Planning Applications Reference:18/00058/EREG03

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Type of Application:Reg03 app with EIA attached
Status:Pending Decision
Address of Proposal:Bath Quays North Development Site, Avon Street, City Centre, Bath,
Proposal:Outline planning application for comprehensive mixed use redevelopment, comprising B1, C1, C3, A1, A3, A4, D1 and D2 uses, with total combined floorspace of up to 38,000sqm (GIA,above ground), infrastructure (including basement car park) and associated development, including demolition of existing multi storey car park and amenity building. Access, landscaping, layout and scale for approval (to extent described in separate Development Specification), all other matters reserved.
Decision Type:Planning Committee
Environmental Impact Assessment Received:08/01/2018
Applicant Name:Bath & North East Somerset Council
Agent Name:Turley
Agent Address:40 Queen Square, Bristol, BS1 4QP
Case Officer Name:Gwilym Jones
Date Application Received:08/01/2018
Date Application Validated:08/01/2018
Neighbourhood Consultations sent on:23/07/2018
Standard Consultations sent on:23/07/2018
Last advertised on:05/07/2018
Latest Site Notice posted on:05/07/2018
Expiry Date for Consultation :26/07/2018
Actual Committee Date:01/08/2018
For details of this Development Control Committee Meeting please visit the Councils Democracy Website.
Target Decision Date30/04/2018


ConstraintsAgric Land Class 3b,4,5, Air Quality Management Area, Article 4 Bath Demolition Wall, Article 4 HMO, Article 4 Reg 7: Estate Agent, British Waterways Major and EIA, British Waterways Minor and Householders, Conservation Area, Contaminated Land, Flood Zone 2, Flood Zone 3, HMO Stage 1 Test Area (Stage 2 Test Req), LLFA - Flood Risk Management, MOD Safeguarded Areas, Placemaking Plan Allocated Sites, Policy B1 Bath Enterprise Zone, Policy B2 Central Area Strategic Policy, Policy B4 WHS - Boundary, Policy B4 WHS - Indicative Extent, Policy CP12 Centres and Retailing, Policy CP9 Affordable Housing Zones, Policy CR3 Primary Shopping Areas, Policy NE1 Green Infrastructure Network, Policy NE2A Landscapes and the green set, Policy NE5 Ecological Networks, Public Right of Way, SSSI - Impact Risk Zones
Related Property:Bath Quays North Development Site,Avon Street,City Centre,Bath,
Related Property:Car Park,Corn Street Car Park,City Centre,Bath,
Related Property:Coach Park,Riverside Coach Park,City Centre,Bath,
Related Property:Multi Storey Car Park,Avon Street Car Park,City Centre,Bath,
Related Property:Open Air Car Park,Avon Street Car Park,City Centre,Bath,BA1 1UE.
Related Property:Pitch 56 Corn Street,Street Trading,
Related Property:Public Toilets,Riverside Coach Park,City Centre,Bath,BA1 1UE.
Related Property:Street Record,Ambury,City Centre,Bath,
Related Property:Street Record,Avon Street Car Park,City Centre,Bath,
Related Property:Street Record,Broad Quay,City Centre,Bath,
Related Property:Street Record,Corn Street Car Park,City Centre,Bath,
Related Property:Street Record,Green Park Road,City Centre,Bath,
Related Property:STREET RECORD,Old Course Of Green Park Road,Bath,
Related Property:Street Record,Riverside Coach Park,City Centre,Bath,
Related Property:The Kiosk Cafe,Riverside Coach Park,City Centre,Bath,BA1 1UE.
Reference Proposal Application Received Status
18/00058/EREG03 .Outline planning application for comprehensive mixed use redevelopment, comprising B1, C1, C3, A1, A3, A4, D1 and D2 uses, with total combined floorspace of up to 38,000sqm (GIA,above ground), infrastructure (including basement car park) and associated development, including demolition of existing multi storey car park and amenity building. Access, landscaping, layout and scale for approval (to extent described in separate Development Specification), all other matters reserved.08/01/2018Pending Decision

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
David Bailey 20 Sulis Manor Road, Odd Down, Bath, Bath And North East Somerset, BA2 2AL S 12/01/2018: Looks like a great, well-thought out development, which I support in principle. It will be interesting to see the detailed building plans once they are submitted.

