New plans submitted for Bath’s Western Riverside regeneration area

February 14, 2013

Sainsbury’s has submitted proposals to regenerate Bath Western Riverside East with a development that could create around 1,000 jobs and includes a new foodstore, creative employment and office workspace,  around 280 apartments and townhouses, and a revitalised river frontage.

The supermarket group says the plans will bring a wide range of economic and social benefits to the city, making the riverside area a vibrant community and visitor destination of lasting value. The development will function as a natural extension to the city centre.

Sainsbury’s existing foodstore is proposed to be reconfigured for continued non-food retail use.

Extensive consultation over the past two years with key cultural, heritage, business and resident groups across the city, as well as the local authority, has been critical in shaping the final plans that are being submitted to Bath and North East Somerset Council.

One of the key areas of feedback was the need for an upgrade of the existing east-west pedestrian route across Stanier Bridge to Green Park Station as well as a general improvement of the riverside environment and improving Green Park Station as a cultural and leisure destination for visitors and local residents.

As a result, the final plans incorporate an ecology hub where the bridge and Green Park meet – River Plaza – with terraced riverside landscaping, designed to increase the area’s natural biodiversity.   

The development is also designed to be pedestrian friendly with a new walkway to the river from the station and across to Lower Bristol Road.

The area around the station building could be opened up to encourage creative cultural, leisure, and commercial activities.

Sainsbury’s proposals would also improve the appearance of this important historic listed building which it sees as a priority having been responsible for it as part of the original store development in the 1980s.

Sainsbury’s development manager Michael Adenmosun said: “We are grateful for everyone who has contributed to the consultation process, whether by coming to one of the public meetings or engaging with us direct in one of our smaller focus groups. 

“We have consulted with literally hundreds of individuals, groups and organisations over the past 24 months because we knew how important it was for us to get this scheme right.

“This is a unique opportunity to regenerate a key area of Western Riverside and represents a significant investment in an area of the city that is currently under-used and not fulfilling its economic, cultural and social potential.

“But we were also mindful that Bath is a World Heritage site and that there are many people here who know much more than we do about what would be appropriate in terms of design, landscaping and materials. 

“We’ve also worked with council officers to ensure that the proposals fit with the development aspirations for Bath Western Riverside and the planned expansion of City Centre.  The input we have acquired throughout this process has been invaluable.

“I believe the scheme we now have on the table is one that works aesthetically as well as commercially.”

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