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We have worked with the West of England Combined Authority (WECA) and Bristol City Council (BCC) on a strategic infrastructure-led masterplan for the north fringe of Bristol, with the support of Atkins.

The north fringe

The north fringe is an area in South Gloucestershire between the northern edge of the City of Bristol and the M4 and M5 motorways.

It includes Filton, Cribbs Causeway, Patchway, Bradley Stoke, Stoke Gifford, Little Stoke, Harry Stoke, Henbury and Brentry.

It is an important area for the region’s economy. It is a centre for commercial and retail activities as well as being home to many global aerospace and engineering businesses, the University of the West of England and South Gloucestershire and Stroud College.

Image credit: Atkins member of the SNC-Lavalin group

About the masterplan

The final masterplan sets out a place-based vision and infrastructure strategy for the area over the next 30 years (up to 2050).

Focusing on shaping the north fringe as a place, the priorities are:

  • sustainable and inclusive communities
  • infrastructure
  • growth
  • addressing the climate emergency
  • widening opportunities
  • improving the quality of life for all residents, businesses and visitors

What it means

The masterplan aims to bring change across the area, building on the aerospace, logistics, retail, leisure and growing tourism sectors. The north fringe will not just be a great place to live, work or visit but also to stay and explore.

We want to achieve new opportunities, improve the West of England economy and provide new jobs and skills across the area. Whilst building on the economy our approach also has people at the heart of it.

This plan sets out how we can reshape and strengthen the communities across the area through:

  • stronger high streets
  • liveable neighbourhoods (areas that are improved to be people-centred and more ‘liveable’. They are safe, healthy, inclusive, and attractive places where everyone can have access to better quality spaces to feel a part of a community)
  • increasing local employment
  • enhancing the character and sense of place

Through area wide master-planning, this plan will influence the development of new growth. It will be considerate to the character of the area, the surrounding communities and future needs of residents.

The objectives

Strengthening role as a regionally important employment location and tourist destination

Ensuring that the north fringe maintains its role as a major economic driver in the West of England, making the West of England economy one of the most prosperous, innovative, and vibrant in Europe.

Prioritising people and place through diversifying land use

Improving health and wellbeing by provision and access to a greater range of social, cultural, community, recreational facilities and green spaces for new and existing communities in the area.

Increasing the use and function of green space to enhance the landscape and the environment

Better integration of green spaces to protect and restore nature, provide resilience to changing climate, support wastewater management and improve health and wellbeing.

Delivering a sustainable transport system

Providing a more integrated, convenient, safe, attractive, accessible for all, sustainable transport network with priority given to public transport, pedestrians, cyclists and wheelers (for example, wheelchair users).

Protecting existing natural and historic environments

Ensuring that all proposals enable thriving communities with a clean and biodiverse environment, where natural assets and historic assets are protected, and natural resources are used prudently.

Delivering utilities that meet the challenges of the future

Providing utilities (such as energy, digital and water networks) that will support future growth and be future proofed against changes in technology, policy and the climate.

Integrated approach to new development

Taking a comprehensive and integrated approach to new development to ensure new sites contribute towards the broader vision.

Improving access to opportunities and education

Supporting residents across the north fringe to reach their potential and develop the skills needed to continue to drive economic growth in the region, in line with the Local Industrial Strategy.

Making a significant contribution to the region’s housing challenge

Meeting the challenge of delivering the regional housing need.


Stakeholder engagement

The masterplan has given local authorities, key technical stakeholders and major organisations or landowners the chance to discuss what the area looks like now and opportunities for how it might change over the next 30 years.

Stakeholder workshops – September to October 2021

We held online workshops with key stakeholders to share our initial vision for the north fringe and understand the main strengths and opportunities of the area.

Presentation of draft outputs – February 2022

We shared our early thoughts for feedback on the vision and opportunity areas for the draft masterplan with key stakeholders.

Public engagement – Friday 6 May to Sunday 19 June 2022

We held a 6-week public engagement period and held two drop-in events. People were encouraged to view information on the draft masterplan and fill in a survey.

Masterplan finalised and approved by South Gloucestershire Cabinet – October 2022

The final masterplan was amended in view of the public engagement.

Masterplan published – November 2022

You can read the final masterplan.

Next steps

We will engage with residents and businesses in the north fringe.

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