Planning Applications Reference:18/00348/FUL

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Type of Application:Full Application
Status:Pending Consideration
Address of Proposal:The Grapes, 14 Westgate Street, City Centre, Bath, Bath And North East Somerset, BA1 1EQ
Proposal:Change of use of first, second and third floors from drinking establishment (use class A4) to 5 bed house in multiple occupation (use class C4)
Planning Portal Reference Number:PP-06671594
Applicant Name:St Johns Foundation
Agent Name:JLL
Agent Address:31 Great George Street, Bristol, BS8 1HU
Case Officer Name:Alice Barnes
Date Application Received:24/01/2018
Date Application Validated:24/01/2018
Neighbourhood Consultations sent on:25/01/2018
Standard Consultations sent on:25/01/2018
Last advertised on:01/02/2018
Latest Site Notice posted on:01/02/2018
Expiry Date for Consultation :22/02/2018
Target Decision Date21/03/2018


ConstraintsAgric Land Class 3b,4,5, Article 4 Bath Demolition Wall, Article 4 HMO, Article 4 Reg 7: Estate Agent, Conservation Area, Listed Building, MOD Safeguarded Areas, Policy B1 Bath Enterprise Zone, Policy B2 Central Area Strategic Policy, Policy B4 WHS - Boundary, Policy B4 WHS - Indicative Extent, Policy CP12 Bath City Centre Boundary, Policy CP9 Affordable Housing Zones, Policy CR3 Primary Shopping Areas, SSSI - Impact Risk Zones
Related Property:Flat At,The Grapes,14 Westgate Street,City Centre,Bath,BA1 1EQ.
Related Property:The Grapes,14 Westgate Street,City Centre,Bath,BA1 1EQ.
Reference Proposal Application Received Status
03/02282/LBA .Alterations to flat roof deck and reduction in window opening size and type09/09/2003Application Refused
13/00281/AR .Display of 1no. non-illuminated hanging sign, 1no. non-illuminated fascia sign, 2no non-illuminated blackboards and 1no. internally illuminated menu case.22/01/2013Application Withdrawn
13/00282/LBA .External alterations for the display of 1no. non-illuminated hanging sign, 1no. non-illuminated fascia sign, 2no non-illuminated blackboards and 1no. internally illuminated menu case.23/01/2013Application Withdrawn
17/05453/LBA .Internal and external alterations to include overlay of the rear flat roof covering, renewal of the rear roof lights and 2no side timber casement windows, stripping out of the former public house including stripping out the bar, floor coverings and electrical installations and also for the subdivision of the ground and basement floors to provide retail spaces and residential accommodation08/11/2017Consent
17/06044/LBA .Removal of algae and associated stone cleaning to the east elevation.12/12/2017Consent
18/00348/FUL .Change of use of first, second and third floors from drinking establishment (use class A4) to 5 bed house in multiple occupation (use class C4)24/01/2018Pending Consideration

The Comments tab lists all public comments received on this application (not statutory consultees, e.g. The Environment Agency, Highways DC, etc). The majority of comments are submitted via our Comments Form through the website and you can expand the comment to view all of the text by clicking on the plus button. A minority of comments are submitted by post or email and it is not possible to include all the text here, however when you expand the comment you will see a link to our Associated Documents page where you can search for the comment.

