The latest proposals to redevelop a former Ministry of Defence site in Bath have been approved after earlier fears for the World Heritage Site were addressed.
Curo now has planning permission for the next phase of its Mulberry Park scheme in Foxhill, which will deliver another 78 properties and 500 sqm of commercial space.
The housing association secured outline approval in March 2015 for up to 700 homes and a new 210-space primary school and construction work is already underway.
The original version of the latest application proposed 96 homes in blocks up to five storeys high, which prompted concerns for the World Heritage Site.
The Bath Preservation Trust objected on the grounds that the development would introduce a “hard urban edge to the skyline”.
UNESCO, which designated the World Heritage Site status, worried that the scheme would set a precedent for development, while the National Trust was concerned about light pollution from the properties.
A Curo spokesperson said: “The current approved planning application has been through an extended process of revisions since its original submission and has been amended to incorporate as much as possible from our stakeholders’ feedback – this included a reduction in height of the central apartment buildings from five storeys down to four storeys as well as a number of other refinements to the roofline of the building and parking areas.”
The development will provide a mix of one and two bedroom apartments for sale or the social rented sector, and 13 four-bed townhouses.
The initial scheme had proposed 19 per cent affordable housing, but this was later increased to 22 per cent.
Approving the plans, Bath and North East Somerset Council planning officers accepted the numbers could be made up elsewhere.
They said: “The percentage of affordable housing can be easily made up in phase four of the development, which has yet to receive planning permission.”
The Curo spokesperson added: “Within the three phases at Mulberry Park which now have reserved matters approved, of the overall total of 523 homes a total of 161, or 30.7 per cent, will be affordable housing, consisting of a mix of social rent and shared ownership.”
The planning officers said some harm to the World Heritage Site was anticipated by the outline application.
They said buildings five storeys high would have caused it “significant” harm and the reduction in height was a clear improvement.
Stephen Sumner, Local Democracy Reporter