Housebuilder moves into South West market by acquiring ‘extremely sensitive’ Bath site

April 14, 2021

One of the UK’s largest housing developers has acquired a high-profile 16.4-acre site on the edge of Bath to build 171 homes.

Sulis Down, off Combe Hay Lane, Odd Down, was bought by Countryside from previous owners the Hignett Family Trust and Bloor Homes, which secured planning permission for the site in 2019. 

The development will be the Essex-headquartered firm’s first in the South West. Countryside, the UK’s leading mixed-tenure developer, said 40% of the homes it plans for Sulis Down will be affordable. Construction is due to begin this summer.

The homes will be designed sensitively with natural Bath stone, pictured, and offer a range of two-bedroom apartments, two and three-bedroom flats over garages and three, four and five-bedroom houses with, what Countryside called, state-of-the-art features and impressive architecture.

Countryside has retained renowned architect Ben Pentreath – who worked with the previous owners and described the site as ‘extremely sensitive’ - with the properties designed in the Arts and Crafts vernacular.

The landscaping of the development will reflect its picturesque surroundings with open space, to be known as The Green, running through the heart of the neighbourhood.

Countryside said Sulis Down residents would be able to get to Bath city centre easily as the development is close to the Odd Down Park and Ride moments while shops, pubs and other amenities are within walking distance. 

Countryside partnerships South West managing director Darren Dancey said: “We are extremely proud to have acquired the exemplar Sulis Down development in the city of Bath.

“The flagship scheme will bring much-needed high-quality homes to a stunning location on the southern edge of this historic city and we are now looking forward to commencing construction in the summer.

“This is testament to our commitment to the area. As a business, delivering sustainable communities that people love is etched in our DNA, and this a key stepping-stone in our ambitions for the South West region.”

The Bristol office of Savills acted as the selling agent on the site, securing the freehold sale to Countryside following an informal tender process on the open market.

Savills South West development team head Julian Harbottle added: “Sulis Down represents an exceptional development opportunity within Bath’s well-established residential market where demand for quality homes is high. It is an exemplar in terms of architecture, material quality and placemaking attributes.

“Countryside has an excellent track record in the delivery of high-calibre development with a focus on sustainability, and is committed to implementing the consented scheme, a notable 40% of which will be affordable  homes.

Countrywide has more than 60 years’ experience and in the year to September 2020 built 4,053 homes – 3,213 of them through its partnerships division and 840 through its housebuilding division, with a mix of private for sale, PRS (Private Rented Sector) and affordable homes.


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