Petition launched against student accommodation plans

A petition has been launched against plans for a 394-bed student accommodation block on the old gasworks site at the junction of Windsor Bridge and the Upper Bristol Road in Bath.

The petition has been organised by the area’s local councillor Chris Pearce (Cons, Kingsmead), in conjunction with Bath MP Ben Howlett, and calls upon the Council to reject the planning application on the grounds that the plans do not meet with the authority’s aspirations for the site as a mixed-use development including housing and employment space. Councillor Pearce has also warned that, if a ‘no car’ rule is not properly enforced on the development, the lack of parking contained within the plans could result in any students with cars parking on nearby streets, exacerbating existing parking problems in the area. 

The petitioners are calling for revised plans to be brought forward that include both affordable homes and a greater number of business units, as well as adequate on-site parking facilities and accompanying traffic improvement measures.

Kingsmead councillor Chris Pearce (Cons) said:

 “Residents I’ve spoken to in the area are strongly opposed to the current plans for this site and are keen to lodge their objections. 

“Residents of course want to see this site redeveloped and brought back into use. It has been left boarded-up and disused for far too long. But it must be in a way that benefits the community, and there’s a strong feeling locally that a better use for this site would be a mixed development that includes affordable homes, family homes and business space.

“A large number of new student blocks have been going up in Kingsmead over recent months, most of which come without adequate parking facilities. Although students in most of these developments are not meant to have cars, any students who do bring a car could end up parking on already crowded residential streets if this rule is not fully enforced. 

“We’re therefore calling on the developer to go back to the drawing board and come back with plans that are more acceptable to the local community and the city more widely.”

Any resident who wants to request copies of the petition to sign should contact Cllr Chris Pearce at chris_pearce@bathnes.gov.uk.