Latest News

Hello from Lisa

Welcome to Latest News from the Development Directorate.  

Development Management performance against government targets continues to improve against a backdrop of ever increasing application numbers and we will be updating the figures we publish on the website once we get to the end of this financial year.  

Building Control have held their annual awards, full details below.

The ground-breaking WaterSpace Study has been nominated for two RTPI awards.  We will keep you updated with the results.

The Council's Planning Policy programme continues apace with more details below.

We are seeking your views and thoughts about how we might develop our website and possible use of social media in the future so if you have responded to our survey, we are very grateful.

Lisa Bartlett

Divisional Director - Development

50 Years - Bath Conservation Area

Developing a conservation area character appraisal for Bath Conservation Area

Bath today has one city wide conservation area which covers 1486 hectares and is home to about 50,000 people. The conservation area includes the city’s unique and much celebrated heritage, but it also encompasses less well known areas which have a range of different characteristics.

Bath’s conservation area was first designated in 1968, following the introduction of the Civic Amenities Act in 1967. It was one of the first six to be designated in the country.  The conservation area was enlarged in 1973, extended again in 1975, 1985 and most recently in 2002.  These extensions responded to changing conservation views about what was considered to be architecturally and historically important as well as ongoing changes in planning controls.  The importance of the area and its surrounds was further recognised by its inscription as a World Heritage Site in 1987.  The conservation area today is recognised but despite its longevity there has never been a complete character appraisal of the whole area.

The conservation area will soon celebrate 50 years of designation and it seems fitting to celebrate this by raising awareness of ongoing work to develop a full and comprehensive character appraisal for the conservation area to better understand all aspects of its importance and to support its ongoing and future management.

The work to complete a character assessment for the city wide conservation area is being developed by B&NES Council with input from heritage experts and the Bath Preservation Trust. There will be further opportunity for the public and local people who are familiar with the heritage of their neighbourhood to review the work and have an input through public participation and consultation.

You can read the briefing report attached (Conservation Area website copy).

Would you like to get involved?  We would value input in drafting the character appraisals for the remaining character areas. If you have a heritage interest and knowledge and are interested in helping with this then please get in touch with:

Joanna Robinson, Bath Preservation Trust; or
Paula Freeland, Bath and North East Somerset Council

As part of this year’s Civic Day celebrations on 17 June Bath Preservation Trust would like to invite anyone interested to come to a guided walk around one of the character areas Lower Lansdown and Camden where they will identify and talk about the matters that the character appraisal will address.

Please see the Bath Preservation Trust website at for more information.

Building Control Awards for - Building and Design Quality 2016Building Control Awards 2016

The awards are designed to promote and reward builders and designers undertaking work within the Bath and North East Somerset area who excel in their achievements.

The awards were presented by Ashley Ayre B&NES’s Chief Executive, Elaine Marson, Chairman of the Bath Stone Group, who sponsor the awards and the Vice Chairman of Bath & North East Somerset Council, Councillor Cherry Beath. Philip Mansfield, Building Control Manager for Bath & North East Somerset Council introduced the winners and gave feedback from the judges.

Council Executive Member, Cllr Liz Richardson said “This is the seventeenth year Bath & North East Somerset Council, Building Control has run the awards and once again the judges have been impressed by the good number of high quality nominations. The winners cover the wide range of quality work undertaken in our area from small domestic extensions to larger commercial schemes and works to listed buildings.”

“It is really good that the Building Control section can use this scheme to promote high quality in building construction and design in our area and I would like to congratulate the winners of this year’s awards for their high quality work.”

“We would also like to thank the Bath Stone Group once again for kindly sponsoring this year’s awards.”

The winners of the awards received an inscribed Bath Aqua glass bowl and framed certificate.

Winners from these awards will be entered into the regional Local Authority Building Control (LABC) Building Excellence awards and possibly then into the national LABC Building Excellence awards.

A list of the winning schemes can be found here:-

Land Charges revised fees

Due to a requirement from HMRC, local authorities are required to charge vat on the Con29 part of the land charges. Our charges will be changing from 1st April 2017. Details of the new charges can be found on the Land Charges web pages at:-

The Placemaking Plan

The Examination Hearings Sessions have finished and the independent Planning Inspector has issued her Interim Findings on the submitted Placemaking Plan and has also confirmed to the Council the Main Modifications required to make the Plan sound. The Main Modifications and Minor Proposed Changes have been the subject of public consultation. Schedules of comments received are available on the Examination webpage and have been forwarded to the Inspector for her consideration. The Inspector’s final report is expected later in spring 2017. It is hoped that the final and agreed Placemaking Plan can be adopted soon after, and with the Core Strategy it will complete the Local Plan for Bath & North East Somerset, replacing the previous version adopted in 2007.

