News / Stokes Croft

Plans for student accommodation, flats and workspace by street dubbed ‘Crack Alley’

By ellie pipe, Friday Apr 24, 2020

A rundown site on Hepburn Road, the street dubbed “Crack Alley” in BBC documentary Drugsland, is set for redevelopment.

Industrial units on the land sandwiched between the Carriageworks and Hamilton House will be replaced with student accommodation, homes to rent and workshop spaces under plans being put forward by Crescent Property Developments.

The firm says the proposals are still in the early stages, but it has consulted with police on ways to make Hepburn Road safer and reduce anti-social behaviour.

Plans include building apartments and two workshops overlooking the street, with ‘active frontages’, which will see people living and working on the lane. Spaces where drug-users have congregated will be landscaped and securely fenced and the community will be invited to create a mural on the wall.

Developers have consulted with police over measures to reduce anti-social behaviour in Hepburn Road. Photo by Martin Booth

A planning application is yet to be submitted for what is just one in a string of new developments in the fast-changing area – including the Carriageworks and Hamilton House – against a backdrop of debate about the impact of gentrification.


Read more: Examining Bristol’s gentrification problem


Proposals for a “mixed-use” leisure development on the site currently home to the Vintage Market were approved on Monday, April 20. Nearby, Lakota and Blue Mountain are both set for redevelopment, while plans for more student accommodation on Portland Square were reluctantly approved in January.

Crescent Property Developments intends to clear the site on Hepburn Road, that was most recently home to National Windscreens, to make way for nine new homes to rent (including three, two and one-bedroom flats), two workshops and 66 new student bedrooms, which will be divided into about 15 new ‘cluster’ flats.

Pegasus Planning Group has contacted Bristol City Council’s planning department on behalf of the developers to see if an environmental impact assessment is needed for the proposed scheme.

Premises that front onto Stokes Croft have already been upgraded and taken on by Cuts and Creps and Bristol Porridge Project respectively. The adjoining  Rita’s Takeaway is not part of the redevelopment scheme.

Cuts & Creps and Bristol Porridge Project are tenants in the premises facing Stokes Croft. Photo by Esther Bancroft

Hotwells-based architects Arturus have put together initial designs for the project, which include four new buildings to the rear of Stokes Croft, up to a maximum of four storeys, with the height decreasing – to three storeys and one-storey – as they get closer to nearby houses on Hepburn Road.

The firm says none of the new buildings will be visible from Stokes Croft, although the proposal includes four new roof extensions, which they say will match frontages already on the street.

Developers say the plan is to build a ‘no car’ scheme in line with sustainability measures, with secure bike storage spaces provided as part of the project.

Crescent bosses say the community will be invited to comment on the plans once officers at Bristol City Council have given the developer and architects some initial feedback.

Read more: Plans for micro-distillery, event space and tap room in Stokes Croft



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