Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Last night's fresher's pub crawl

The event organised in Bath last night by the national organisation the Big Bar Crawl was large and badly supervised.

The event created much mess and disturbance and too many young people appeared to get drunk.

We have ask the Licensing Authority to look into this event and the premises involved.

Application for change of use 3 - 4 Bath Street

In summary we ask that the application be REFUSED.

The applicant seeks approval for a change of use at these premises in Bath Street currently occupied by a bank from A2 to A3 (restaurant).

Though a lateral extension of Bath’s principal north-south shopping street Bath Street is, in itself, a quiet residential street with several flats in Bibury Lane immediately adjacent to the premises, Arlington House, an apartment building providing accommodation for thirty three households immediately across the street and St John’s Hospital, an historic complex accommodating mainly elderly residents beyond the Cross Bath to the west.  It is also, by common consent, one of Bath’s outstanding examples of excellence in urban planning and design.  Commercial premises with active frontages are limited to two banks on the south side of the street following normal banking hours.

It would be entirely inappropriate, in our view, to introduce into this sensitive and relatively pristine environment a restaurant with all its potential for noise and disturbance late into the night and early in the morning.

Council Policy

Although the applicant does seek to justify a change of use to A3 in this location in the context of council, and national, policy he does not refer to the council’s obligation to consider the impact on the amenity of local residents in considering such changes, neither has he informed or consulted residents we have spoken to who live in the immediate area.  The council has various Retained Policies from the 2007 Local Plan which do address such concerns where planning applications are being considered.  These include Policies S6, S7 and D2f which states: ‘Development will only be permitted if it will not cause significant harm to the amenities of existing or proposed occupiers of, or visitors to, residential or other sensitive premises by reason of loss of light or increased overlooking, noise, smell, traffic or other disturbances’.


We conclude that it would be consistent with council policy to refuse this application.

However, should the council be minded to grant consent for a change of use we ask that conditions be imposed on any subsequent development that would provide that the premises may not come into use until proposals have been submitted to and approved by the Local Planning Authority in at least the following areas

Ventilation, including the elimination of cooking smells.

The storage of waste, especially bottles, within the premises and the disposal of waste in a manner which is not harmful to local residents.

Use of the pavement for tables and chairs to be prevented.

Monday, 26 September 2016

Bath Universities and Residents

Bath's Universities are an important part of Bath's economy.

The students they attract are a significate and, for the most part welcome, part of our community and student organisations go to some effort to liaise with and reach out to the non-student population.

However, the Universities themselves have a much less good record when it comes to reaching out to the residents of our city, hearing our concerns and consulting with us about their plans for growth and development,

We are seeing a marked increase in student accommodation in the city centre but have little consistent and authoritive information about plans for future growth from either the Universities themselves or BANES.

Many other University towns have developed a town vs gown culture which is damaging to both parties. We are anxious that this should not become the case in Bath but a cursory glance at online message boards and social media show that the early symptoms are already there.

We believe it is important that BANEs our local MP and the Universities themselves start to take this issue more seriously and engage in creating and consulting on a plan for managing the situation.