Looking forward to a greener Southmead

May 25 2022

Lord Mayor Steve Smith officially opens the revamped Arnside Road

Lord Mayor Steve Smith officially opens the revamped Arnside Road

A REVAMP of the shopping centre in Southmead is aimed at securing a greener and more sustainable future for the high street.

Local people have helped to design improvements to make Arnside Road a more attractive, safer and eco-friendly place to visit. The area has been updated, with new pavements, kerbs and walkways, new cycle stands and bollards, street planting beds to help natural drainage and increase biodiversity, and new car parking areas on Greystoke Avenue.

Large 'sustainable urban drainage' trenches have been dug on both sides of Arnside Road. This is the first time ‘Stockholm’ tree pits have been built in Bristol and means Arnside now has an avenue of trees as well as a system to help reduce flood risks for homes in the area. There is also ‘raingarden’ planting along each side of the road.

Alongside these improvements, eight sustainable drainage pods have been constructed and planted in the roads to the north of Arnside Road. These will help to hold back rainwater and reduce flooding downstream as well as bringing colour and nature into the local streets.

The work on Arnside is the first step in delivering the Southmead Masterplan.

This includes current proposals to sell council land to Aldi to enable them to deliver a larger, improved store, subject to planning approval. The expansion will secure the long-term future of this anchor store and in turn the future of the Arnside Road shopping area.

This will mean relocating services that take place in the youth centre to newly refurbished space at the Ranch – Southmead Adventure Playground. Southmead Library will also be moved – firstly t0 a temporary space at Southmead House before a new home is created for it as part of future development in the area.

The new look Arnside was officially opened by Lord Mayor of Bristol Councillor Steve Smith.

The public realm improvements were made with support from a £3.6 million Housing Infrastructure Fund grant from Homes England, and work to install the drainage system was supported by funding from Wessex Water.

Amy Kinnear, CEO of Southmead Development Trust, said: “We’re delighted to see the works complete and the boost this will give to the much loved Arnside shopping area. "