.2% 3.2%

2019 2.5% 3.0% 5.4%

Percentage of visitors who travelled by alternative transport other than the car

Key reasons given by visitors during surveys for non-car travel being impractical were:

 Visiting with children, especially young children, and the equipment needed

 Visitors with mobility or other access issues

 More than one bus/train required to compete the journey

 Expense of public transport.

The Long Ashton Park & Ride service continues to serve the Zoo but is not well situated for visitors from

outside the city, nor locals other than those arriving along the A370. Additional Park & Ride locations for the

city in the future may be more suitable for motorway users.


We continue to participate annually in Travel to Work Survey to understand staff travel needs, with 2nd highest

% participation of any organisation in 2019.

Staff car use increased slightly from 2018 with walking, cycling and train use reducing, however by comparing

our staff cohorts across the two periods we can see this is primarily due to staff turnover rather than changes

to individual staff behaviour. We also used the additional questions to ask our staff about availability of

suitable public transport, and whether their commute was combined with other activities.

Page 4 of 4

 56% of respondents stated that there was either no public transport option or it would require an

impossibly early start to use.

 18% of respondents stated public transport was not reliable enough to guarantee arrival time

 52% of staff combine their commute with school drop of/collection or other activities which

necessitate car use


An independent ecological survey is undertaken annually to provide information around the condition and any

variances in the species of flora present. The parking area is compared to an adjacent control area identified in

2005 as being sufficiently similar.

The findings of the December 2019 survey are similar to those of previous surveys, as follows:

 The composition of the vegetation in both areas has been broadly stable since 2006.

 The car parking area, when compared to the control area, has a slightly higher diversity both of plants

of unimproved grassland and plants indicative of disturbance.

 There is no evidence of any ongoing decline in the diversity of plants of unimproved grassland in the

car parking area.

 There is no evidence of any ongoing increase in the diversity of plants indicative of disturbed

conditions in the car parking area.

 There are signs of disturbance in the control area due to use of vehicles (not linked to Zoo use).

There is no evidence of any decline in the nature conservation value of the car parking area since 2006. Changes

in the diversity and frequency of desirable species (limestone indicators) and of undesirable species (those

associated with disturbed conditions) have been noted from one year to the next without any clear trend, or

any ongoing divergence from the sward in the control area, being apparent. The overall diversity of plants

indicative of unimproved grassland increased between 2010 and 2015, providing some evidence of an increase

in the nature conservation value of the area, which may be due to improvements in the management of car

parking. The number of these species recorded has since been stable.

Through close contact with the Downs Rangers, we carry out maintenance work and general management of

the land, to an agreed protocol, using agreed seed mixes and to an agreed method. In recent years the parking

area has been reduced and amended as shown to allow the upper bank to the South East to return to uncut

meadow. Where anyone has queried the use and condition of the land, Zoo staff have offered to meet on site

and openly discuss this.


In order to reduce congestion on busy days both our North and West Car Parks open at the start of days when

required. Ladies Mile opens once we approach capacity on the two main car parks, which continues to reduce

congestion significantly on Clifton Down at the peak arrival time of 10:00-11:30am. Our traffic management

signage continues to operate effectively and provides clear instruction and information to visitors on arrival.

This summer we also undertook arrival and departure surveys in our car parks on several days throughout the

summer season, which showed a substantial changeover in early afternoon with a second busy period in our

main car parks. However sufficient morning guests have departed that this does not impact on Ladies Mile or

cause significant congestion when compared to the morning peak.

Not Available    on 2022-08-14   OBJECT

I write to object to the perimeter buildings on this site proposal.

I support the criticisms of both the Victorian Society and Historic Buildings and Places withreference to the density and height of the perimeter housing.

These proposals do not take account either of the effect of the housing on the internal space ofthis rare early 19th century zoological gardens, nor of the effect on the external, ConservationArea, neighbouring houses.

Their charitable purposes clearly state that their responsibility is to achieve best value, not bestprice. Neither density, nor height of the housing is necessary.

This is a unacceptable legacy from this much-loved institution to leave to the Clifton area andwider Bristol.

Not Available    on 2022-08-09   OBJECT

The blocks proposed are overmassed and overscaled. They are incongruous in thesetting of surrounding listed buildings, buildings of historic significance and the Downs.

The infrastructure required to serve the new buildings is likely to cause serious damage to theroots of rare trees, shrubs and other plants. The applicants appear to have failed to give seriousconsideration to this problem.

As there are insufficient parking spaces for the number of cars owned by site residents, it is likelythat the roads within the development will be littered with parked cars.

It seems unlikely that future residents of these dwellings will be prepared to fund the substantialcost of properly maintaining the Gardens. Rare species often need specialised care. This aspectof the proposals needs to be given careful consideration. How much does the Zoo spend ongarden maintenance at present?