One issue I have though is with the raised road sections, which I'm assuming will be made of brick-weave or flagstones. These will impede traffic flow around what is already a congested area. As seen in other parts of Bath (for example on Milsom Street), they don't age well, are damaged by HGVs and buses, and are often eventually replaced with bitmac speed bumps, or removed completely. Good road signage, zebra crossings and a 20mph speed limit should suffice here.
Peter John Cousins 22 Crandale Road, Twerton, Bath, Bath And North East Somerset, BA2 3HX R 12/01/2018: Is this development going to look like all the other new builds? They look drab, dull, featureless and look totally out of place in Bath. A bit more imagination would help in the designs. I can only imagine that they get approval by being Bath stone colour and are cheap to build thus ensuring maximum profit. These buildings are destroying the look of Bath and I wonder how much longer tourists will want to come here and Bath retain it's World Heritage status. Please consider the future. 12/01/2018
Federation Of Bath Residents Associations Not Given. O Documents Tab 22/02/2018
M.W.P. Kelly Flat 3, 12 St James's Parade, Bath, BA1 1UL, R Documents Tab 30/01/2018
Laurel Penrose The Cribb, City Of Bath College, Avon Street, City Centre, Bath, BA1 1UP, S 09/02/2018: We write to support the planning application currently being considered for the Bath Quays North development adjacent to the Bath College Campus (the College). We fully support the application because it directly supports the College’s ability to execute its strategy and vision in the region. There are sound Employability, Economic and Expertise reasons that will benefit the local community. 09/02/2018
Laurel Penrose City Of Bath College, Avon Street, City Centre, Bath, Bath And North East Somerset, BA1 1UN S Documents Tab 09/02/2018
Claire Smith 14 Upper Camden Place, Walcot, Bath, Bath And North East Somerset, BA1 5HX S 09/02/2018: What a forward thinking scheme to balance the Bath as a city to work, rest and play.
The city already has booming residential and tourism but currently lacks office space forcing growing businesses in the city to relocate elsewhere when they hit a certain size. This scheme is a bold step to keep jobs in our city.
Nick Nelson 9 Spencer's Orchard, Bradford On Avon, BA15 1TJ, S 09/02/2018: I work in Bath across the river from the site.

I support this application for a two reasons.

Bath needs to be primarily a city for its residents, not for its visitors. Tourism is a local industry that is important and developments shouldn't detract from that but provision for local businesses in the way this development supports, is important to the growth of our city. Providing business accommodation as well as residential units to maintain life in the city when workers have gone home is fundamental to a lively location.

I believe that Bath needs modern complimentary architecture to help support the historic aspects of the city. Attempts to reflect the history in the form of a pastiche as Southgate is, don't add to the importance of Bath but dilute the real historic context. I support a modern design that adds to the setting of the historic parts of the city without trying to compete with them other than by adding modern architectural value.
Gavin Lang Stable Cottage, Longleat Lane, Holcombe, Radstock, BA3 5DX, S 09/02/2018: As someone who works in Bath, I am well aware of the need for more high quality office space of an appropriate size to encourage more commercial workspace, especially to attract the blue chip companies which will help Bath to thrive. Additionally the river frontage is the most under valued and under used asset in Bath, and any development which attracts high quality retail tenants, and exploits the opportunities to create useable, well designed public space is to be welcomed. 09/02/2018
Nick South Buro Happold Camden Mill, 230 Lower Bristol Road, Westmoreland, Bath, Bath And North East Somerset, BA2 3DQ S 09/02/2018: Bath needs high quality workspace that will attract organisations to the city, as well as providing the accommodation that successful local businesses need as they expand. This development will play a significant role in meeting that need. The proposed scheme is in keeping with the historic city in terms of scale, and the new cafes and restaurants will help residents, local employees and residents to take full advantage of the regenerated riverside location. As one of the city's major employers, BuroHappold Engineering is fully supportive of this redevelopment. 09/02/2018
Matthew Cross Invest Bristol & Bath, WECA, 3 Rivergate Temple Quay, Bristol, BS1 6ER, S 09/02/2018: We write to support the planning application currently being considered for Bath Quays North development. We do so on the basis of our assessment that Bath is in chronic short supply of new high quality office space which is having a potentially long-term disruptive effect on the ability of the Bath economy to grow to the fullest extent of its ambition.

