Skip to content

Silverthorne Lane project update

Decision due from Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities on long-delayed Silverthorne Lane project, including much-needed new secondary school for east central Bristol.

Click the image above to open a gallery of images

It has been a long and frustrating wait for parents and young people in east central Bristol, as well as investors in the city, since Bristol City Council unanimously approved the regeneration plans for Silverthorne Lane in August 2020. Despite the approval by Bristol's planners and widespread support across the city, the project was called in by the then Secretary of State, Robert Jenrick MP, and was subsequently subject to a Public Inquiry in May 2021. This was due to an objection by the Environment Agency, citing concerns relating to flooding in the Temple Quarter area of Bristol. Our Silverthorne Lane development proposals have always been deemed acceptable from a flood risk perspective by Bristol City Council who have in the meantime approved at Cabinet an outline strategy to address flooding issues across the city centre.

As a result of the call-in and Public Inquiry, the £375m Silverthorne Lane project, including the urgently needed Oasis Academy Temple Quarter, new homes, research and learning facilities for the University of Bristol and commercial employment space has been unable to proceed, pending the issuing of a report on the public inquiry by the Government's Planning Inspectorate and a final decision from the current Secretary of State, the Rt Hon Michael Gove MP. This delay has had a wider impact for Bristol, with more than £1bn of committed investment across the eastern Temple Quarter Enterprise Zone all halted pending the outcome of this process.

We are pleased to confirm that following a long wait, we have received confirmation that the Planning Inspectorate's Report on last year's Public Inquiry has this week been issued to the Secretary of State. The Secretary of State will now make a final decision on the future of this project, which is so vital to the Levelling Up of educational and employment opportunity in east central Bristol.

While the Planning Inspectorate has set a final decision deadline of 3 May 2022, it is important that a decision is received as soon as possible to provide certainty to young people and their parents that the school will open, and to help unlock the more than £1bn of pent-up investment across the wider Enterprise Area. While we are not party to the contents of the Inspector's Report, it is our hope that the Secretary of State will soon provide the green light for us to finally get on with this much needed development, delivering a transformational boost to the life chances of young people in some of the city's most deprived wards.