Bathford Nurseries, Box Road, Bathford
This application concerns the Bathford Nurseries site outside of Bathford. It is situated within the Green Belt and the indicative landscape setting of the World Heritage Site, and is located just outside of the boundary of the Cotswolds AONB. It is excluded from the Housing Development Boundaries of both Bathford and Batheaston. The site has previously been the focus of multiple refused applications for 8-dwelling (see 17/06114/FUL) and 10-dwelling (see 19/02818/FUL) developments. There are two existing access routes to the site as of 2019; whilst the eastern access is grown over (and does not appear to be included in the site plans as provided), the western access appears to remain functional, and accessible by private vehicles.
We have some concerns regarding the apparent lack of clarification or justification as to why a further access is required to this site. We note that the introduction of further hard landscaping with significant internal and external splays would be at odds with the established green, open character of the site, with no apparent benefit. No explanation has been provided as to why the existing access routes cannot be used.
We would highlight that the proposed access and widening works to the footway correlate strongly with the proposed works as part of refused application 19/02818/FUL. It is worth noting in application 19/02818/FUL’s Delegated Report that, albeit as part of the whole proposed development, the new access road would be “a poor response to the public realm, particularly in this edge of city location, where the verdant nature of sites forms a positive attribute in the area,” and would be a “fairly suburban” addition in an area of otherwise semi-rural character.