A greenfield site along Deadmill Lane, situated within the Green Belt and the Larkhall residential area on the edge of the city, has been the subject of concentrated development efforts from early 2020 onwards. BPT continues to monitor the area for further development attempts on this sensitive greenfield site.
2023 – Amended Proposals for Development of Two Detached Dwellings
A new scheme for the development of two new dwellings on the site was submitted in March 2023. Application 23/00893/FUL proposed a housing scheme of a reduced scale; the two dwellings would be reduced in height and scale to one storey, and would be 3-bed instead of 5-bed. The design featured green ‘living’ walls and roofs in an attempt to integrate development into its rural setting.
BPT continued to object to the principle of development on this site and challenged the applicant’s assertion that the scheme could be considered as “limited infilling” in the Green Belt.
Read our response to the 2023 planning application here.
Application 23/00893/FUL was refused in May 2023 where the benefits of providing two new market homes would not outweigh the resulting harm to the Green Belt, and the local landscape setting of the Bath City-Wide Conservation Area and World Heritage Site.
2022 – Proposals for Development of Two Detached Dwellings
Further application 22/01220/FUL came forward in March 2022 for a much-reduced scheme of two, detached five-bed dwellings. We reiterated our strong resistance to the development of the site; the significant reduction of the number of unaffordable houses proposed on the site meant that the proposed ‘public benefit’ of the scheme was substantially reduced and would not outweigh proposed harm.
Read our response to the 2022 planning application here.
Application 22/01220/FUL was subsequently refused in June 2022; the case officer concluded that due to the omission of affordable housing from the scheme, the development as proposed would not demonstrate any special circumstances and would therefore constitute inappropriate Green Belt development.
2021 – Revised Proposals for Reduced Residential Scheme of 15 Affordable Dwellings & Appeal
Revised application 21/04746/OUT was submitted in 2021 with a slightly reduced number of 15 “affordable” homes proposed on the site, to which BPT continued to object on the same grounds. Read our response to the 2021 application here.
Whilst the inspector’s previous conclusion meant that the scheme could no longer be argued to constitute inappropriate Green Belt development, the planning officer refused the application in February 2022 on previous grounds of harm to multiple heritage assets and landscape character.
This refusal has been subsequently appealed; BPT has continued to oppose the scheme on grounds of our maintained position, that development would result in irreversible harm to and encroachment upon Bath’s Green Belt and significant landscape setting. Read BPT’s statement calling for the appeal to be dismissed here.
As of January 2023, the appeal was dismissed where the inspector concluded that “the adverse impacts arising from the proposal would significantly and demonstrably outweigh the aforementioned benefits.” The total scale of harm was ultimately considered to be “substantial.” The appeal decision is available here.
2020 – Outline Application for Proposed 18 Affordable Dwellings on Greenfield Site & Appeal
Application 20/00491/OUT was initially submitted for a scheme of 18 “affordable” dwellings. Alongside local residents, BPT strongly opposed the scheme on grounds of in-principle inappropriate development in the Green Belt. We are generally supportive of proposals that bring forward much-needed affordable housing; however, we maintained that the development of this previously undeveloped, greenfield site would significant harm to the open character of the Green Belt, landscape setting of the World Heritage site, indicative setting of the Bath conservation area and Cotswolds AONB, harm to the setting of a ‘Non Designated Heritage Asset’ (NDHA) at Dead Mill, and the impact on local residential amenity. We did, and continue to emphasise, that brownfield redevelopment schemes should be prioritised to ease pressure on adjoining Green Belt.
Application 20/00491/OUT was refused in April 2020 on grounds of:
- A failure to meet the definition of a “rural exemption site”, therefore constituting inappropriate Green Belt development.
- Inadequate assessment of harm to local landscape character, features, distinctiveness and views in the AONB and World Heritage Site.
- Detrimental impact on the setting of ‘Dead Mill’, a historic mill considered to be a NDHA.
Other reasons included insufficient information regarding on-site trees, ecological impact, highways access/safety, and surface water drainage.
Whilst the inspector noted that the scheme would in fact present special circumstances to be considered appropriate Green Belt development, the appeal was ultimately dismissed on the basis of “totality of the harm” to the World Heritage Site, setting of the Bath conservation area, and the setting of a NDHA.