Public to get chance to comment on co-living scheme planned for Regency Laundry site

July 16, 2020

Plans for an innovative co-living scheme on a high-profile site in Bath aimed at young people priced out of the city’s property market are to be available for public consultation.

Developer the Watkin Jones Group had hoped to build student accommodation on the Regency Laundry site in St Peter’s Terrace on Lower Bristol Road. 

But the plans, which includes 189 units, were given a resounding thumbs down during a public consultation exercise earlier this year.

Now the Cardiff-based firm, one of the UK’s leading student accommodation developers, is making its revised plans available for view and comment online.

Co-living has grown in popularity over the past few years as a way young professionals and graduates can rent high-quality accommodation in central locations bit with extensive shared amenities.

Such schemes have become popular in London and have spread to regional cities including Manchester and, more recently, Bristol.

The concept has also proved highly successful for property developers. In the past three years the market has grown significantly, with the number of residents in UK co-living increasing by 201% from 773 to 2,333.

Schemes capable of accommodating a further 8,315 people have also gained planning permission and will be built over the next few years. 

The Watkin Jones Group plans to build 155 studios on the Regency Laundry site – 64 large studios sized at 24 sq m and the remaining at 20 sq m, pictured above.

It said the layouts would be designed to provide separate ‘zones’ for cooking, sleeping, living and the bathroom. The studios would be arranged throughout a main building of three-to-four storeys and a smaller, three-storey building.

Residents will have access to a co-working lounge with a “contemporary design to attract young professionals” and including seating pods for socialising and workstations to allow people to work individually or in groups.

There will also be a communal space to “create a community atmosphere and prevent isolation among residents” and which will include bright and spacious communal kitchens, dining and lounge spaces at all floor levels across the development.

According to the Watkins Jones Group, studies show living or working with like-minded people can potentially reduce the feeling of loneliness that often comes with the isolation of urban living nowadays, and also increases the opportunity of networking with other professionals. 

A Watkin Jones Group spokesman said: “We are looking forward to revealing the new plans for the Regency Laundry site. We would like to thank the people of Bath for engaging in our consultation back in February which we have taken into consideration to deliver this new and revised scheme.

“The scheme will allow people the opportunity to live alongside other professionals in a sought-after location close to the city centre, with excellent bus, rail, cycle and other transport links easily accessible. As a new concept in Bath we anticipate a great deal of interest in this scheme and we look forward to submitting a planning application in due course.”

The plans are available to view and comment on online at until August 3. People are invited to view the proposals and leave their feedback before a planning application is submitted to B&NES Council later in the year. Anyone unable to access the internet can receive hard copies of the consultation materials via post by calling 01225 423400.

The Watkin Jones Group has been behind a number of housing schemes in Bath in recent years including Riverview Court, a prestigious development of 44, one, two and three-bedroom apartments on Victoria Bridge Road, which was completed last year, the 104 student room Depot scheme and Avon Studios, which was completed in 2016 and includes 94 student rooms and 14 build-to-rent rooms.

The Regency Laundry, which currently operates from the site, is expected to relocate to once planning approval has been received for the Watkins Jones Group scheme.


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