Bristol continues to attract the majority of developments in the South-west. The hiccup for Crest Nicholson’s £200m mixed-use Harbourside development, refused planning permission and being appealed, is counteracted by the success of the £300m Temple Quay regeneration scheme in the city, which is well under way.

Fitzroy Robinson has designed four office blocks at Temple Quay. Two are on site and a third is awaiting planning permission. The offices range from £4.5m up to £10m. The site includes a £20m office for the DETR now being built by Wates.

Crest Nicholson is already preparing to do battle again with Bristol City Council for outline planning permission, after its second design was rejected in mid-February because it was too big.

Regional contractors are experiencing something close to a repeat of last year, which began slowly and then turned into one of the busiest since the recession of the early 1990s. Both Cowlin Construction and HBG report that design-and-build work is up on last year, accounting for nearly three-quarters of the work coming into their offices.

But in Cornwall and the deepest west of Devon, the work drought goes on. Local architects find more private sector work outside the region, because public sector architecture opportunities are going to national practices, which are considered to be a safe bet. “We are passing everyone on the motorway coming down as we head out of Devon to get work,” says Graham Lobb, principal architect at Plymouth-based Form Design.


It has been the best it’s been for quite some time. We’ve been here for five years and have seen steady growth to a position we can sustain Stephen Atkinson director, Fitzroy Robinson We had a really busy year last year, and at the end it eased off, which was great because we needed a rest. Now we are rested it’s starting to get busy again Richard Bailey managing director, HBG southern region Key projects £200m Bristol Harbourside Development, a leisure and retail scheme £300m regeneration of Bristol Temple Quay area by Castlemore Price of a pint £2 Price of a three-bed semi £75 000-150 000