Bristol Housing Festival
Re-imagining better ways to live in our cities




Bristol City Council gives the green light to Bristol Housing Festival’s ZEDPods Scheme

Bristol, 10 July 2019:

ZED Pods, manufacturers of rapid build, affordable modular homes, have received planning permission from Bristol City Council for 11 houses to be built above the Chalks Road car park, next to St George Park.  The scheme, including nine one bedroom pods and 2 two bedroom pods, will be the first development to be built as part of the five-year Bristol Housing Festival.  

Some of the pods could be on site in time for the next Bristol housing Festival exhibition in mid-October. The pods will be road-tested, in a real-world scenario, to accelerate the delivery of quality, affordable housing in Bristol.

This decision pioneers a way to create a 100% affordable, low carbon housing development over an existing land use, a car park in this case. 

This environmental and socially focused development will deliver much needed affordable housing in the area for young people and others at risk of housing crisis. By creating a mixture of affordable tenures, with four units to be let at social rent level, a new community model will be created to ensure that the support networks are in place for the tenants. 

This project is a collaboration between Bristol Housing Festival, ZED Pods Ltd, a Bristol based Housing Association, the YMCA Bristol, Bristol and Bath Regional Capital and Bristol City Council. National planning and development consultancy Turley provided planning and strategic communications services for the scheme. 

Jez Sweetland, Project Director for Bristol Housing Festival said: “Bristol City Council’s decision to support this development is great news for Bristol. Our initial plans were for 7 pods, however we are now able to provide 11 pods through this planning approval. We are excited that this Festival project is a quality, low carbon build with great sustainability credentials and we look forward to seeing the pods completed.”

Once all of the relevant planning conditions have been met, ZED Pods will begin production of the 11 pods at the Peterborough factory of their partner Lesko Modular Group. The pods delivered to site will include hard fixtures such as a kitchen including fridge/cooker/hobs and a wet room with shower, loo and washbasin. 

Dr Rehan Khodabuccus, Operations Director of ZED Pods said: “The ZEDPods development rethinks existing land use, demonstrating a new possibility in helping solve the housing crisis, whilst at the same time providing beautiful, low carbon housing that lasts. Our focus on a 100% sustainable end-of-life construction solution involves an integrated roof mounted solar array, a super insulated building envelope with triple glazed windows, mechanical ventilation with heat recovery coupled with a design that gives exceptional levels of daylighting resulting in extremely low running costs.”

Ben Silvey, Director YMCA Bristol said: “On behalf of the young people we see day in and day out who can’t afford a decent home in our city, we are absolutely delighted.  We can’t wait to the moment that the first young people move into these excellent quality, truly aspirational and genuinely affordable homes.” 

ZED Pods will provide several additional improvements on the site including new lockable bike storage for future residents and repositioning CCTV cameras to improve observation for residents’ safety. It will also maintain all mature trees and retain all the existing car park spaces – so retaining the amenity for the community, whilst delivering needed affordable housing.

Amy Hickson, Associate Director at Turley said: “We are delighted to be working with ZED Pods and Bristol Housing Festival and by this outcome. We believe it marks an important step forward in finding solutions for Bristol’s housing challenge. The proposals represent an innovative solution to maximise the efficiency of land (a scarce resource) for a great social purpose.” 

For further information about ZED Pods please contact:

Gaye Spencer on 01256 589513 or

ZED Pods is a new company set up to design, build and install high quality, affordable low carbon homes for keyworkers and young people close to city centres and public transport. ZED Pods specialises in modular construction which is ideally suited for in-fill sites, roof top additions and uniquely air rights above carparks. 

By separating housing provision from land prices using air rights over car parks, ZED Pods believes the UK can utilise the airspace above 200,000 city centre car parking spaces to provide much needed affordable homes.

Their modular construction is fabricated off site, the Pods are designed to be erected within 24 hours and the company has the potential to build up to 500 units a year. This approach enables rapid and easy onsite installation to make effective use of windfall sites. To see how the Pods are built click here

About the Bristol Housing Festival: 

An initiative of Bristol One City, the festival runs over five years and is supported by Bristol City Council, Bristol and Bath Regional Capital and The Shaftesbury Partnership. Launched last year, it acts as an incubator to road-test, in a real-world scenario, both existing concepts and innovative solutions designed to accelerate the delivery of quality, affordable housing. These include exploring smart technology and off-site manufacturing. The Festival also highlights the ambition and work that is already underway in the city through partnerships, innovators, community groups and pioneers.

Jessie Wilde