We support the application because it directly impacts on our ability to execute our strategy on behalf of the region. Invest Bristol & Bath is responsible for attracting new business investment to the region. This includes occupiers who will create jobs and sign leases in offices and workplaces around the region. We are funded through the region’s Economic Development Fund which means our success is directly correlated with the ability to secure investment into the Enterprise Areas and Enterprise Zones.

In order to achieve this we work in a focused manner, as follows;
• We invest in research so we can understand clearly what happens in the region and why it is a compelling place to invest in for certain types of organisations.
• We develop targeted propositions to attract investors from industries and markets that we are confident will respond to the proposition. This will include;
o High tech - including micro-electronics, silicon design, high performance computing, cloud software, communication networks
o Digital - including digital platforms, gaming, animation and virtual reality
o Aerospace and Advanced Engineering – particularly high value design
o Energy – disruptive, environmental and nuclear
o Financial Services – particularly back end technology units for major banks
o Legal Services – including fee earning legal units and specialist high value back office functions.
• Where we find the investment is not landing in the desired locations we have an important job to ensure we inform Council Economic Development and Regeneration teams who can use the intelligence to adjust their approach to secure higher levels of return.

To achieve the final point we are able to draw on a significant evidence base in our active pipeline of 220 enquiries that could generate over 9,000 new jobs. This is alongside our previous work which has secured over 4,900 new jobs for the region from 200 successful investment projects.

It is in this light a negative decision will almost certainly undermine our ability to deliver new investment to the Bath Riverside area both in terms of actual premises for immediate requirements and long term of perception of bath as long term destination for strong commercial activity.

Our assessment is based on an analysis of our active pipeline of enquiries and previous pipeline of successes. This demonstrates where we believe occupiers could have come to Bath if there was a satisfactory accommodation offer on the table. This should be important evidence to support the case for the development.

Evidence base - Invest Bristol & Bath successes 2013-2018
Invest Bristol & Bath (IBB) successes include 200 investment projects that have located and/or expanded in the Bristol and Bath region with the creation of 4,997 new jobs; of these successful investments to the West of England, only 10% were able to locate or expand within the Bath & North East Somerset area.

Analysis of the businesses that located in the region but not in Bath suggests that over 22% would have taken into consideration Bath as a serious option if suitable office accommodation had been available. These are mainly high tech and digital companies looking for modern and creative soft landings and grow on spaces that have ultimately located in central Bristol and the Temple Quarter Enterprise Zone, creating over 1,300 new jobs.

Examples include Just Eat moving their tech development centre from London to central Bristol with an initial creation of 50 jobs and a further expansion of up to 200 new tech jobs for the area, and digital company Somo that chose Bristol as the base of their development team creating 60 new jobs. Both companies had expressed an interest in Bath as a location and our team worked hard to identify locations in Bath for both companies but failed to find anything that met expectations.

There are also a number of local companies that have moved away from Bath due to the lack of suitable office accommodation to expand; recent examples include Civica Digital (IPL), Mr B & Friends, Kings Court Trust and DesAcc.

Active pipeline
Invest Bristol & Bath have an active pipeline of 60 leads and projects that would consider investing in the Bath area if the appropriate accommodation was available, with the potential to create over 2,000 new jobs. Moreover, there are a number of Bath companies that are at risk of leaving the area due to the lack of expansion space.

I hope this gives a flavour of our impressions of the Bath inward investment environment and the constraints the lack of any new development in the city over such a long period is putting on the city.

We are firmly of the view that the Bath Quays North development could entirely transform the city and strongly urge the Local Authority to recommend the application for approval.

