By John Wimperis, Local Democracy Reporter. Plans for almost 200 student rooms are one step closer to being built in Bath as plans for the final details are set to come before the council.
Developers want to build 186 student bedrooms along with 104 flats on the site of the disused Hartwells car showroom on Newbridge Road. When first announced in 2019, the plans faced overwhelming opposition from the local community.
Newbridge councillor Michelle O’Doherty said at the time: “I am concerned about the overdevelopment of the site, and I am also worried that the access into the site is both inadequate and dangerous due to the number of people who will be living on the site.”
Bath and North East Somerset Council had voted unanimously to refuse planning permission but the decision was overturned on appeal by the planning inspectorate in 2021, granting approval for the “outline” plans. Now a “reserved matters” application which sets out the final details of the scheme has been submitted to the council.
With the inspectorate’s decision granting outline permission, the developers have already secured approval for the number of flats and student bedrooms. All the council can now have a say on is the scale, design, and landscaping of the development.
Hartwells plan to build four apartment blocks around “a series of connected courtyards,” with two residential blocks facing onto Newbridge Road and two student blocks at the southern edge of the site by a new cycle path.
They hope to fit the blocks facing Newbridge Road within the design of the largely Victorian street with a modern take on gabled roofs. A design and access statement submitted with the application said: “A simple, uncluttered approach to pitched roof form is sought, appropriate to the larger scale of blocks The proposals also contain of parapets and hipped gables.”
The flats in the blocks will range from studios and one-bedroom apartments to two-bedroom apartments, while the student accommodation will be a mix of studio apartments and “en-suite clusters” with a shared kitchen and living area.
The proposed new cycle path at the south of the side would line up with the former railway line which runs through this part of Bath and later becomes the Bath and Bristol Railway Path.
You can view and comment on the application here: https://www.bathnes.gov.uk/webforms/planning/details.html?refval=23%2F03955%2FRES#details_Section
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