Bristol Zoo car park to be replaced by homes

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West Car Park, College Road, plansImage source, Bristol Zoological Society
Image caption,
The zoo's West Car Park on College Road is to be redeveloped as housing

A car park at Bristol Zoo will be replaced with housing after planning permission was granted.

The zoo is moving away from its Clifton home next year and applied to Bristol City Council to create 62 homes on its west car park.

Bristol Zoological Society's chief executive Dr Justin Thomas said selling the College Road car park will help safeguard the zoo's future.

"This is an important step towards realising our exciting plans," he said.

"The sensitive development of the west car park site will help achieve our goal of creating a new, world-class Bristol Zoo for everyone in Bristol and beyond," he added.

Image source, Bristol Zoological Society
Image caption,
Dr Justin Morris, chief executive of Bristol Zoological Society, said gaining planning permission was an important step

The council approved the plans for a mixture of apartments and mews homes at a meeting on Wednesday afternoon.

The zoo has been in Clifton since 1836 but will close in late 2022 and move to the Wild Place Project site, near junction 17 of the M5 in South Gloucestershire, to reopen in early 2024.

Bristol Zoological Society will also sell the main zoo site, with a separate planning application expected to be submitted early next year.

Image source, Bristol Zoo
Image caption,
Bristol Zoological Society said money from the sale of its current site will create vital funds for its plans at the new zoo

Clifton and Hotwells Improvement Society (CHIS) is aiming to prevent housing developments replacing the zoo and successfully applied to have it listed as a community asset earlier this month.

It believes the site is "too precious" to the city to be replaced with housing. The status gives CHIS the right to bid to own the site if it is put up for sale in the next five years.

The group is backing an alternative plan led by OurWorld Bristol, to create an augmented-reality zoo.

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