Bath University Masterplan

The Claverton Campus is located approximately 2.5km to the east of Bath city centre on Claverton Down which boarders the World Heritage to the south and the West, and the Green Belt and the Cotswold Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). The Public Inquiry into the 2007 B&NES Local Plan resulted in parts of the campus being removed from the Green Belt. Development on this site is sensitive because of the impact on views from the surrounding area. Light pollution from this elevated position above the World Heritage site is a concern, as is the impact of taller buildings.

The Masterplan sets out the strategy for the future development of the campus from 2009-2026. Between November 2007 and November 2008, the University undertook three main Consultations.

For further information and details of the masterplan and current developments go to

http://www.bath.ac.uk/estates/masterplan.shtml

Bath Preservation Trust supports the growth of the campus to provide student accommodation and student services on site. The provision of additional accommodation on campus will help to free up houses for much needed family homes. Other growth on the periphery of the site and on the Green Belt is discouraged. Development on the site must be contained. In this respect we support proposals to renovate and extend existing buildings. Any new building or extensions to existing building should be an appropriate height to minimise the impact on long distance views and the setting of the World Heritage Site. High quality design, materials and landscaping in all elements of development is encouraged.

For further information and details of the masterplan and current developments go to

http://www.bath.ac.uk/estates/masterplan.shtml

CURRENT/PAST PLANNING APPLICATIONS

12/02626/FUL – University Of Bath, University Of Bath Campus, Claverton Down, Bath, BA2 7PB – Construction of new academic building to provide general teaching accommodation.

12/03055/FUL – East Car Park, University Of Bath Campus, Claverton Down, Bath, BA2 7BT – Construction of 708 student bedspaces and a refectory in two buildings and replacement car parking.

12/03069/FUL – Arts Barn, University Of Bath Campus, Claverton Down, Bath, BA2 7BT – Construction of a new Centre for the Arts connecting to the Arts Theatre following demolition of the Arts Barn.

COMMENT  The Trust fully supports the further development of the campus to provide additional academic, related floor space and student bedrooms. We especially support the Centre for the Arts and the refurbishment of the Arts Theatre because there are not many places for performance in Bath.

This increase of on-campus accommodation will be a welcome relief on family homes elsewhere in the Bath. The dominance of student houses in residential areas is a big problem for the City and there is a recognised impact on the shortage of family housing. In addition, we strongly support the proposed development site; being on an existing car park. Any reduction in car parking is significantly beneficial in terms of carbon reduction and less vehicle flow.

Whilst we are satisfied with the contemporary design, form and layout of the buildings, we would like to commend the high quality of design for the Centre for the Arts. However, when compared, the other buildings fall short of this high standard.

In its current form, the Trust does not oppose the height of any of the buildings. However, any further increase in height above 5-storeys would be visually detrimental and have an adverse impact on the rural character and openness of the green belt. Additional height would neither preserve nor enhance the natural beauty of the surrounding AONB.

We are concerned about the use of copper as an external cladding material. There is not enough detail about the finish of the material. If left untreated, the oxidised surface is sure to turn green, which is not considered a sympathetic or congruous finish.

All three applications would benefit from having context drawings to illustrate their relationships with other buildings and surroundings.

 

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