Planning update, January 2018

The Hignett Family Trust and Bloor Homes have submitted revised plans for a new neighbourhood on land at Odd Down in Bath. The proposals continue to aim to deliver Phase One of the wider Sulis Down Masterplan, which will now provide 171 much needed new homes to the local area. The amended application documents can still be viewed and commented on by visiting B&NES Planning Applications and entering the reference: 17/02588/EFUL.

Planning update, June 2017

The Hignett Family Trust and Bloor Homes have submitted plans for a new neighbourhood on land at Odd Down in Bath. The proposals aim to deliver Phase One of the wider Sulis Down Masterplan, which will provide 173 much needed new homes to the local area. The application can now be viewed and commented on by visiting B&NES Planning Applications and entering the reference: 17/02588/EFUL .

If required, you can download high res versions of the documents from the BANES website here.

Planning update, September 2016

The Hignett Family Trust and Bloor Homes have been developing proposals for new homes at Sulis Down (land at Odd Down) since 2014. Sulis Down is allocated in the B&NES Core Strategy dated July 2014 for “around 300 dwellings”

During 2014 and 2015 The Hignett Family Trust and Bloor homes undertook a series of public consultation events in order to guide the proposals. The local community was consulted through a number of public exhibitions and community workshops, with over 150 people providing feedback at the first exhibition alone.

After careful consideration of the consultation responses, 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 reflect current planning policies for the site. It is their intention to focus initially on preparing a detailed planning application for the western part of Sulis Down only and 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.

Planning update, March 2016

We appreciate that residents are keen for an update, please bear with us while we continue to work through the masterplanning process. Local comments have been at the forefront of our minds when considering how best to proceed. There is an acute need for homes in Bath, but we are keen to ensure that our plans can offer a way to deliver homes in an appropriate way for the setting.

Update: Inset plans

The Comprehensive Masterplans Option A and Option  B refer to inset plans in respect of Odd Down Football Club and Sulis Manor. The details set out below, including the text, should be read alongside the inset plans.

Sulis Manor site options

Click to download the Sulis Manor site Access & Development options

Option 1: the access to the Sulis Down development from Coombe Hay Lane in the west bends north and joins up with a widened Burnt House Road, north of the tree belt, before moving south into the eastern part of the Sulis Down development site. This option has least impact on the Sulis Manor site, makes the most efficient use of the existing road layout and provides an option of at least some residents in Sulis Meadows using this route as a way in and out of their estate.

Option 2: the access to the Sulis Down development from Coome Hay Lane in the west bends north and runs parallel to Burnt House Road, to the south of the roadside tree belt. There would be no vehicular connection between the Sulis Meadows estate and the Sulis Manor/Sulis Down developments.

Option 3: the access to the Sulis Down development from Coome Hay Lane in the west passes through Sulis Manor to the north of the existing Manor House.  There would be no vehicular connection between the Sulis Meadows estate and the Sulis Manor/Sulis Down developments.

We would welcome your views on these options.

Design update, October 2015

The Hignett Family Trust and Bloor Homes are pleased to announce the appointment of Ben Pentreath to lead the design of the new community at Sulis Down.

His practice is working on some of the most important traditionally-planned urban developments in the country, including Poundbury for the Duchy of Cornwall, Knockroon for the Dumfries House Trust, the Coed Darcy development in South Wales for BP, and Tornagrain, a new community of 5000 dwellings near Inverness, for the Earl of Moray. He has designed the key public building in London’s Chelsea Barracks development.

Ben is a renowned expert on classical and traditional architecture and his practice works on houses and development schemes across the UK.

Consultation event update, October 2015

The next stage of public consultation for the proposal for new homes at Sulis Down will be an exhibition which will take place on Monday 9th November between 4pm and 8pm at the School Hall, St Gregory’s School.

Please feel free to attend at any point during the exhibition.

We will also mirror the exhibition on the website to allow those unable to attend to see the lastest plans and leave their comments.

Archaeological work update, September 2015

Archaeological work at Sulis Down began on Monday. It entails some shallow investigations at a sub soil level and will last for approximately 10 days. We do not anticipate this causing any disruption to neighbouring areas. Initially the focus will be to the west of Sulis Manor and then progress eastwards.

The working is being carried out by Cotswold Archaeology as part of the pre-planning application process. 

While the work being undertaken is being carried out with great care and only involve shallow excavations we would encourage anyone walking through the site to use the footpaths.

September update, 2015

This note is an Autumn 2015 update on the masterplanning process in relation to Sulis Down, Policy B3A. It is prepared on behalf of the Hignett Family Trust and Bloor Homes, however comments from Odd Down Football Club and Sulis Manor have been included where possible. Since the public participation stage earlier this year, we have met with officers of Bath and North East Somerset Council and with Natural England. In May, the landowners attended a workshop organised by the Council and tabled updated survey information, including Constraints and Opportunities Plans for Sulis Down. A schedule of issues and actions was circulated by the Council and since then landowners have been gathering further evidence to support the masterplan. An early draft of a Masterplan was prepared following the workshop and circulated to the Council, Natural England and to the other landowners.


