What we do


Major Sites

The Society’s Major Sites Group engages with major building development proposals, mostly in the city centre. The Group takes part in the public consultation stage, before the planning application for major schemes.
Harbourside living

Planning Applications

The Planning Applications Group responds to smaller-scale development proposals that are submitted as planning applications week by week. Although not as complex as the developments considered by Major Sites Group, they can have a significant impact on the quality of the city’s appearance.


The Society runs a varied programme of events throughout the year. These include meetings of general interest and to provoke debate, guided visits to interesting places in Bristol, and occasional trips to other cities hosted by the local civic society.
Blue Plaque to Hardy Falconer Parsons

Blue Plaques Scheme

In 2015, the Society took over responsibility for the blue plaques scheme previously run by Bristol City Council. A 'Blue Plaques Panel' overseas the scheme.

Public Spaces

The Public Spaces Group engages with proposals for improving public spaces in Bristol. These can be 'green' spaces like Queen Square, Castle Park or College Green and ‘hard’ spaces such as the Centre Promenade, Millennium Square and pavements generally.
2017 Award on Gaol-Ferry steps

Awards Schemes

The Design Awards recognise developments in Bristol which make a positive contribution to the local environment through excellence of design. The Student Award is presented to a final year student of Architecture and Planning at the University of the West of England for outstanding work.

Regeneration projects

Even in a relatively prosperous city like Bristol, there are certain sites and buildings which lie empty for years and years. Some sites do seem to get stuck and give rise to concern by local residents, planners and, if protected, by Historic England.
Artists impression of the MetroBus alongside the New Cut


The Transport Subgroup of the Major Sites Group engages with transport proposals. The group engages with transport scheme promoters to influence the scheme early in the development process.
Bristol City Council

Planning Policy

The Planning Policy Subgroup of the Major Sites Group considers changes in local planning policy to try to ensure that local planning policy strikes the right balance. The group engages in the Council’s consultation processes, and may engage with the planning department and with councillors and MPs.
Heritage Group

Heritage Forum

The Bristol Heritage Forum is an independent body set up to champion the value of Bristol's built heritage. It is a network for local organizations to share and debate best practice, to facilitate collaboration, and to co-ordinate heritage initiatives.

Civic Voice

All Bristol Civic Society members also belong to Civic Voice, which is the national charity for the civic movement in England. Civic Voice has over 75,000 individual members coming from 290 civic societies.
DoD brochure

Bristol Doors Open Day

Bristol Civic Society is proud to be one of the sponsors of Bristol Doors Open Day, the once-a-year chance to look behind closed doors and discover the city’s hidden treasures.