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.
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.