Sunday, 26 May 2013

Pathway in Ambleside Road

In parts the pathway has weeds growing through the path, we have asked the council to repair this stretch.

Bollards bashed, Oolite Road

The bollards at both end of Oolite Road, the junctions with the Wellsway and with Upper Bloomfield Road have been bashed. We have reported both to the council to be repaired.

Sign at Lodge Gardens

This sign has been reported to the council to be repaired

Saturday, 25 May 2013

35 student rooms at Radway petrol station - too many ?

This planning application is 13/01920/FUL Radway Service Station 482 Wellsway Bath BA2 2UB

We feel that this should be refused as this is over development of the site, 35 students houses represents an increase over the current 4 flats that have been allowed.

The area has an issue with traffic, although I am sure that the applicant will say that the students will not have cars this is unrealistic considering the area doesn't sit on a direct bus route to either university.

The development of two storeys is out of keeping with the rest of the area and will affect the amenity of the two houses next to the development.

Unfortunately that it is a petrol station is not important in planning terms. Although if this petrol station goes Bath will be left with only 4.

If you want to give your views, please contact Planning Services PO BOX 5006, Bath, BA1 1JG Tel: (01225)477000   Fax: (01225) 394199

Sunday, 12 May 2013

Culverhay Sports Centre

Bath Community Academy has issued this note, see below. We are working with the executive councillor for Leisure to try and ensure that the sports centre remains open to the public.

The current arrangements between Aquaterra and Bath and North East Somerset council relating to the management of the Culverhay Sports Centre will end on 3Oth June 2013. The subsidy that has been provided by BANES throughout the duration of that arrangement is no longer available to the Cabot Learning Federation (CLF). 

In light of this change in situation, the CLF and Bath Community Academy have worked hard to find a solution that enables these facilities to remain open to the public. The funding that the CLF and Bath Community Academy receives from central government is intended for the sole purpose of educating the students who attend the academy and we are not in a position where we can allocate this source of revenue to the maintenance of a sports centre provision. The CLF and the Academy will continue to work with BANES to pursue opportunities to appoint an external operator to provide this service in the future if it can be demonstrated to be financially viable, however as we are not able to facilitate an interim arrangement this will mean the facilities, whilst remaining open to the academy for student use during the day, will be closed to the public from 1st July

Monday, 6 May 2013

Sunday, 5 May 2013

Core Strategy response

It is long but there are a lot of things that need to be said

I wish to object to the land being allocated in the core strategy for Odd Down and Weston,

SPC6 (Broad Locations) object to allocation for the sites at Weston and Odd Down for the following reasons, which are expanded on later:

  • Their allocation doesn't fit NPPF guidance on allocation of land in the AONB
  • The sites are urban sprawl and against green belt policy
  • Neither site is sustainable as employment would be in the city centre not on the outskirts.
  • There is no need, by increasing the housing density on the brownfield sites the need for greenfield development would be removed.
  • In the case of Odd Down would damage the setting of the Wansdyke
  • Co-coalescence of Bath and Southstoke may occur.
  • For Weston this site is visual from a number of locations in Bath and would damage the world heritage setting of the City.

SPC14 (Need for Greenfield sites) I object to the this paragraph as I believe that increasing the density of housing on the brownfield sites would remove the necessity of building on the greenfield sites. Council's assessment has shown to sustain the number of houses required for job creation that only 10,000 hours would be required, this would exclude the greenfield sites

SP15 (economic growth) The council rightly says that economic growth will be directed along Western Corridor, but then allocates land at the edge of Bath, these areas being the worst possible possible in terms of sustainability in already transport poor areas. A petition is being collected against the cost of First's bus fares, the monopoly supplier of bus services in Bath, meaning it is likely that the developments will be car based. This could have been alleviated by increasing the density of housing in the surrounding areas.

SPC19 (Green Belt boundaries) Green Belt requirement is defined in NPPF as “The fundamental
aim of Green Belt policy is to prevent urban sprawl by keeping land permanently open;” The allocations at Odd Down and Weston will be fundamentally opposed to this principal. The land allocated will create urban sprawl, although the core strategy document talks about small scale local employment, there are limited examples within Bath of this occurring. In reality this will just provide housing, with employment being outside of Bath or as the council indicates with the river corridor. It would mean that the current urban areas will be expanded.

SPC24 (Green Belt boundaries ) Same as SPC19

SPC31 ( Green Belt boundaries) Same as SPC19

SPC47 ( Green Belt boundaries) Same as SPC19

SPC54 housing at Odd Down and Weston See SPC 88 and SPC89 comments

SPC78 (Outer areas contributing) Same as SPC19

SPC87 General Same as SPC19

SPC88 (Odd Down) NPPF states “Planning permission should be refused for major developments in these designated areas except in exceptional circumstances and where it can be demonstrated they are in the public interest.” The council is proposing that 12700 houses should be built in the plan period, for Odd Down this represents 2% of the housing proposed, combined with Weston this totals 4%. Overall the level of error of a plan that is 15 years long could not justify the allocation of this site being in the public interest.

The paragraph goes on to say the need for the development, including in terms of any national considerations, and the impact of permitting it, or refusing it, upon the local economy; Evidence from the Council shows that there is only a need for 10,000 houses if only the need for jobs is considered in looking at housing number requirement.

Further paragraphs say “the cost of, and scope for, developing elsewhere outside the designated area, or meeting the need for it in some other way; and” This could be met by increasing the density of housing within other brownfield sites, and therefore the allocation should not go ahead.

The proposals don't fit within the final sentence in this paragraph any detrimental effect on the environment, the landscape and recreational opportunities, and the extent to which that could be moderated. There are a number of footpaths to

Protection of the Wansdyke should be an important consideration, even though a large stretch is within the council's ownership, a management plan has not been developed, destruct has taken place when the council built Threeways school. These proposals will not enhance the setting of the Wansdyke, with the potential for creating urban development both sides of the Wansdyke.

The village of Southstoke is quite different in character to the surrounding areas, with a lot of the housing built in a different style and from a different time to surround Bath areas to create a co-coalescence of Southstoke with Bath would not be desirable. Currently the village is separated by only 500 meters, to reduce this distance would effectively make Bath and Southstoke one urban entity.

One of the settings of the AONB around Bath is the escarpment at Odd Down, which is viewable for many miles around if building occurs on the plateau there is a distinct possibility that light pollution will be seen from miles fundamentally altering the character of the AONB in this area.

SPC89 (Weston) A lot of the objections to Odd Down apply to Weston, as defined by NPPF guidance on building on the AONB.