Sweet smell of success with planning approval for Bath hotel and spa
At the second time of asking, Fragrance UK – Bath Ltd. has had the green light for the regeneration of Bath’s former Royal Mineral Water Hospital. PEP were the highway consultants on the project and prepared the Transport Statement and Travel Plan.
None of the reasons for refusal the first time related to highways or transport. The second Transport Statement followed the same approach as the previously agreed Transport Statement.
Bath and North East Somerset Council’s Planning Committee went on to approve the project in August 2021. The plans set out the transformation of the site into a luxury 160-bed hotel with spa facilities, meeting spaces and outdoor green spaces. As well as delivering the rejuvenation of the Grade II listed building, the project was seen as an economic boost for Bath as part of the city’s post-COVID economic recovery, investing approximately £35m into the local economy and creating up to 120 new jobs.
Fragrance UK’s plans for the heritage site will also support biodiversity through a range of planting as well as using green walls and roofs to boost the site’s sustainability credentials. Roman mosaics and other archaeological finds from the site are being retained to put on display in the future.
The design team for the Fragrance UK’s revised proposals was led by award winning Bath-based architects Aaron Evans Architects.
The 71-page Travel Statement produced by PEP appraised accessibility by means of transport other than the car; site access and layout review; parking provision; effect of development traffic; a road safety review; provision for servicing; and consistency with policy.
The adoption and promotion of a Travel Plan for the hotel would encourage the use of sustainable travel modes including walking, cycling and public transport use for staff, guests and other visitors.
The hotel would not have car parking and PEP successfully justified this together with the pick-up and drop-off, servicing and delivery arrangements, which are constrained in this city centre site. For both applications PEP also provided advice to the design teams on the cycle parking and contributed to the strategy for the public realm outside the site.
The council agreed with PEP that there were no highways or transport reasons to refuse the proposed development.
A future Construction Management Plan (CMP) will be developed and submitted in consultation with the Local Planning Authority.