This development will not enhance or improve the Conservation Area. The founding fathers wouldcertainly not approve of the site being turned into a housing estate.

Historic Buildings & Places  HISTORIC BUILDINGS & PLACES   on 2022-07-27  

Thank you for consulting HB&P on this application. I apologise for the delay in responding. While the departure of the Zoo from this site will harm the overall historic and communal value of the Gardens, HB&P acknowledges that an element of residential development is acceptable to secure the future of the site. However, we do have concerns with some aspects of the application.

We welcome the proposals to retain the 'parkland' setting around the central lake as well as the removal of later unsympathetic accretions to the designated and local heritage assets, and their refurbishment as parkland follies and dwellings.

We agree that the location of the new apartment buildings is best located to the perimeter of the site, as proposed, however, their height and scale is excessive and harmful to the setting of the listed Zoo buildings and to the character of the conservation area. The existing buildings to be demolished are small scale and of different heights with spaces between each building, whereas the proposed buildings present a solid built form extending along each frontage, with little permeability beyond the formal entrances. The design and massing of these new buildings, particularly those on Guthrie Street opposite the listed Clifton College buildings, don't appear to fit well within the streetscapes of the conservation area, and at up to 6 stories, are too tall for the

area. While not a listed building, the Art Deco clock building contributes to the story and development of the zoo over time. The roof extension is clumsy and doesn't respect the elongated proportions of the building, harming its appearance. Retaining it in its existing form would be preferable, and would provide a needed gap between the taller new buildings to either side.

While we don't oppose a modern architectural design, the design of the perimeter buildings should be reconsidered to better reflect the modulation, scale and rhythm of the neighbouring development to ensure the new development will contribute to and enhance the historic interest and significance of the conservation area.

Relevant NPPF (2021) policy considerations are: o Paragraph 195: "Local planning authorities should identify and assess the particular significance of any heritage asset that may be affected by a proposal (including by development affecting the setting of a heritage asset) taking account of the available evidence and any necessary expertise. They should take this into account when considering the impact of a proposal on a heritage asset, to avoid or minimise any conflict between the heritage asset's conservation and any aspect of the proposal". o Paragraph 199: "When considering the impact of a proposed development on the significance of a designated heritage asset, great weight should be given to the asset's conservation".o Paragraph 200: "Any harm to, or loss of, the significance of a designated heritage asset (from its alteration or destruction, or from development within its setting), should require clear and convincing justification."

Chapter 16 of the NPPF and the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 establish the requirements to have special regard to the desirability of preserving listed buildings or their setting or any features of special architectural or historic interest which they possess. I would be grateful if we could be informed of the outcome when this becomes available.


Ross Anthony

Not Available    on 2022-07-18   OBJECT

I wish to object to the proposal as it stands to build around 200 dwellings on the currentBristol zoo site. I am doing so for the following reasons:

My wife and I are former teachers at Clifton College Preparatory School and looking at the plans, Ithink they will have a considerable impact on the school itself, and we have particular concerns rethe impact on the privacy of the students.

I feel too the bulidings as currently shown will have a negative impact on the appearance andcharacter of what is an outstanding conservation area.

I have a number of former colleagues who live in Northcote Road. The tall structures shown on theplans will have a huge and detrimental impact on the adjoining buildings on Northcote Road. Theincrease of traffic and the need for parking space as a result of 200 dwellings will be difficult toaccommodate and will make life much more difficult for existing residents.

Not Available    on 2022-07-11  

The proposed development looks like an extreme modern urban overdevelopment andnot at all in keeping with its historical Victorian setting.I object on the following grounds:1. The proposed homes are too high. The new build should no greater in height than theimmediate surrounding buildings on neighbouring roads.2.The proposed design of the buildings are not sympathetic to the area.3. If this development is really to be sustainable then there should be no allowance for car parkingand there should be a covenant on the buildings that residents/occupiers/renters (short and longterm) cannot be car owners as well. The future of cities has to be carless and electric cars are nota solution to their petrol or diesel counterparts/forebears. It would be possible to have cars for co-ownership in the surrounding streets which existing residents of these streets could also use andthis would help to reduce rates of car ownership generally. There is of course good publictransport in Bristol.

The Conservation Advisory Panel  CONSERVATION ADVISORY PANEL BRISTOL BS6 5QQ  on 2022-07-05   OBJECT

Any comments on this application are tied to the position regarding the full planningapplication.However, the substantial harm to the setting of the listed buildings would not be outweighed bysubstantial public benefit. The context of the listed buildings would be completely eroded and theiroriginal purpose would no longer make sense within the proposed development. The proposaldoes not accord with relevant Local Plan heritage policies nor the requirements of the NPPF andcannot be supported.

