Skip to main content

The proposals

About the site

The development is in Bristol city centre on the site of the existing Rupert Street NCP car park. Existing views of Rupert Street and Lewins Mead can create a hostile environment for pedestrians. It’s neighbouring student and residential buildings rise to 16-19 storeys.

The central location means the site is sustainably within a 15 minute walking and cycling distance to both the University of Bristol, a number of hospitals including the BRI but also a wide range of local amenities and businesses for our residents, key workers, students, to work, study, spend and socialise at.

Aerial view from the south west
Plan showing the location of the site

What’s proposed?

Our plans will turn the existing car park into an asset for the local community.

We’re proposing:

250 co-living rooms for younger people and key workers living in the city

A new and improved, safe and sustainable 412 space car park fit for the future

20% of the co-living rooms will be classed as affordable homes but the nature of co-living makes these homes generally more affordable

Significant improvements to Rupert Street and Lewins Mead to properly integrate the streets with the city centre

New ground floor community uses for the public to eat, drink, create, shop and socialise

Contribute approximately 11% of the City Council’s annual housing delivery target

Approximately 320 student rooms for the city’s students

These changes will:

Improve the environmental value of the site, boost biodiversity and make the area more welcoming for all

Support the success of the city’s university’s and relieve pressures on the housing market with purpose built, dedicated accommodation

Make it easier for key workers and graduates to stay in Bristol by providing affordable, flexible new homes

Help revitalise the city centre and support businesses by bringing more people into the centre of Bristol

We are working with the local community to make sure these proposals are right for the local area.

Have your say


Bristol based architects Alec French is designing the new building to be sensitive to the surrounding area. Bristol Byzantine, a popular style of architecture used in the mid to late 1800s on predominantly industrial buildings that can still be seen throughout Bristol today, is a key influence.

To make the best use of the space, the building will be similar in height to surrounding buildings at a maximum of 21 storeys.

East elevation
Artist impression showing what the new building could look like

A new Bristol landmark

We’ve commissioned local artists to suggest ideas for a new piece of public art across part of the new building. This is an opportunity to create something special, to capture the vibrancy and culture of Bristol in the heart of the city. The public art will create a new landmark in Bristol city centre.

Energy and sustainability


At Rupert Street, we will be lean, clean and green.

  • Be lean – use less energy and reduce CO2 emissions
  • Be clean – supply energy efficiently, by reviewing a connection to the Bristol Heat Network
  • Be green – assess ‘low or zero carbon’ energy sources, such as air source heat pump


Our sustainability framework surrounds five areas: physical, social, economic, human and natural.

  • Natural – positive impact through ecological assets
  • Human – putting people at the heart of the design process
  • Economic – enable new opportunities for small businesses
  • Social – creating places for people to work and interact
  • Physical – buildings equipped to navigate environmental challenges


Our plans include a spaces for cafés and co-working that will benefit the wider community. These will be spaces where community organisations and groups can meet and provide opportunities for classes and lifelong learning as well as a diverse range of events for the local community to enjoy. We’re also exploring cafés and co-working spaces to create a hub for the community.

Future of the city centre

Bringing more people in to the centre of Bristol is also important to the area’s economy. The homes’ central location will mean new residents bring new life and energy to the area.

Students, key workers and young professionals are key to the vibrancy of Bristol. They bring important trade to our local businesses, as well as supporting retail and leisure businesses within the city. Our proposals will give more students the opportunity to enjoy Bristol and all it has to offer.

Public realm

We will enhance the public realm through initiatives including widening of pavement, planting of trees and greenery, seating and social areas created alongside active street frontage.

West elevation



Co-living is a new type of housing that provides affordable, flexible and convenient rental homes in city centres. This unique housing offering presents a much-needed living solution for those seeking sustainable, meaningful community-based living.

Co-living combines private rooms with amazing shared spaces, it is for everyone and is an alternative to traditional house shares, taking components of multiple house-shares and combining them across one building – hugely improving the range, size and quality of shared spaces and living standards. Student Roost’s ethos, which includes a busy events programme, provides a platform for residents to build a community and develop a sense of ownership to help combat loneliness and alleviate mental health issues that have become prevalent in large cities like Bristol.

Our proposals for 256 co-living rooms will give residents the opportunity to live alone, whilst also enjoying the sense of community that this type of communal living can bring.

Affordable homes

Within the development, approximately 20% of the co-living homes will be classed as affordable homes. These homes will be targeted to key workers in Bristol, helping them live affordably in the very centre of the city, close to employment such as the Bristol Royal Infirmary.

Student homes

Students who make this new mixed community their home will be within walking distance to the University of Bristol and have easy access to walking, cycling and bus routes to the University of the West of England.

The city’s universities are projecting increased numbers of students. Purpose built homes like those we’re proposing will help the universities grow sustainably. It will also help to ensure that existing family homes do not need to be turned in to Houses of Multiple Occupation (HMOs).

Car park

The existing car park was built in the late 1960s, after the sugar factory that had been operating there was demolished. We’re proposing a redesigned 412 space car park, designed by experts to prioritise safety and sustainability and be fit for the future, equipped with high speed EV charging points.


We hope to submit a planning application this spring after reviewing feedback and refining our plans following public consultation.

Community Investment Programme

Student Roost recognises the opportunity to invest in the city of Bristol and is committed to delivering a bespoke ‘Community Investment Programme’ (CIP) as part of the proposals for Rupert Street. This will focus on fostering local partnerships, providing employment, training and supply chain opportunities, and delivering inclusive community events derived from community needs.

Student Roost seeks to engage with local community groups, institutions and businesses with the aim of building unique partnerships and initiatives that can serve the local community. We will be able to provide space and infrastructure for these groups to help support their initiatives.

If you are interested in becoming a partner, please do contact our specialist community engagement team, MPC at

We will set out our vision in a Community Investment Plan which will be developed throughout the planning process.

We are working with the local community to make sure these proposals are right for the local area.

Have your say