Avon Rugby Club, London Road West, Lower Swainswick, Bath
The proposed site of development is part of the playing field at the Avon Rugby Club, situated within the Bath conservation area and World Heritage Site, as well as the Green Belt. It forms part of the Green Infrastructure Network, and is bordered by a Site of Nature Conservation Interest immediately to the south where it follows the river through the city. The site is partially visible from the route of the A4 to the south, but remains well-screened by trees and planting along the River Avon. It is located approximately a mile upstream of the Grade II* Cleveland Pools.
BPT previously supported application 21/01310/FUL as part of wider works for the Cleveland Pools restoration works, with the condition that use as a temporary contractor’s compound should not constitute a permanent change in land use, and the field should be continue to be considered ‘greenfield’ land following completion of works. Please see the relevant section of our previous support below, which we maintain in response to this latest variation application:
“Considering the temporary nature of the proposals, we are therefore supportive of this application and feel that the heritage gains and associated public benefit would outweigh perceived temporary harm to the site. However, we maintain the site should be restored to its condition prior to construction works once construction use has been completed, and this should be enforced within a condition attached to the permit. We emphasise that the temporary use of this site as an ancillary support for development within the city should not qualify this site as ‘brownfield’ and consequently should not be open to other future forms of more permanent development on the site as a result.”
We note that from the proposed Logistics Plan, it appears that there would not be a vehicular access to the retained area (as highlighted in purple) as the vehicular route is washed over by the area identified for restoration works; it is therefore presumed that the site would only be accessed by pontoon from the river.