Filwood Park Development and Green Business Centre

Area characterisation: 

The site formerly housed support buildings for the old Bristol City Airport including an old hangar site and an area of open public land. It is located on the southern fringe of the Knowle West neighborhood.


To regenerate a brown site to develop 150 new homes, an improved park area and a BREEAM outstanding green business park. To deliver high quality jobs, family housing and a better green space.


Knowle West was identified by Bristol City Council as a strategic regeneration priory due to the significant social and economic challenges of the area. The park was previously isolated and suffered from antisocial behaviour.

During the planning stages of the development, an Enquiry by Design process was conducted which involved local residents, school children, stakeholders and officers. The regeneration of this site, which involved the removal of asbestos from the original site, has led to a rejuvenated park with meadow areas planted with trees and native species, ecological areas and water attenuation features.

A crescent of affordable houses looks on to the park creating a shared open space, with a children’s play area in the centre, reconnecting the community to a once isolated park. A new path meanders around the park enabling dog walkers and joggers to explore the rejuvenated green space.

This development was part of a wider regeneration framework for Knowle West which included the regeneration of a nearby hangar site into a green business park. The business park is highly sustainable and supports growth of new green businesses. The building was designed to achieve a 40% CO2 reduction per year and has electrical vehicle charge points, a green roof, extensive photovoltaic panels.

Potential impacts/benefits: 

Potential impacts/ benefits

Challenges addressed

Enhancing sustainable urbanisation

Restoring ecosystems and their functions

Developing climate change mitigation

Developing climate change adaptation

Climate resilience

· More energy efficient buildings

Green Space management and enhancing urban biodiversity

· Increase well-being

· Increase accessibility to green open spaces

· Increase biodiversity

· Increase quality and quantity of green and blue infrastructure

· Reduce runoff

· Increasing infiltration

Public Health and Wellbeing

· Increased social interaction

· Increased cultural richness and biodiversity

Potential for Economic opportunities and Green Jobs

· Increase willingness to invest in NbS

Participatory Planning and Governance

· Increase communities’ sense of ownership

· Social inclusion

NbS benefits 
  • Increasing infiltration
  • Reduce run-off
  • More energy efficient buildings
  • Increase Biodiversity
  • Increase quality and quantity of green and blue infrastructures
  • Increased cultural richness and biodiversity
  • Increase accessibility to green open spaces
  • Increase communities’ sense of ownership
  • Increase social interaction
  • Increase well-being
  • Increase willingness to invest in NBS
  • Social inclusion
Transferability of the result: 

Useful for an area of regeneration where affordable housing is necessary. Useful funding options for developments that will bring new jobs and enhance the economy as well as environment.

Lessons learned: 

It is possible to source economic funding streams for green infrastructure in developments.

Working with communities during the planning project can change local opinion and gain new ideas.


Total cost £12million. Bristol City Council successfully applied for £5.495m European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) funding. The project has also received £6.236m funding from the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership’s Revolving Infrastructure Fund.