Draft Masterplan version D

Sulis Down Masterplan version D is set out on the website and is the result of the public consultation exercise and the first workshop with officers of the Council. The masterplan shows the mapping of constraints and opportunities at a suitable scale, having regard to Policy B3A. This plan is ‘work in progress’ and is now subject to further site assessments and to capacity testing. The Council has not yet been formally consulted on the draft masterplan or had the opportunity to comment on the document.

The Masterplan version D shows the general land uses within the area allocated in the Core Strategy for residential led mixed-use development. The total allocation amounts to approximately 33 hectares however the potential residential footprint, as shown within the red line on the plan, amounts to about 50% of the allocation. The location of additional local employment, to be delivered through the conversion and redevelopment of farm buildings at Sulis Down Business Village, is shaded blue on
the plan. 

Proposed residential areas are defined on the plan by reference to the current landownership, although specific reference is made in the Council’s Placemaking Principles No. 6 & 10 to the treatment of the two smaller areas.

Access from the west, is shown via Combe Hay Lane across the field known as Derryman’s, which remains in the Green Belt. Potential connectivity through Sulis Manor, as shown on the plan, is still subject to on-going site assessment, in particular the impact on trees, ecology and Sulis Manor itself. Various options are being considered, including alternatives to a primary vehicular route through Sulis Manor including possible access from Sulis Meadows or an access to the East. Access to Sulis Down Business Village is shown from the east, via South Stoke Lane. These options have yet to be shared with
the Council.


Site Assessments

The list below sets out the assessments currently commissioned and underway at Sulis Down:

  •     Landscape and Visual assessment  
  •     Ecology assessment 
  •     Lighting assessment 
  •     Land stability
  •     Heritage Assessment 
  •     Tree Assessment 
  •     Highway Assessment 
  •     Recreational Assessment
  •     Educational Assessment 
  •     Urban Design  

The results of these assessments will be reported to officers of the Council and included within the Comprehensive Masterplan to be placed before the Council.


Capacity Testing

The Council’s Placemaking Principle 1 sets the broad parameters for development at Sulis Down, that is

“residential led mixed use development (to include 40% affordable housing) of around 300 dwellings, in the plan period. The site should be developed at an average density of 35-40dph. The figure of 300 dwellings is not a cap on development if all the Placemaking Principles can be met”.

This next stage of the workshop with officers will consider capacity testing of the broad allocation areas shown on Masterplan version D, to establish the optimum capacity of the site, having regard to recommended density requirements, the constraints and opportunities and meeting the Placemaking Principles.  

The actual capacity will in part, depend upon the decisions of each landowner now and in the future and therefore the approach to capacity testing here, is to test alternative scenarios, but to assume that each landowner will in turn, seek to optimise the capacity of their property. This will test the robustness of the masterplan and the impact of alternative scales of development.  It is realistic to anticipate that such capacity testing will involve assessing scenarios that include a scale of residential development significantly greater than 300 dwellings.

The results of the capacity testing and the conclusions from the 2nd officer workshop will be reported during a forthcoming round of public consultation.

August update, 2015

Following our January consultation event we have been in workshop sessions with Bath & North East Somerset officers to progress the Comprehensive Masterplan, as well as continuing to commission site assessment work across the whole of the Sulis Down. 

This has involved a considerable amount of further work and consequently the masterplan process is likely to reach a conclusion towards the end of the year. We continue to work closely with Sulis Manor and Odd Down Football Club as part of the on-going assessment work.   

A constraints and opportunities plan together with a working draft of the Comprehensive Masterplan has emerged from the first workshop session, which will be put on our website soon. It should be emphasised that this is still work in progress and that at least one further workshop is scheduled with Council officers and with statutory agencies. Following this process, we shall reconvene a further public exhibition of our work and the emerging masterplan.  Much of this work follows the Placemaking Principles that are linked to the planning policy for Sulis Down, with the intention that in preparing the Comprehensive Masterplan, a full understanding of the potential impacts is reached and steps taken to avoid, reduce or mitigate such impacts.

There are a considerable number of technical surveys taking place on Sulis Down and these will continue into the autumn, following completion of the harvest. These include specific shallow trenching, as part of the archaeological assessment; a comprehensive suite of ecological surveys ; a light survey; and geotechnical and stability work. My intention is to give you further information of these surveys as they arise however, please note that on the 14th & 15th of August the floodlights at the Odd Down Football Club ground will be switched on from 20:30-00:30. We apologise for any disruption this may cause however we need to undertake a comprehensive light survey of Sulis Down including existing sources of light.