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120 PBSA Beds Approved in Bath

Posted by Aisling Murphy

Image courtesy of Flickr, Creative Commons

Following previous refusals, revised plans were submitted by Toplocation 4 Ltd and Longacre to demolish the existing Jubilee Centre, and build a new 120-bed student accommodation. These plans were approved by the Bath & North East Somerset Planning Committee prior to Christmas.

Previous applications for the Lower Bristol Road site were unanimously refused by the Planning Committee. Concerns raised by Councillors included flood risk, impact on other nearby listed properties, and design concerns - particularly the "blockiness" of the proposed building.

The re-submitted scheme was re-designed from first principles leading to a "more architectural resolved and coherent design proposal that draws its inspiration from the surrounding context." The scheme now aligns with the nearby Twerton Mill PBSA development.

The accommodation will consist of a mixture of 10, 7 and 5-bed clusters, as well as 48 studio flats.

The application demonstrated the need for additional PBSA student accommodation, which will "relieve pressure in existing suburban areas with students living in uncontrolled HMOs, which is a known problem in Bath".

Developers conclude that "The proposal will add significant new vitality and natural surveillance along this part of Lower Bristol Road, and combined with the substantial public realm enhancements, will contribute positively to a part of Bath (Twerton Riverside) that has been expressly identified for regeneration in the development plan"

On approval of the application, the Planning Committee commented that "The applicant considers that the provision of student accommodation to address the future shortfall is a significant benefit of the scheme."

"A shortfall of 640 student beds has been identified which, if not addressed, would lead to an increased pressure in the private rented sector (e.g., greater numbers of HMOs)."

After considering other PBSA in the pipeline, Councillors conclude that the proposed scheme "will provide 120 further beds which would therefore go some way to addressing the remaining shortfall."

It is hoped that the accommodation could be completed in 18 months.