Name Address Comment type Comment1 Comment2 Comment3 Date
Judith Anderson 1 Norfolk Buildings, Kingsmead, Bath, Bath And North East Somerset, BA1 2BP O 15/02/2018: This building has been a pub for a very long time, originally called The Bunch of Grapes. I Object to this application on two counts.
1) Much more effort should be made to keep it as a pub. It is in the centre of town; properly run, it is hard to see why it could not be a successful pub with food.
2) It has a spectacular ceiling on the first floor, which contributes to its Grade 2 star listing. How can this historic ceiling be protected if this becomes a house of multiple occupation?
Kirsten Elliott 58 Minster Way, Bathwick, Bath, Bath And North East Somerset, BA2 6RL O 05/02/2018: I object to this proposal as it presently stands for the following reasons.
1. There should surely be a listed building application as well – this is an important building in the heart of Bath and i do not see how work as proposed can be carried out without affecting the fabric. This particularly applies to the first floor which has a remarkable seventeenth century ceiling.
2. Whether or not there is a listed building application, there should surely be an historic survey, for the same reasons that there should be a matching listed building application.
3. Putting an HMO on such a busy street as Westgate Street seems to me to be a remarkably foolish thing to do. The pavement is very narrow here, as is he alleyway at the side. To have a shop and people coming and going from their accommodation will make traffic difficulties and could indeed be dangerous. There appears to be no real explanation as to why the developers want to create an HMO.
If the developers want to push on with this application, they need a matching LBA, better drawings, an historic survey, and an explanation of why they want to convert it to an HMO.
Tom Haines 1 - 2 St Michael's Place, City Centre, Bath, Bath And North East Somerset, BA1 1SG O 14/02/2018: The application as it stands is incomplete. The applicant appears to be attempting to hide a single major change to a property by distributing it over many applications, over a significant period of time, as a means of hiding their final end goal. I would demand to see a complete plan that covers everything.

Of particular importance is what is going to happen to a 19th century pub (previously a 14th century wine merchant) on a major Bath thoroughfare. The application indicates they are going to strip out the insides, but makes no indication of what happens next. It clearly can't remain a pub if you remove the bar, yet they appear to want to leave the ground floors status as a drinking house intact. This is the main reason why I would describe this application as dishonest, and designed to mislead.

Their claim that they have been unable to find a landlord for 6 months is absurd. It's a premium location and the failure is almost certainly their fault, e.g. setting the lease too high or letting the building fall into too great a state of disrepair (There are photos where this building looks spectacular; it's current state can only be described as criminal. That may be Greene King's fault, but responsibility can only be with the applicant).

I also find the choice of house in multiple occupation strange. 5 bedrooms makes it a family house, to do otherwise indicates a desire to rent to students. I personally have no problem with students, but shoving 5 into a single property is exploitative. Given the state of disrepair of the pub I suspect the applicant has no intention of bringing the property up to a reasonable standard for its potential residents. This is the sort of nastiness I regularly saw in London, but would not expect to see in Bath.

To be clear, making the upper floors residential is not unreasonable, but it needs to be done properly, with a plan to preserve the ground floor, basement and surrounding area. If this was a request to convert the two upper floors into a maisonette for 2 people whilst preserving the pub (it needs it's kitchen) that included a believable plan to bring it back into service that would be reasonable. A coffee shop might even make sense - if the historic nature of the building was restored it could become something special either way. But the plan as presented is clearly about maximising profit, at the expense of the occupants and surrounding area.

Ultimately, this is a tourist hotspot in a world heritage city - the number of tourist landmarks within 100 meters is exceptional. Many of the cities guided tours go directly past it and it is at an entrance to the Christmas market. It's substandard state is already a blight on a critical area of Bath. If the current landlord is unable to treat this historic site with the respect it deserves it needs to be transferred to someone who can.
Russ Read-Barrow 15 Apsley Road, Newbridge, Bath, Bath And North East Somerset, BA1 3LP O 11/02/2018: I cannot believe a building that’s been a pub - in some form or other - since the 14th century is seriously being considered for this type of application.

Are there not enough flats being built in bath already, to mean we don’t need a load more in the middle of a shopping street?
Tim Thorne 32 Jubilee Road, Peasedown St John, BA2 8FB O 11/02/2018: this doesn't warrant a change to him use ,central buildings need to stay as what they are in this case a public house with staff accommodation! it should also define the type of hmo ie young working/student .these plans are deceptive so the residents of banes won't reply .banes planners have already ruined bath wo th the flooding of student blocks and student hmo housing .we as residents are asking to temporarily stop any more student applications and put the future of bath city heritage first .we are looking the history and tourist appeal due to this overload . 11/02/2018
H Smith Flat 2 Hope Cote Lodge, Combe Down, BA2, O 30/01/2018: I object to this application for change of use to an HMO. Firstly, the information provided in the d& statement and drawings is of extremely poor quality. Secondly, there is no proper analysis of the building and how the changes will impact the historic fabric. Thirdly, there is also no justification as to why an HMO would be more suitable in this location than conversion to C3 residential accommodation. 30/01/2018