Local Plan 2016-2036 (formerly known as the Core Strategy Review)

During the Examination of the Core Strategy the Council agreed to review the Core Strategy to ensure that its policies and plans are still fit for purpose.  A consultation on the scope of the review ended on 19th December 2016. A schedule of the comments received has been published on the website.

The Core Strategy will be reviewed through preparation of the Local Plan which will formally combine the Core Strategy and Placemaking Plan into one plan. It will identify and allocate development opportunities, including strategic sites at locations identified in the Joint Spatial Plan (see below).  Preparation of the Local Plan also provides an opportunity to look again at other policy areas such as renewable energy targets and what infrastructure is needed to support additional development.  The Local Plan will be progressed alongside work on the Joint Spatial Plan, with an Options document anticipated to be published for consultation autumn 2017.

The Joint Spatial Plan

The Joint Spatial Plan and Transport Study is being prepared by the 4 West of England Authorities to cover their combined area of Bath and North East Somerset, Bristol City, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Councils.  The plan will provide a new strategic planning context for all four West of England areas including Bath & North East Somerset.  It will set the revised housing numbers for Bath & North East Somerset and an affordable housing target up to 2036. A consultation on the preparation of the Joint Spatial Plan and Joint Transport Study closed on 19th December. The comments received will be published later this spring.

Neighbourhood Planning Update

Chew Valley Area has passed its Neighbourhood Planning Examination and community referendum. The Council’s Cabinet will consider a report to ‘make’ the Neighbourhood Plan at its April meeting. The Publow with Pensford Neighbourhood Plan has also passed its Examination and a community referendum is due to take place in May 2017.  Finally, a number of other groups are nearing completion of their draft plans.  News to follow.  Further information can be found on our Neighbourhood Planning web page.

An interactive map has been created to help people see which areas have or are developing Neighbourhood Plans.  The map enables quick access to the plans and relevant websites, and is available on the Council’s Services in Your Area.  It will be regularly updated to ensure you have easy access to the latest information.

More information at:- 

Houses in Multiple Occupation

The Council has started work on reviewing its Housing in Multiple Occupation (HMO) in Bath SPD. The SPD applies to the whole of Bath and seeks to limit the concentration of HMOs in parts of the city. Further information is available on the website. A draft of the revised SPD will be published for consultation later this year.

WaterSpace Study Shortlisted for RTPI Award

RTPI Awards 2017 logo

The WaterSpace project’s innovative approach has led to the project being a finalist in both the Royal Town Planning Institute’s Regional and National Planning Excellence Awards, 2017, in the categories of Spatial Planning and the Natural Environment respectively!

We are due to publish the draft WaterSpace Study for public consultation at the end of March 2017. The Study together with the technical appendices and background evidence will be available on the following webpage:  Let us know what you think!

Bathscape update

The Bathscape Landscape Partnership Scheme gets underway with Dan Merrett, Bathscape Development Manager and Lucy Bartlett, Bathscape Community and Access Officer now in post.

Awarded a Heritage Lottery Fund development grant in November 2016, Bathscape aims to connect people and communities with Bath’s unique landscape.

Over the next few months Dan and Lucy will be out and about discussing Bathscape projects with potential delivery partners to prepare a costed delivery programme to submit to HLF in June 2018.

Whilst the ‘on the ground’ activity will take place 2018 – 2023 , subject to HLF approval of the Round 2 HLF application, there will be pilots to test ideas during 2017/2018. These include Nature Watch sessions, an outdoor learning site, and a Bathscape Walking Festival that will take place 16th- 24th September 2017.

Further information can be found on our web page:  

You can contact the Bathscape team via email:

Fond Farewells

Nicola Winstone - Technical Support Officer


Kaoru Jacques - Senior Policy Officer (Promotion)

Samantha Mason - Planning Officer (Permanent)

New Faces

Dan Merrett - Bathscape Development Manager

Lucy Bartlett - Bathscape Community & Access Officer

Last updated: March 2017

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