Revised proposals submitted to Bristol City Council for Wapping Wharf North

Revised proposals submitted to Bristol City Council for Wapping Wharf North

Planning applications for final phases of harbourside neighbourhood

Revised proposals submitted to Bristol City Council for Wapping Wharf North

CGI images of final proposals; Top (left to right) CARGO Hall entrance; CARGO with walkway and external staircase; CARGO restaurants with cascading terraces; CARGO focal building at night; CARGO restaurants lit up in evening; double-storey CARGO Hall

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

Overall, the development at Wapping Wharf North will create:

A permanent and much-improved new home for the businesses in CARGO with small independent businesses selling groceries and produce in a continental-style covered market called CARGO Hall, surrounded with takeaways and casual dining businesses with outdoor seating. Upper floors will have dine-in restaurants with cascading green outdoor terraces offering views across the harbour.

Practically all existing CARGO independent businesses have been closely involved with the development of the latest plans and the design team have created space in the new building to meet the individual needs of each trader.

A new Harbourside destination - A striking building with plant-filled terraces, fronting onto Museum Square and facing Bristol’s Harbourside will create a focal point for this prominent location and leisure destination on the city’s docks. The building will act as a navigation point for visitors to the harbourside area and will house new apartments, together with independent shops and restaurants.

High quality sustainable homes - 245 new sustainable, high-quality homes will be created of different sizes and tenures, including 20% affordable, for social rent, affordable rent or shared ownership, with the remainder for open market sale. A wide range of apartment sizes, individual balconies and several shared landscaped rooftop gardens will help attract people who want to live there for the long term, building on the strong sense of community that exists at Wapping Wharf.

Flexible workspaces - 5,000 sq m of highly flexible workspaces will be created on the ground and first floors of the new buildings, which can be adapted over time in line with the needs of the neighbourhood and market demand. At the Wapping Road end of the development, the units will house a range of businesses to serve the growing community at Wapping Wharf, such as a yoga studio with outdoor space, an indoor/outdoor gym and a nursery.

Landscaped quality streets and public spaces - Over 30% of the site will be dedicated to striking, landscaped public streets and spaces for everyone to enjoy. Generous, landscaped and accessible public spaces will provide welcoming places for people to relax and will also create wildlife habitats. Trees, seating areas and gardens will line Rope Walk, with the public areas between the new buildings featuring planter boxes and places for people to sit. A new pedestrian route – a continuation of Fry’s Walk - will link Rope Walk and Museum Street.

The Wapping Wharf North development is arranged around a two-storey retail and workspace podium, inspired by the transit sheds and shipping containers around the harbourside. A new ten-storey landmark building will contain homes at upper levels, with terraced restaurants arranged down one side with an open-air rooftop shipping container restaurant and viewing terrace offering unique views across the harbour on the sixth floor. A further four ‘wings’ of residential apartment buildings rise from the podium, ranging between five and nine storeys.

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.

Wapping Wharf North will be developed in two phases. A full planning application has been submitted for Phase 1 to the west (Blocks 1, 2 and 3) which will include the permanent home for CARGO and around half of the new homes; and an outline application for Phase 2 (Blocks 4 and 5) to the east which includes the flexible workspace and remaining new homes.

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.”

“Our ambition with Wapping Wharf North is to take the development of the neighbourhood we’ve created here to a whole new level and create a place where people can live, work, shop, exercise and socialise. At the same time, we want to build on the harbourside’s reputation as a leisure destination by creating something fresh and exciting that will draw people to the area, with more green public spaces for them to enjoy when they get here.”

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.”

The planning applications with a full suite of documents will be registered on Bristol City Council’s planning portal in the coming weeks and the Council will then undertake a period of statutory consultation where people can express their views.

Wapping Wharf North has been designed by the Bristol studio of AHR Architects. The interior of CARGO Hall is designed by Bristol retail specialists Simple Simon Design.


For further information please contact Caroline Harris at Spirit Public Relations on 07966 550623  or email