Planning Applications Submitted to Bristol City Council for Revised Proposals for Wapping Wharf North

Revised proposals for the final phases of the regeneration of Wapping Wharf, designed to build on the success and special character of Bristol’s popular dockside neighbourhood, have been submitted to Bristol City Council.

If approved, the plans for Wapping Wharf North will secure the future of the CARGO independent businesses and create a go-to leisure destination on the city docks. They will also provide much-needed sustainable new homes, shops, restaurants, takeaways and workspaces, together with generous landscaped public spaces, and more natural habitat for wildlife to improve biodiversity.

The proposals, by developers and owners Umberslade, have been significantly revised following two years of consultation with Wapping Wharf traders, local residents, stakeholders, advisory bodies and the wider public. Feedback identified the need to retain the special character of CARGO, discussion about the height of some of the buildings and questions about how the landscaping would be delivered and maintained, all of which have been carefully considered and addressed by the design team.

Key changes include:

  • The double-height restaurant on the top of the landmark building has been removed as well as restaurants from upper levels, lowering the building and giving it a more slender appearance
  • an open-air publicly-accessible rooftop shipping container restaurant and viewing terrace has been introduced on the sixth floor, offering expansive views across the harbourside
  • the CARGO building has been redesigned to reflect the character of the existing shipping containers with covered walkways and external staircases
  • the interior of CARGO Hall has been re-designed with shipping container cladding, a brighter colour scheme and individual pods businesses can tailor to their own needs
  • one storey has been removed from block 3, behind M Shed
  • four three-bedroom homes for social rent have been created within the 20% affordable housing
  • the greenery on the facades of the residential buildings has been re-designed in line with new government fire safety regulations

The proposals are designed to ensure that Wapping Wharf North is sustainable, boosts local biodiversity and positively impacts the wellbeing of the people who spend time in the neighbourhood. Highly efficient buildings will have air source heat pumps that can be powered from solar or renewable electricity supplies. Robust long-lasting materials will help achieve high environmental ratings. Biodiversity will be promoted with well-maintained planting on buildings, private balconies and generous rooftop gardens and public spaces.

Stuart Hatton, managing director of Umberslade, owners and developers of Wapping Wharf, said:

“We have listened very carefully to the feedback from all parties and worked over a considerable period of time to ensure we respond and make changes where possible, whilst maintaining the overall integrity of the design and our vision for these final phases of Wapping Wharf.

“We’ve sat down with practically all the traders at CARGO, who we all have strong relationships with, to understand how they want to develop their businesses within the new building to make sure it really meets their individual needs. We have agreed with most of them exactly where they would be located and although they understand that major development like this takes time, they’re very excited about the prospect of moving into a permanent home where they can flourish.”

Tessa Lidstone, co-owner of Box-E restaurant says: “Wapping Wharf is more than just a physical building, it’s the community here. The shipping containers were a surprise hit and an important stepping-stone for many of us starting businesses for the first time but we knew they were only ever a meanwhile use while the site got developed.”

“There have been a lot of opportunities for our views to be incorporated into the new plans. Umberslade and the design team have taken the essence of who we are and put it into a new building. There’s still that strong connection between the businesses, the lovely walkways to encourage people to wander, the greenery, the pedestrianisation and the views south towards Southville and over the docks, which makes Wapping Wharf what it is. If you look at how the plans have changed, they’ve now got a lot of the CARGO personality in them.”

Josh Eggleton, owner of Root and Salt & Malt: “The shipping containers made it really easy to start a new business but it’s what’s inside them that’s important. With the revised plans, the look and feel of the shipping containers will be instilled into the new building. The new development will allow us to grow, to invest in our businesses and our staff. I know how important it is to Stuart and Esme that all the businesses in CARGO can come with them on this journey and that’s evident in how committed they are to getting this right for us.”

Imogen Waite, co-owner of Cargo Cantina and Gambas: “The plans are really exciting for us as they will enable us to push forward with our businesses, developing something that’s going to be long-lasting and stand the test of time. The plans will give us the opportunity to put sustainability into the heart of what we’ve doing because we’re building from the ground up.

“Genuinely, working with Umberslade has been brilliant. They’ve listened to our feedback and made changes from things we’ve said. Wapping Wharf is great at the moment but the new development will take it up several levels and give us the chance to create landmark Bristol restaurants.”