Land Rear Of 18-25, Queenwood Avenue, Fairfield Park
This application concerns the historically undeveloped plot of land to the rear of 18-25 Queenwood Avenue, situated within the World Heritage site, and the indicative townscape setting of the Bath conservation area. The site has previously been the subject of enforcement action following “the change of use of land from garden land (Sui Generis) to open and covered storage (B8) [Minutes of Planning Committee 3rd June 2020]” without planning permission.
As part of the Inspector’s decision report under application 15/03388/FUL, it was noted that “the Council has emphasised that there is no evidence of planning permission having been granted for any change of use, or for the erection of the boundary fence.” Therefore, the Trust queries the validity of claims that the site “has a fenced permitted and gate to front entrance” made in the Statement of Use, without citing an application under which any of these changes have been permitted. It is unclear as to whether the fence would be removed as part of the proposal to “clear the site of all existing structures”. This application therefore does not suitably address issues raised by Enforcement, and the existing fence has not been regularised either in a previous application or as part of this current application.
Furthermore, this application appears to perpetuate the unpermitted C8 use of this site through the creation of “temporary storage structures” without evidence of a Change of Use application having been previously permitted.
We would additionally note the issues highlighted by Highways due to an inadequate provision of information regarding rights of access, which need to be addressed before this application can be considered further.
Ultimately, we feel that the lack of information provided has resulted in an incomplete application unsuitable for determination by the LPA. We do not feel that this application can be processed without the addition of a Change of Use application to regularise the unauthorised C8 use of the site, either as part of this application or separately. Regardless, the Trust resists this application, as we feel that the proposed use of the site would be out of character with the primarily residential function and form of the Fairfield Park area, and would be of significant detriment to the residential amenity of Queenwood Avenue. Should this application be consented, the ongoing use of the site as a storage facility would be validated without effective control over the type and volume of materials to be stored.
This application is therefore contrary to Policies D1, D2, D3, D6, and D7 of the Core Strategy and Placemaking Plan, and should consequently be refused or withdrawn.