Mr Andrew Riley  SECOND FLOOR FLAT 10 THE AVENUE CLIFTON BS8 3HE  on 2022-07-05   OBJECT

I object to the proposed scheme as it does not respect Clifton, its architecture, BristolZoo or its heritage in any way. Nor does it respect the scale of the surrounding buildings or the factthe site is situated in a conservation area. The proposed building designs could have beenselected from a house builders' catalogue and built anywhere in the UK.

The monolithic brick facades that run along the lengths of Clifton Down and Northcote Road standout like a sore thumb, to put it mildly. The tallest buildings currently on Northcote Road areapproximately 8 meters high which occupies approximately 40% of the road. All remainingbuildings are one storey. It is unacceptable to propose buildings at least 14 meters high (4 and 5storeys high) along the entire length of the road. It's clear there has been little to no considerationfor the residents who live on or overlook Northcote Road in terms of loss of light and privacy. Theproposed buildings should not exceed the height of the existing tallest building - as is the case forproposed dwellings along College Road.

I appreciate the aims of the redevelopment with regards to preserving the gardens along withpublic access, but this reduces the space available for smaller dwellings to be constructed. Thecompromise at present is to build tall structures around the perimeter. However, the compromiseshould be that lower structures are proposed or the balance of dwellings available within the site is


I cannot support this scheme.

Mr Chris Green  TFF 5 NORTHCOTE RD CLIFTON BRISTOL BS8 3HB  on 2022-07-04   OBJECT

Whilst i appreciate that the site needs to be developed, i am extremely concerned overthe proposed height of the development running alongside Northcote Road. It will mean that myflat will loo directly at a newly developed dwelling and this will not only impede on my privacy, it willalso impact on the overall value of the property.

The proposal for over 200 dwellings is likely to cause an increase in traffic to the area and, this isalready quite saturated. I have concerns that the small, local road infrastructure will not be able tocope with such an increase.

I would like the Council to consider reducing the height of the proposed dwellings that overlookNorthcote road and also moving them further away from the edge of the proposed development.This will enable a greater level of privacy for all concerned and also a better proliferation of naturallight for the residents of Northcote Road, some who live in basement dwellings and where naturallight is scarce.

Thank you

Ms Susanna Hunt  52 ST JOHNS ROAD BRISTOL BS8 2HG  on 2022-06-29   OBJECT

Having such tall buildings in that beautiful area would be an eye sore. It's not in keepingwith the surrounding buildings. It would not blend in.

Mrs Hester Landham  19 EDGECUMBE ROAD REDLAND BRISTOL BS6 7AY  on 2022-06-29   OBJECT

The development height is out of proportion to the surrounding buildings. The publicaccess gardens are not visible from the public domain. Because of the height and almost fullcircumference around the garden of the proposed blocks of flats, I am concerned about theamount of sunlight that will reach the public space will be limited. The style of proposed building isout of character for the area. Square blocks of 6-floor flats do not fit within a Victorian andGeorgian area. Of course I realise Bristol needs houses - could they perhaps be less ugly?

Mrs Mary York  119 BISHOP BRISTOL BS7  on 2022-06-17   OBJECT

Object. You are not helping people from lower incom families . The zoo was central.Every one could get there. It was always full!!!Not all people have cars! Also it's environment in making people travel further by car. Somefamilies were able to walk to the zoo. Fir people who have live in flats or small houses with verylittle garden or no gardens would use the zoo as a safe okay plus educational space!!For elderly people it was a safe space to walk and even if alone you could be busy seeing thewonderful conservation with the animals and beautiful gardens.We have enough property for wealthy people.Sadly our own children who are Bristolian can not afford to buy or rent properties. !!!!If all the properties were done on a lottery for all young people and families who need property thatmay feel more ecological and society fairness.But it's as usual greedy property developers who will pay back hands in our corrupt society andnot care about the society or it's long term needs ...Just there own selfishness for money

Not Available    on 2022-06-17   OBJECT

Object. You are not helping people from lower incom families . The zoo was central.Every one could get there. It was always full!!!Not all people have cars! Also it's environment in making people travel further by car. Somefamilies were able to walk to the zoo. Fir people who have live in flats or small houses with verylittle garden or no gardens would use the zoo as a safe okay plus educational space!!For elderly people it was a safe space to walk and even if alone you could be busy seeing thewonderful conservation with the animals and beautiful gardens.We have enough property for wealthy people.Sadly our own children who are Bristolian can not afford to buy or rent properties. !!!!If all the properties were done on a lottery for all young people and families who need property thatmay feel more ecological and society fairness.But it's as usual greedy property developers who will pay back hands in our corrupt society andnot care about the society or it's long term needs ...Just there own selfishness for money

Mrs Beth Davis   52 WESTON CRESCENT BRISTOL BS78UT  on 2022-06-15   OBJECT

I'm a parent at Clifton College and I'm very concerned about parking and the use of thezoo carpark which is currently available to the school community. Another 200 new build homes isnot what this densely built up area of Clifton needs!Let the site become something of value to the community, for education about the natural worldand environmental education. surely affordable housing can go elsewhere not in this historical site.

