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Bath Student Scheme Set for Approval

Posted by Richard Ward in

Image courtesy of Flickr, Creative Commons

Student accommodation is set to be built on the site of a storage facility in Bath, with more than 200 student flats earmarked for the site.

The purpose-built student accommodation has been recommended for approval at a council meeting due this week.

Eagle One Estates lodged an application with Bath and North East Somerset Council in November last year for the site of the Pickfords self-storage building situated on Lower Bristol Road.

Under the plans, the developer will demolish the existing property and construct two student accommodation buildings.

In total the site will be able to accommodate 204 students, mostly within cluster flats.

Planning officers have recommended the proposals are given the green light despite 93 objections being submitted in opposition to the plans. Concerns were raised by nearby residents, the Bath Preservation Trust, Widcombe Association and The Federation of Bath Residents Associations over the use and visual impact of the development.

Even the council's own economic development department objected to the proposed use as student housing due to the loss of the site for employment use.

The report said: "It is considered that the proposed development is of an acceptable design which will preserve the character and appearance of the adjacent conservation area, enhance the setting of nearby listed buildings as well as conserve the Outstanding Universal Values of the World Heritage Site.

"The case that there are 'strong economic reasons' justifying a decision contrary to the normal presumption in favour of residential redevelopment is considered to be weak and likely to be very difficult to defend, and substantiate, at appeal."

However, Historic England supported the application, suggesting it could result in an 'innovative and positive addition to the site'.