Bath Preservation Trust regularly responds to public consultations for local and national changes to policy and legislation as well as proposed changes with potential to affect the special appearance and character of Bath. We additionally welcome the opportunity to be involved in pre-application consultations for planning applications and development schemes so we can have an input throughout the design process. Compiled below is a summary of our involvement in national and local public consultations in 2021, with particular emphasis on the Local Plan Partial Update and the new National Model Design Code.
Public Consultations 2021
14th November 2021: Public Consultation on the Future of Time-Limited Permitted Development Rights
This consultation launched by the government proposed changes to two time-limited permitted development rights which were originally introduced to support businesses and the high street in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The temporary permitted development rights included moveable structures within the curtilage of a pub, café, restaurant, or historic visitor attractions, including listed buildings, and markets held by or on behalf of local authorities. The consultation sought to gather information on the experienced benefits of these temporary permitted development rights and whether they should be made permanent.
8th October 2021: Local Plan Partial Update and New/Revised Supplementary Planning Documents
As part of a five year cycle to review the Local Plan, the Local Plan Partial Update proposed targeted revisions to address urgent issues such as the Climate Emergency and Ecological Emergency, a need to update and replenish housing supply to meet the target requirement up to 2029, and the review of specific policies including transport, HMOs, and student accommodation. As part of the update, two new Supplementary Planning Documents (SPDs) have been released alongside the Local Plan to provide additional guidance and support existing policy on HMOs and transport. B&NES’ existing SPDs on Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy Guidance For Listed Buildings, and Sustainable Construction and Retrofit, have been merged into one cohesive SPD covering available retrofit options to encourage homeowners to reduce their own carbon emissions and improve the efficiency of Bath’s housing stock.
27th May 2021: Bath River Line Emerging Vision
Concept design proposals were presented at a webinar on 27th May for Phase One of the Bath River Line project, focusing on the western section of the River Line (between Newbridge and Green Park). Other sections of the River Line will be taken forward as part of later phases of the project. The scheme proposes the creation of a new 10km linear riverside park through Bath, creating a high-quality route for walking and cycling whilst also improving biodiversity and creating a series of ‘destinations’ along the river.
27th March 2021: National Planning Policy Framework and National Model Design Code Consultation
The government has consulted on changes to the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF). Changes set out a greater emphasis on beauty and local distinctiveness and calls for poorly designed developments to be refused. Other amendments include greater reference to flood risk and climate change and the strengthening of policy wording for the use of Article 4 directions to restrict Permitted Development rights, in light of ongoing national changes to the planning system. A drafted National Model Design Code (NMDC) has also been released for consultation in tandem; this is intended to provide guidance on the creation of design codes and policies by local planning authorities with community input throughout, to inform the design and character of development proposals and the creation of sustainable and distinctive places.
18th February 2021: Local Plan Partial Update Options Consultation
This consultation proposed amendments to particular policies following changes in circumstances and national policy and legislation since the 2014 publication of the B&NES Core Strategy and Placemaking Plan. Proposed changes included the amendment of policies to address the declared Climate and Ecological Emergency as well as the need to replenish housing supply and meet Core Strategy requirements up to 2029. Policies were reviewed with regards to specific local issues such as parking standards, student accommodation, and Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs).
31st January 2021: Bath City Centre Security Consultation
This consultation proposed vehicle access restrictions within the city centre to address security concerns and the threat of terrorism. As part of a wider package of measures to implement permanent bus gate and access restrictions on Milsom Street and enhance the public realm of Kingsmead Square, the consultation suggested the installation of bollards throughout the city centre to enforce pedestrian use and restrict inner-city parking and vehicle access.
28th January 2021: Government consultation on extending permitted development rights in Conservation Areas
As part of the government’s broad consultation on Supporting Housing Delivery and Public Service Infrastructure, this consultation proposed a new permitted development right for the change of use from Commercial, Business and Service use (Class E) to residential to create new homes. This permitted development right would also apply to conservation areas, but would be excluded from other forms of article 2(3) land such as World Heritage Sites, National Parks, and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty.