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Planning green light for replacement toll houses

11th September 2017

Categories: Latest News

The Clifton Suspension Bridge Trust is celebrating the news that planning and listed building consents have been granted by both Bristol City Council and North Somerset Council for the designs of the new toll houses on the Clifton and the Leigh Woods sides of the bridge.


The new buildings will replace the existing outdated 1950s toll booths on the Clifton side of the Bridge and the 1970s addition to the original toll houses on the Leigh Woods side. The original Victorian toll houses on the Leigh Woods approach will be retained and carefully refurbished.


Trish Johnson, Bridge Master said: “Brunel’s famous bridge is such a wonderful symbol of the city. For over 150 years this Grade I listed structure has attracted visitors from all over the world. Working up proposals for the replacement toll houses has been a considerable challenge. We are delighted to have secured planning approval from both authorities and look forward to moving ahead with the project next year.”
The planning and listed building consents represent the culmination of over 18 months of careful design work. This has involved input from bridge staff and the Trustees, as well as consultation feedback from local stakeholder groups and organisations, national heritage bodies including Historic England and the Victorian Society as well as neighbours and the wider public.


The resulting simple, functional and contemporary design of the new toll houses is intentionally understated and subservient to Brunel’s iconic Grade1 listed bridge. The architectural treatment of the new buildings responds to the material quality and strong symmetry of the bridge towers using stone and raking facades which reflect the rubble finish and angle of the existing bridge towers and enhance the views of the bridge. The palette of materials combines a rough-hewn pennant sandstone, from the Forest of Dean, with zinc for the roofs and fascia and contrasting dark metal reveals and panels lining the window openings.


Internally the toll houses have been carefully planned with input from the bridge staff to provide a compact, modern working environment with the necessary spaces, amenities and facilities to enable them to operate effectively 24/7 and 365 days of the year.

The Trustees will now begin the process of working closely with architects and engineers to finalise details of the construction and also selection of a contractor with a view to starting on site during 2018.


The construction work will be phased to minimise disruption as much as possible and it is intended that pedestrians, cyclists and vehicles will continue to be able to cross the bridge.

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