Outline planning permission has been granted for the University of Bristol’s new Temple Quarter Enterprise Campus – an important milestone in the long-awaited regeneration of a prime city centre site.

The University plans to create an open and welcoming campus on the seven-acre site next to Bristol Temple Meads railway station, which spans the derelict former Royal Mail sorting office and part of Arena Island.

It will provide teaching, research and innovation space for some 800 staff, external partners and 3,000 students, with accommodation on site for up to 1,500 undergraduates and postgraduates.

The campus, which aims to welcome its first students in 2021/22, will be at the forefront of digital and management research, education, skills and innovation.

Members of the public will be encouraged to use the new public spaces on the campus, including the waterfront, cafes and shops, and well-connected walking and cycling routes.

The outline planning permission covers the proposed density and scale of the buildings, as well as access to the site, rather than specific details about the appearance and layout of the new campus which will be submitted at a later stage of the planning application process.

The University revised its initial proposals for the £300 million campus following feedback from Bristol City Council, local residents and other partners.

The main changes include reducing the height and changing the layout of the proposed student accommodation buildings on Arena Island, which range from 12 to 21 storeys, as well as altering the layout of buildings on the Cattle Market Road site to improve movement and navigation through the campus.

The main academic building will create a ‘gateway’ to Bristol Temple Meads railway station and an iconic venue in the heart of the city for the University.

Professor Guy Orpen, Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the University of Bristol, said:

“Our plans to develop the site of the former sorting office next to right beside Brunel’s iconic station are exciting for both the city and its University.

“We are committed to delivering a world-class centre for education, research, partnership and innovation that will be a success story not just for the University but for the city, its businesses, communities and citizens.

“Our vision is for an open and welcoming campus, with high-quality buildings and inspiring public spaces. We want citizens and visitors to spend time here, whether it’s relaxing by the waterside, visiting a café, taking part in a workshop or working with the University to develop innovations for societal benefit.”

The University has pledged to work with the council and local residents to develop a student residential strategy to maximise the benefits of increased student numbers to the city and its communities, while minimise adverse impacts.

The campus will be car-free, apart from disabled access, and there will be new public walking, cycling and bus links to the site. To address possible overspill parking on neighbouring streets, the University has agreed in principle to provide a residents’ parking zone, subject to further discussions with the Council and local communities.

For more information about the Temple Quarter Enterprise Campus, please see the university’s dedicated web pages for the project and sign-up for the newsletter to receive regular updates.