Watkin Jones secures planning for Malago Road PBSA

Watkin Jones secures planning approval for a purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) on Malago Road in Bristol.

Malago Road student accommodation development in Bristol. Watkin Jones has secured planning approval earlier this week | BTR News
Malago Road student accommodation development in Bristol. Watkin Jones has secured planning approval earlier this week.

Watkin Jones secured planning permission earlier this week from the Bristol City Council Development Committee for a new PBSA scheme on Malago Road in Bedminster, Bristol.

Formerly an engineering works and foundry, the PBSA project is a prime opportunity to revive a disused brownfield site and contribute to the broader regeneration of the Bedminster Green area.

The PBSA development also represents one of the final projects of the Bedminster Green regeneration area, and follows two years of negotiation and engagement with the Council.

The Malago Road scheme will deliver 484 student beds across three buildings ranging from six to ten storeys. Residents will benefit from excellent public transport links and storage for 130 bikes, with three disabled car spaces that can accommodate EV charging.

The proposals also include the creation of a new public space and improvements to the highway infrastructure. Significant new tree planting and green landscaping along Malago Road will also seamlessly integrate with the council’s highway improvements and river restoration works.

The sustainably designed PBSA development supports Watkin Jones’ ESG strategy. It will be BREEAM ‘Excellent’ and WiredScore ‘Gold’ – enabling the best connectivity for students, in addition to an EPC rating B.

“We are very excited to announce planning approval for our second project in one of Bristol’s key regeneration areas and our third active project within the city.

“Our commitment to providing high-quality, and well-managed PBSA will in part address the significant growing demand from the University of Bristol. We look forward to continuing our efforts to meet this growing need alongside the City Council and the local communities.”

Ben Wrighton, Head of Planning, Watkin Jones

Watkin Jones is expected to partner with its award-winning management company Fresh to deliver well-maintained, 24-hour on-site services.

As a leading and long-standing student accommodation developer, Fresh can ensure the site is well cared for and that the student population is well integrated with the existing community.

Compared to the proposals of previous developers, Watkin Jones’ proposal promoted significant changes – including reducing the number and height of buildings across the site and decreasing the number of rooms to better reflect the local character and in response to public engagement.

With support from the University of Bristol, the Malago Road scheme will help to meet the higher education needs of the city that continues to be a premier destination of choice for both UK and international students as numbers continue to rise.

The new student population is also expected to support local businesses, particularly those along nearby East Street.

Since 1999, Watkin Jones has delivered 48,000 student beds across 143 sites – making the company a key player in the sector.

The Group’s competitive advantage lies in its experienced management team and capital-light business model, which enables the company to offer an end-to-end solution for investors. It is delivered entirely in-house with minimal reliance on third parties, across the entire life cycle of an asset.