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Aerial shot of the campus
Aerial shot of the campus

Internal News - 17 May 2006

B&NES Local Plan - Green Belt boundary

The Inspector appointed to consider objections to the Bath and North East Somerset Local Plan is recommending the Green Belt boundary should be substantially amended where it runs through the University campus at Claverton Down.

The University welcomes this recommendation and notes that the Inspector has accepted fully the logic and strength of the argument for moving the existing boundary.

The Inspector’s recommendation would remove the anomaly where part of the boundary runs through the middle of existing buildings at the Sports Training Village, and through playing fields that pre-date the University and are of neither scenic interest nor of biodiversity importance. The new boundary would be in the more obvious location where the University campus adjoins the neighbouring fields.

The Inspector also recommends that the tennis courts situated alongside Norwood Avenue be removed from the designated Green Belt.

However, the University regrets that the Inspector did not accept the full proposal, which would also have removed another existing playing field, St John’s Field, from the Green Belt. If Bath and North East Somerset Council (B&NES) accepts this recommendation, it will constrain future development of the Claverton campus and the University will still have to seek other development opportunities.

Thirdly, the University welcomes the Inspector’s advice about zones for development within the Claverton campus and the indication that these zones could be developed more intensively than B&NES has agreed previously would be permissible. Zones for possible further development include "some currently undeveloped land at the western end of the campus between the Chemistry Building and Quarry Road" and " a series of spaces stretching southwards from the remaining undeveloped area of land to the south of Eastwood, through the car park and bus arrival area to the raised planted bank opposite the Sports Institute and further land to the south of that building".

Currently, there are 52 acres of land within the Green Belt on campus; this forms about 15 per cent of the total area of the Claverton campus.

Continued development at the Claverton campus is vital if the University is to maintain its position in the top ten Higher Education institutions in the UK. To do so, it needs certainty that, in principle, land within the University campus can be developed for teaching and research of the highest quality.

Development is also needed to meet the demands of today’s students; in particular the University wishes to accommodate a higher proportion of students on campus and, hence, both relieve pressure on housing stock elsewhere in the City of Bath and reduce traffic congestion caused by the need for students to travel across the city each morning and evening. In due course, the University hopes to accommodate a further 2,000 students on campus at Claverton Down.

All proposals to construct specific buildings will need public consultation and planning permission from B&NES in the normal way, in accordance with the statutory planning processes.