Plans for 196 new homes on the site of a former zoo will go ahead after the government decided not to intervene.
Campaigners against the proposals on land which was occupied by Bristol Zoo for 186 years, had hoped it would be ‘called in’ and potentially overruled.
However, the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities has given it the green light.
“Construction for the new zoo will start next year,” said Hannah Windross from Bristol Zoological Society.
“It enables us to deliver on the vision for the new zoo,” she added.
The Mayor of Bristol, Marvin Rees, said the site’s gardens would remain open for free for people to enjoy.
The Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, Michael Gove, has the power to re-examine planning applications approved by a local authority.
This is usually done in nationally significant cases, or if the planning application conflicts with national policy.
Although the zoo’s planning application has been approved, Bristol Zoological Society has not yet found a developer to build the new homes.
Bristol City Council’s cabinet member for housing, Tom Renhard, said: “Hopefully there will be no more appeals.
“We need to move forward. Clifton needs to contribute to providing affordable housing just like other areas of the city are doing.
“We have backed these plans. It’s an example of a city partner taking a socially responsible decision.”
The former zoo site in Clifton, which closed in September 2022, is now almost completely empty after the move to the Bristol Zoo Project, near junction 17 of the M5.
“We’ve moved some animals already, lots of animals have moved to different zoos,” said Ms Windross.
“The gorillas are still there and will stay until we finish a new home for them,” she added.
Source : BBC