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Bristol zoo campaigners 'determined' to fight homes plan

Artist's impression of the Bristol Zoo plans
The gardens at the 12-acre site will remain open to the public, Bristol Zoological Society said

Campaigners say they are determined to keep fighting plans for 196 new homes on a former zoo site.

The homes are set to be built next year at the former Bristol Zoo Gardens site, after the zoo moved moved its site to the Bristol Wild Place Project.

The plans have been met with opposition, but will go ahead after the government decided not to intervene.

Bristol Zoological Society said the scheme would protect trees and bring much-needed housing for the city.

Campaigners from Save Bristol Zoo Gardens had hoped the proposal would be "called in" by the Secretary of State.

'Dreadful proposal'

A spokesperson from the campaign group says the move was a "disappointing, but not unexpected decision."

Campaigners say has been "massive opposition" against the scheme, and a petition launched in 2022 received over 10,000 signatures.

In a statement, a spokesperson from the charity said: "We would have welcomed a call-in by the Secretary of State, as that would have opened the way for the Zoo's dreadful proposal to destroy the garden site to have been looked at again at a Public Inquiry."

Save Bristol Zoo Gardens say the decision does not alter their opposition to the zoo's plans or their "determination to make sure they do not go ahead."

An artist's impression of new housing on the former Bristol Zoo site
An artist's impression of new housing on the former Bristol Zoo site

Bristol Zoo Gardens, run by the Bristol Zoological Charity, opened in 1836 and was the fifth oldest zoo in the world.

Campaigners argue that the development is "highly inappropriate" and a "ridiculous proposal for a conservationist charity".

Hannah Windross, director of people and public engagement at Bristol Zoological Society said the scheme will bring much-needed housing for Bristol.

The plans inclide 196 homes - of which 20% will be 30 social rent homes and 10 homes for first time buyers.

In a written statement, Ms Windross said: "Our proposals have been carefully developed to result in 36% biodiversity net gain and high-grade trees on the site will be actively protected.

"The Society has put in place 29 Tree Protection Orders for the high quality, category A trees, and 470 new trees will be planted, which exceeds the tree replacement standard."

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