Yours sincerely,

Matt Cross
Head of Inward Investment
Invest Bristol & Bath
Mike Entwisle 103 Lower Oldfield Park, Oldfield Park, Bath, Bath And North East Somerset, BA2 3HR S 09/02/2018: N/a 09/02/2018
Tim Thorne 32 Jubilee Road, Peasedown St. John, Bath, Bath And North East Somerset, BA2 8FB, O 17/01/2018: I wish to object to this application on the grounds that their is NO social housing attached to the application and seeing as bath has several empty office buildings we really don't need more built .the centre of bath needs more social housing and spaces for small businesses and new starter units not offices . 17/01/2018
Will Reid The Quads, University Of Bath Campus, Claverton Down, Bath, BA2 7PJ, O 17/01/2018: I am very disappointed that this new housing development will include no affordable housing whatsoever. The new properties will be unaffordable to the majority of people living in Bath. I think the council should seriously consider whether the paramaters taken into account in your viability assessment if basement parking is of greater concern than providing affordable housing.

Will Reid
Jon Bickley Piccadilly House, Piccadilly Place, Walcot, Bath, Bath And North East Somerset, BA1 6PL S Documents Tab 06/02/2018
Rosie Bennett Bath SETsquared, The Innovation Centre, Broad Quay, Bath , BA1 1UD, S 06/02/2018: We welcome the developments at Bath Quays North, and specifically the proposal to provide office space for growth businesses in Bath. In our experience, the current lack of flexible and affordable office space is an issue that has a significant impact on the local economy as companies are forced to leave the area to accommodate growing teams (most often to Bristol). Our local educational ecosystem (schools, HE and FE), business support services - combined with a legacy of tech and digital innovation in the city - means that Bath is already a significant player in the SW Tech Cluster (recognised as the biggest tech cluster outside London). If we are to maintain and grow this community to secure jobs and prosperity for the city in the future, we need the infrastructure to support it. 06/02/2018
Laura Driffield 14 Hungerford Road, Lower Weston, Bath, Bath And North East Somerset, BA1 3BU S 08/02/2018: I fully support this development. The current sites are part of the old run down Bath, pre-investment in Southgate, and this would certainly help to attract visitors further, and allow Bath to establish its position as a strong business leader. Southgate itself has brought much more trade to Bath Spa, and continued positive investment such as this will only enhance financials to the city. We also help this will create much needed office space for the city which is a growing concern, with more creative businesses looking to Bristol. 08/02/2018
Bath Preservation Trust Bath Preservation Trust , 1 Royal Crescent, City Centre, Bath, Bath And North East Somerset, BA1 2LR R 11/07/2018: Amendments dated 29/05/2108

This response should be read in conjunction with our earlier comments dated 9Th February 2018 which remain relevant to the content and consideration of this application.
In our previous response we raised concerns about buildings proposed at 23.5 metres high on Avon Street and 19.5 on Ambury which would appear too great across the site and in the views from Beechen Cliff in particular. We are also concerned that buildings above 5 storeys would be visually prominent and may have adverse impacts on the special qualities of the World Heritage Site, specifically the city in the hollow of the hillsides. This is view in line with the consultations responses from your own landscape, urban design and conservation officers.
Maximum building heights across the site should not exceed the shoulder height of the nearest listed buildings and should therefore not exceed 17.5m. 19.7m across the site therefore remains too high and contrary to the Buildings Heights Strategy.
We recognise the justification for increasing the height up to 23m on part of block 5 only and the appropriate caveat that building to this height must enhance the character and function of the area. There needs to be greater certainty about maximum heights in specific areas and to ensure that the max height of 23.5 cannot be seen across the site.
We would like to see better visual montages to support this element of the proposal and help make a proper assessment of the impact on views and the OUV of the World Heritage Site.
We welcome changes that prevent the use of fake mansards and the extensive use of flat roofs. We would welcome stronger provision for the use of pitched roofs across the site and along the riverside.
We are pleased to see that the connection between blocks 6 and 7 has been removed from the parameters plan.
We are also pleased to see the widening of the foot paths.

