FoBRA, the Federation of Bath Residents’ Associations has criticised future plans by the Council for development across the city.
In detailed comments sent to the Council on the launch version of its Placemaking Plan, Henry Brown, Chairman of FoBRA, said:
“FoBRA is keen to see planning principles laid down area by area, but the launch document on placemaking, although a helpful start, has serious omissions.
“Given the string of development sites in Bath along the river corridor, we are disappointed that there is no clear vision as to what the city itself should be like. There is much talk about neighbourhoods in different parts of the district, but no sense that the centre of Bath should be considered as a vitally important neighbourhood in its own right.
“There are incidental references in the document to traffic and transport, but almost none to the problem of air pollution caused by excessive traffic levels in the city. This pollution is damaging people’s health, and the Council should be making it a top planning priority to promote sustainable alternatives to the private car, to tip the balance in parking towards Park & Ride, and to get through traffic out of Bath.
“We should like to see a much stronger encouragement to use brownfield sites before greenfield for developments of all kinds – residential, business and academic.
“We think the Council should lay down minimum space standards for housing, as still apply in London.
“We are worried that plans to consult stakeholders in Bath remain vague, whereas town and parish councils were given a dedicated workshop several months ago. This highlights the ongoing democratic deficit in the city.”
The Federation of Bath Residents’ Associations represents some 27 separate groups in central and outer areas of Bath. Its planning sub-committee keeps an eye on planning policy developments, as well as major planning applications in the city.