The former New Bridewell police HQ will be demolished later this year to make way for 499 beds of purpose built student accommodation and approximately 6,500 sqft of commercial floor space at ground floor level.
The development also provides the removal of the concrete overhead walkway on Nelson Street, the creation of a new public square and ground level walkway between Nelson Street and Rupert Street, as well as a variety of other public realm enhancements.
The area has been described as one of the worst planning disasters in the city containing a number of eyesores from the 1960s and 1970s.
Watkins Jones is also developing the former Magistrates Court in the area into student accommodation.
Iain Smith, Planning Director at the Watkin Jones Group said: “We are delighted with the decision from councillors at Bristol City Council to support the redevelopment of the New Bridewell site.
‘Together with our Magistrates Court development, which is already on site following determination at committee last April, the two developments will provide a substantial enhancement to, and investment within, the Nelson Street area.
“They are also ideally located, allowing students to benefit from easy access to the University of Bristol, to the University of the West of England and to the commercial focus of the city centre.
“We intend to commence demolition later in the year to enable the scheme to be open for the 2016/ 17 academic year”.