11/07/2018 This comment also has associated documents: Documents Tab
Transition Bath Not Given. O Documents Tab 26/01/2018
Liz Coleman 36 Cranwells Park, Lower Weston, Bath, Bath And North East Somerset, BA1 2YE O 26/01/2018: Office space versus hotel space is key. Right now checkout the commute to Bristol to work and the time wasted and environmental impact. Many problems would be solved if more of us could walk to work 29/01/2018
Amir Eilon Quasar Building, Ambury, City Centre, Bath, BA1 1UA, O 26/01/2018: I am the owner of Quasar, a student residence housing 47 students, on the corner of Ambury and Somerset Street to the north-east of the development. The building's windows face south-west overlooking the current carparks. I believe the new development is likely to be a boost for the area, provided certain issues below are addressed properly. However, I object to the current presentation of the development because I see no consideration of the impact of the massing of the building on existing properties; in particular I see no assessment on loss-of-light on our windows in Quasar. To preserve an acceptable quality of light the massing of the buildings on the Ambury street boundary might need to be lower than 3 and 4 stories currently being proposed. If evidence is provided to satisfy this concern I would withdraw my objection.

However, in terms of the longer term prospects for the development there are 3 key issues that I, as a business manager in the area, am facing that any prospective new tenant of the development will also face; namely poor broadband; poor refuse management, and difficult parking conditions for the service-providers for our building. Failure to address these issues risks the viability of the project and an 'empty' development would be worse than no development at all.
1. Fast, fibre Broadband: when will the promise be realised? If not in time, this development risks faltering. (I have again today searched for a provider only to be told "we'll let you know when it's available" with no date in view!)
2. The development may plan an excellent refuse collection system for itself but will be subjected to the ramifications of the poor service being 'enjoyed' by its neighbours. In our case, our students have to put the refuse in black bin liners and the recycling in hessian bags out on the street corner facing the new development on a Thursday. The resulting effect of spilt bags and the empty hessian bags being blown about make Thursdays an unpleasant day to be walking around in this part of town!
3. Parking: none of our students is allowed a car so the parking I am talking about is for the service providers - the vans with the cleaners; the lift service engineers; the plumbers; the kitchen/bathroom/flooring installers, etc. etc. Removal of the open space car park will make matters worse unless a nearby street - e.g. Somerset Street - could be designated for business-use parking only.
For the development to be a success, which would be of benefit to the town as a whole in my opinion, these 3 issues need to be addressed in a wider context than simply the development itself.
Mary-Jane Evans Flat 6, Weston Park Court, Weston Park East, Upper Weston, Bath, BA1 2XD, O 23/01/2018: I understand this is going to be yet another Hotel. We do not need any more hotels, we need affordable housing for residents (not students) and office and studio space. Its not all just about the tourists. 23/01/2018
Ian Bell Summerfield, Bristol Road, Chew Stoke, Bristol, Bath And North East Somerset, BS40 8UB S 23/01/2018: As Executive Director of Bath Chamber of Commerce and the Initiative in B&NES, I know that our members are very keen to see an increase in the amount of modern office space in the centre of Bath and this proposed development will go some way to delivering that. It will enable successful businesses to flourish and grow, without the need to re-locate elsewhere, it will attract fresh inward investment and it will signal that Bath is keen to embrace the modern world of work whilst still retaining its historic backdrop. Members are also pleased that there will be significant car parking within the scheme, which is essential at a time when public transport is unable to serve everyone and the park and ride facilities on the outskirts of the City remain incomplete. 23/01/2018
Claire Dickenson 22 Trafalgar Road, Upper Weston, Bath, BA1 4EW, O 18/01/2018: In a city the size of Bath, with several thousand people waiting for social housing (not to mention a growing homelessness problem), building such a large complex with absolutely no affordable housing is ridiculous and morally indefensible. The council's comments very much suggest that it values money above its duty to take care of residents, and statements about the inclusion of affordable housing being 'unviable' would indicate that the plans drawn up are simply not suitable for the space in question. The council ought to be promoting the construction of desperately-needed affordable housing, not shirking its responsibilities at any opportunity. There is no valid reason to include no affordable housing provision in a redevelopment of this scale. 18/01/2018