It is important
to realise the opportunities for the proposed community, the site’s assets can be used to bring identity to it just as Bath’s 18th Century developers achieved.
Specialists have looked in detail at matters such as archaeology, ecology, history, arboriculture, ground conditions, drainage, access and movement, and wildlife. In addition to this technical evidence we are also very keen to understand the thoughts and ideas of the local community.
We realise that to understand the factors, physical and social which should influence the form development takes, we need to listen carefully to local people as well as the technical specialists.
It is also important to realise the opportunities for the proposed community. This might be through its convenience to public transport routes and local employers, or how the site’s assets such as historical features and views can be used to bring identity and place to it just as Bath’s 18th Century builder/developers achieved.
A Conversation with the Community
It is now common practice for planning applications to be put on display for public comment prior to submission, but at Sulis Down the approach is more comprehensive. Starting in November 2014 a three stage public consultation allowed us to really look in depth at
November 2014, First Public Exhibition: The purpose of this first exhibition was to explain the process, the vision for the site and gain an understanding of local thoughts. The Placemaking Principles which were adopted in the BANES Core Strategy formed the spine of the discussion. Feedback from the public was then used to shape the initial guiding principles for discussion.
January 2015, Planning Workshops: The planning workshops brought together local residents, councillors and interest groups to look in depth at the Placemaking Principles and points raised at the first public exhibition. Following the workshops, work has begun on the comprehensive masterplan and there will be considerable discussion between the Sulis Down project team and Planning Officers at BANES.
In November 2015 a further consultation session was held including an exhibition, online engagement and a brochure. The proposals included two masterplan options for the site, an update on the surveys and studies undertaken and an indication of the architectural style.
Autumn 2016, The Hignett Family Trust and Bloor Homes have decided to undertake a further phase of public consultation that will aim to gauge local views and current plans for the site. It is their intention to focus initially on preparing a detailed planning application for the western part of Sulis Down only. They will be consulting on the plans for the area to the west of Sulis Manor during the Autumn of 2016, with a view to having a planning application ready to submit by early 2017. Once a date has been discussed with B&NES they will write to the community with details of this event.