The Society plans to sell the 12-acre site, to help fund the creation of a new Bristol Zoo here at Wild Place Project, which will have conservation at its heart.
The new Zoo will offer bigger spaces that more closely reflect the animals’ natural habitats. In addition, 80 percent of species will be linked to the Society’s conservation work, more than any other zoo in the UK.
Bristol Zoological Society has led the planning application for the sale of the Clifton site to ensure it protects the legacy of these important gardens, and to secure the future of the charity.
Under the plans submitted, the Society intends to make the gardens in Clifton accessible to the public for free, for the first time since the site opened to the public in 1836.
It also plans to preserve and protect its historic features, such as the Monkey Temple and the former Bear Pit, for future generations to enjoy.
Much of the gardens will remain unchanged, with improvements to the lake, the creation of a new, free nature-inspired play area, and space for community events in the existing Terrace Theatre building.
A new cafe and exhibition space will be created in the zoo entrance building and cultural, educational and community events will ensure the local community and visitors use the site.
Other plans include the creation of approximately 200 high-quality, much-needed new homes, located mainly in areas where there are already built structures. Homes will range in size to encourage different generations to live there, and 20 percent will be affordable.
Dr Justin Morris, Chief Executive of Bristol Zoological Society, said: “This is an important milestone and an exciting step forward for the future of Bristol Zoological Society.
“We are confident in our plans and proud of the ambition and quality of the design proposals we have submitted.”
“Importantly, these plans will secure the site as a vital community asset, so everyone can enjoy its beauty and heritage for many years to come.”