In 2020, it was announced that Bath Cricket Club would be buying the North Parade Road embankment and paying B&NES Council a ‘peppercorn’ rent, to facilitate the delivery of student accommodation granted planning permission in 2018. As part of works, it was intended to provide an indoor cricket school that will be a hub for disability cricket and a new teaching and learning space. Development was completed in 2021.
2018 – Planning Permission & BPT Call for Judicial Review
Changes to the scheme in early 2018 did little to allay our concerns regarding the monolithic bulk, scale and massing of development and the associated impact on the conservation area and World Heritage Site. The scheme was referred to the Development Management Committee and despite the planning officer’s recommendation to refuse, as well as the objections of a number of key consultees and council officers, the scheme was voted to delegate to permit by the Committee.
BPT was disappointed by this decision of the Planning Committee Councillors and we asked for the application to be called in to the Secretary of State for determination due to the fact that the scheme fails national planning policy on flood risk, and would harm the Outstanding Universal Value of the World Heritage Site and the conservation area. This was regrettably refused.
We considered the possibility of launching a Judicial Review against the B&NES Development Management Committee’s decision. However, in November 2018 we decided not to continue due to the significant financial risk to charitable funds. We instead used this scheme to kickstart our ‘fighting fund’ for future use against poor planning decisions.
2017 – Proposed Redevelopment of Student Accommodation Block on Cricket Club
BPT strongly opposed proposals to erect a student accommodation block on the site of the Cricket Club car park on North Parade (see application 17/04338/FUL). We considered that the proposed use would be unacceptable in the context of an affordable housing shortage in Bath, where brownfield sites are being taken up with more and more student accommodation (this being the most profitable form of development). We felt the scale, height and massing of the scheme to be overdevelopment of the site and too dominant and imposing in this area of fine grained historic townscape that forms an important part of the World Heritage Site. The scheme takes over most of the site with no permeability and intrudes into views through and over the site, as well as into the setting of many listed buildings and structures including the historic Kennet & Avon Canal.
BPT submitted a very strong objection to the scheme, referring to the inappropriate use and also suggesting that the buildings should be far more broken up and articulated in order to provide glimpses through the scheme and to break up the sense of monolithic scale.
Read our objection to the 2017 planning application here.