Sale of Bristol Prison ‘could bring unique opportunity for housing'

December 23 2015

THE sale of Horfield Prison could offer unique opportunities for regeneration in Gloucester Road, a Bristol property consultant has said.

THE sale of Horfield Prison could offer unique opportunities for regeneration in Gloucester Road, a Bristol property consultant has said. 

The statement from Paul Matthews, a partner at Bruton Knowles, has come following the government's recent announcement that it will be replacing Victorian sites in city centres with housing, and will be building nine new prisons.

In the December issue of Bishopston Voice, councillor Daniella Radice urged local residents to have their say over the site's future, in case it goes out to tender.

Mr Matthews said: “Speculation is building that Horfield Prison could be among the Victorian Prisons to be sold off for development as part of a programme of closures announced in the Autumn Statement.

"The Horfield Prison site could offer much needed new homes in one of the busiest districts of the city – creating unique regeneration opportunities."

He added: “George Osborne has left no stone unturned to unlock developments and boost home ownership. And that clearly includes closing some of our Victorian prisons and regenerating the sites for alternative uses, principally housing.”

The Chancellor said Holloway Women’s Prison would be one of the first to be sold. An announcement on whether Horfield Prison is included in the list of prisons to be closed is to be made in the near future.

Both Gloucester and Shepton Mallet prisons have already been bought by developer City and Country who are undertaking public consultations into their future use.

Mr Matthews said: “City and Country specialises in the conversion of older buildings for residential and commercial uses and is currently on site at the former Bristol General Hospital, transforming a semi-derelict city landmark into what will become one of Bristol’s smartest addresses.

“A similar regeneration programme at Horfield Prison could open a whole new chapter for this equally well-known Bristol landmark and go a long way to further boosting the city’s housing stock.”

The closure and sale of the prisons is expected to save around £80million a year, and create more than 3,000 jobs.