Friday, 28 March 2014

The Nest's application for extended hours

These premises are, as we understand it, subject to the cumulative impact policy.

The premises are very close to a number of noise and nuisance sensitive residential premises and both we, and as we understand it the local authority, have received numerous complaints regarding noise and nuisance associated with these premises and in particular from the noisy crowds who regularly stand outside. Many people in these crowds appear to us to be drunk. On one occasion we observed someone in a group leaving these premises with a pint glass of what appeared to be lager and walk up George Street to join his friend in the crowd outside Moles which led us to further question the management of crowds and drinking at these premises.

The offer at these premises is based on vertical drinking and  music, often highly amplified.

These premises sit at the end of the George Street area. This area, until recently, was regarded as the worst area in Bath for drink fueled anti-social behavior Hard work by a number of organisations and agencies have started to turn this area around. This improvement has been achieved by encouraging more responsible proprietors and managers, more effective enforcement and much tighter better structured conditions. It would be regrettable if this progress was undermined by allowing a these premises to extend their hours of operations.


Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Planning enforcement

We have had a phone call from a local business man pointing out yet another Bath premises breaching the terms of their planning consent. On this occasion the breach concerns hours of operation. He had reported the breach to planning but their enforcement action had made little or no difference to the operation of the premises in question.

His question to us was why should he be constrained by his planning consent when competitors were ignoring theirs with seeming impunity.

We have seen this before with OPA and we warned then that the slowness of BANE's enforcement processes would encourage others to ignore the terms of their consent.

We think it is time that BANES reviewed its procedures and adopt a far more "zero tolerance" attitude to breaches of planning consents and licensing conditions.

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Porter Application for Tables and Chairs on the Highway

The basis of our objection is both the risk of public nuisance and the risk to public safety.
Our objections are as follow:

Proposed hours:
The premises are located very close to a number of noise sensitive residential premises and the applicant has a poor track record on clearing tables and chairs away by the time designated in their license. We would therefore suggest an end time of 22:00.

Tables on George Street:
The usable pavement in front of these premises on George Street is extremely narrow and subject to high levels of pedestrian traffic both during the day, at night and into the early hours of the morning. The two large A board which the premises currently put in this area, we believe in breach of the council A-board policy, already cause problems at times of peak use. Tables and chairs would cause considerably more problems particularly for wheel chair and mobility scooter users.

Basement Planters:
It is a matter of considerable concern to us that these premises have decided to use the basement door a principal entry and exit point. We have observed large groups of often inebriated and distracted customers using this entrance and crowding on to the tiny area of pavement between it and the stairs from the upper pavement and the waste bins which the neighbouring premises store on the lower pavement. Crowd jostling and ill consider decisions to cross George Street often causes people to step off this small pavement area and into the road. This road is one of the major routes through Bath and is often used by emergency service vehicles travelling at high speed, traffic is often accelerating away from the blind bend junction with Gay Street and the stairs obstruct their view of people on the small area of pavement. We therefore view the suggestion that this small area should be further reduced by the addition of quite unnecessary planters as a significant issue of public safety.

In addition to the above we are advised by the Highway Authority that the lower pavement is subject section S142 of the Highways Act which makes them the licencing authority for the planting of shrubs and trees.

Thursday, 13 March 2014


Among  technical issues that the planning and design team for the new stadium at the Rec have addressed in recent months is the possible impact of the development on the city’s traffic and transport systems.  It seems that the main effect of the additional 4,300 supporters likely to converge on the stadium on busy match days will not be felt in the form of increased traffic congestion on city centre streets, as many might expect, but in a marked increase in pedestrian traffic in areas around the stadium.

This is because travel to and from the stadium by supporters is, and will remain, heavily biased in favour of public transport: trains, buses and park and ride.  But all supporters will end and begin their journeys as pedestrians and city centre streets, already crowded to bursting point on some match days, will come under increased pressure.  This may be a problem for the city and for visiting supporters.

Unfortunately, links to the stadium for pedestrians are poor, relying too heavily on flights of narrow, twisting stone steps leading to the river bank stadium entrances from Argyle Street and North Parade.   It is for this reason that TARA will encourage the council and Bath Rugby to work together on planning a new pedestrian bridge across the river linking the stadium with the commercial heart of the city to which many supporters are drawn during their stay

A new footbridge will benefit visitors, residents and businesses as well as rugby supporters and will greatly enhance our city centre.