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.
We note that this proposal intends to support the ongoing Cleveland Pools restoration project through the transportation of materials and labour via the river, and consequently proposes significant heritage gain. We additionally acknowledge that the proposed means of transportation is intended to avoid disruption to residents at Hampton Row, Meadows Lane, and Ringswell Gardens, and there are significant restrictions regarding appropriate access for construction vehicles.
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.