Quays North regeneration key to Bath’s economic ambitions, says council as plans go in for approval

January 12, 2018

Bath’s ambitious Quays North development, which could create up to 1,900 jobs in 270,000 sq ft of much-needed new office space, has been submitted for outline planning approval.

The scheme near Churchill Bridge is a key part of Bath & North East Somerset Council’s (B&NES) flagship riverside regeneration project, which also includes the Quays South development. 

Redevelopment of the whole site, pictured, would give Bath a showpiece office park capable of attracting leading-edge employers in the burgeoning tech and creative sectors to the city.

It would also offer grow-on space for expanding firms in the city, helping stem the tide of businesses that have left Bath over recent years due to a lack of prime office space.

The council, which has yet to name a developer for the 2.2-hectare Quays North scheme, has developed a Masterplan for the site that includes up a minimum of 70 new homes for local people, a new 485-space underground car park, public open spaces and 48,000 sq ft of waterfront cafes and restaurants.

The council gathered feedback on the scheme before submitting the outline planning application through a series of public events and an online consultation last November.  

B&NES cabinet member for economic & community regeneration Cllr Paul Myers said: “The Bath Quays project is a key part of our wider vision of creating a vibrant, prosperous city with flourishing local businesses, job opportunities for our residents, and new homes for people to live. 

“Bath Quays would meet the needs of Bath’s successful local business community who wish to expand, as well as encourage others to move to the area, bringing with them higher-wage jobs, investment and economic growth for the city.

“This would help to provide more opportunities for our residents and young people, especially in Bath’s successful high tech, creative, financial and professional sectors. In addition, an increase in business rates income would support frontline Council services.”

Work on a high-quality office block at Bath Quays South alongside the historic Newark Works building is due to begin within the next few months along with a new pedestrian and cycle bridge over the Avon between Churchill Bridge and Green Park.

The Quays South scheme, which is being developed by the council with regeneration specialists TCN, received planning consent last May despite the 11th-hour withdrawal of key partner defence consultancy BMT, which has an office on the site and had planned to build a new HQ on it.

The plans for Bath Quays North are in line with the council’s aspiration to encouraging greater use of sustainable transport such as bikes, buses and trains and park-and-ride sites to reduce traffic levels and improve air quality.

Its location near the bus and train stations and on the cycle path will maximise the opportunity for sustainable travel, the council said. Cycling will be encouraged further with cycle storage and changing facilities provided for people living and working at Bath Quays North.  

The proposed layout of the site will reinstate the historic street pattern with pedestrianised squares and shared cycle routes linking the new Bath Quays Bridge and river path to the rest of the city.

Below: Illustration of the Bath Quays North masterplan. Click on image to enlarge

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