Not Available    on 2022-06-15   OBJECT

I'm a parent at Clifton College and I'm very concerned about parking and the use of thezoo carpark which is currently available to the school community. Another 200 new build homes isnot what this densely built up area of Clifton needs!Let the site become something of value to the community, for education about the natural worldand environmental education. surely affordable housing can go elsewhere not in this historical site.

Rebecca O'Neill  20 COLLEGE ROAD FLAT 13, THE CLOISTERS BRISTOL BS8 3HZ  on 2022-06-15   OBJECT

As a local resident I am concerened about the effect of the residential development ofthe Zoo Site. Clifton as a whole is already running low on space for existing households. Inparticular the issue of parking for cars. 201 extra household will invariably mean a significantincrease in the number of cars. Either 201 parking spaces (an undesireable idea) will need to beprovided or residents will end up parking their cars in surrounding streets which are already veryfull.

The aesthetic of the area also must be considered. There are several examples of unsympatheticdevelopment throughout the Conservation Area already. It is of course impractical to demolishthem. The Zoo site should not become another of these unsympathetic developments. Theaesthetic of the area is integral to what makes Clifton a unique part of Bristol. The style of many ofthe proposed buildings do not fit the style of other residential properties in the area. I am alsoconcerned that some of the building are too tall. Many of the buildings in the surrounding area areharmonious in height. The number of stories ought to be reconsidered to fit in better with thesurrounding buildings.

In summary I feel that the redevelopment of the Zoo site ought to be a purely community focusedproject. The residential plans ought to be scaled back significantly, if not entirely removed. The

redevelopment of such a hustorically important site should not be seen as a financial opportunitybut a preservation project. Preserve the integrity of the local and area and the history of the site.

Not Available    on 2022-06-15   OBJECT

As a local resident I am concerened about the effect of the residential development ofthe Zoo Site. Clifton as a whole is already running low on space for existing households. Inparticular the issue of parking for cars. 201 extra household will invariably mean a significantincrease in the number of cars. Either 201 parking spaces (an undesireable idea) will need to beprovided or residents will end up parking their cars in surrounding streets which are already veryfull.

The aesthetic of the area also must be considered. There are several examples of unsympatheticdevelopment throughout the Conservation Area already. It is of course impractical to demolishthem. The Zoo site should not become another of these unsympathetic developments. Theaesthetic of the area is integral to what makes Clifton a unique part of Bristol. The style of many ofthe proposed buildings do not fit the style of other residential properties in the area. I am alsoconcerned that some of the building are too tall. Many of the buildings in the surrounding area areharmonious in height. The number of stories ought to be reconsidered to fit in better with thesurrounding buildings.

In summary I feel that the redevelopment of the Zoo site ought to be a purely community focusedproject. The residential plans ought to be scaled back significantly, if not entirely removed. The

redevelopment of such a hustorically important site should not be seen as a financial opportunitybut a preservation project. Preserve the integrity of the local and area and the history of the site.

Mrs Sheena Felton  SMOKEYFIELD NEWTON ABBOT TQ13 9XU  on 2022-06-15   OBJECT

'Other plans include the creation of approximately 200 high-quality, much-needed newhomes, located mainly in areas where there are already built structures. Homes will range in sizeto encourage different generations to live there, and 20 percent will be affordable.'

The zoo are hiding behind the need for homes as an excuse for gaining planning permission. 80%of the homes will be highly priced because this is Clifton. It is increasingly likely that these will besecond homes for those working in Bristol and living in surrounding beauty spots at weekends.What does 'Affordable' mean?. All of the properties should be for families who will make use of thegardens and play park. Families who cant afford any car let alone 2 cars to make use of cyclefacilities etc.

Not Available    on 2022-06-15   OBJECT

'Other plans include the creation of approximately 200 high-quality, much-needed newhomes, located mainly in areas where there are already built structures. Homes will range in sizeto encourage different generations to live there, and 20 percent will be affordable.'

The zoo are hiding behind the need for homes as an excuse for gaining planning permission. 80%of the homes will be highly priced because this is Clifton. It is increasingly likely that these will besecond homes for those working in Bristol and living in surrounding beauty spots at weekends.What does 'Affordable' mean?. All of the properties should be for families who will make use of thegardens and play park. Families who cant afford any car let alone 2 cars to make use of cyclefacilities etc.