Issue - meetings

Development Update: Land to rear of 89 – 123 Englishcombe Lane, Southdown, Bath.

Meeting: 10/11/2022 - Cabinet (Item 45)

45 Development Update: Land to rear of 89 – 123 Englishcombe Lane, Southdown, Bath. pdf icon PDF 415 KB

As part of the B&NES Homes development programme officers were tasked with investigating whether a smaller scheme could be developed that provides local community housing whilst being sympathetic and supportive to the existing site ecology.  Following concept design, option appraisal and initial business case the attached report proposes such a scheme for further detailed development work.


Additional documents:


(Note: At this point Cllr Dine Romero left the meeting having declared a registerable pecuniary interest in this item).


Cllr Tom Davies introduced the report and made the following statement:


“I am pleased to be proposing this paper which provides an update on the development of the land off Englishcombe Lane - as, in my mind, this project exemplifies so much that this administration believes in.


Firstly - that we are a listening Council - like many of us here, a number of residents had grave concerns about the previous development which had been proposed for this land - whilst delivering 14 affordable homes, the 37-home scheme which had been previously approved by the planning committee had, in the minds of many of us, too much risk - not least of all to the sensitive ecology of the site.


This Lib Dem administration listened to these concerns and acted on them with Cllr Guy making the commitment to not pursue this previous application.


Instead, we looked again at the site - and put front and centre two of our core principles - that of Improving People’s Lives and Tackling the Climate & Ecological Emergency.


Be in no doubt - this proposed development has the potential to immeasurably improve people’s lives. As the paper makes clear, we have a significant under supply of supported living provision in our area - especially for some of our residents with learning difficulties and/or autism.


As a result, there is an increased risk that we as a local authority can only provide the support needed through residential care outside of the Bath and North East Somerset Area - thereby placing significant additional pressure on the individual, their families and of course increasing the costs to the Council.

And so, bringing forward this proposal to use the land off Englishcombe Lane to provide a smaller, bespoke development to support 16 residents with learning difficulties is something which I believe we should be proud of as we seek to directly improve the lives of residents in our area.


Indeed, it is just the latest example of how this LibDem administration is determined to play a leading role in the delivery of appropriate and affordable homes under our new B&NES Homes programme. It follows on from the delivery of other supported housing schemes delivered in recent months and, later this winter, the opening of our first general needs Council Houses for a generation.


Furthermore - rather than seeing the ecology of the area as a liability - one to be literally transplanted to another area - we have sought to use it as the asset that it is - an asset which, through this development, will be protected and enhanced for the benefit of us all - not least of all the new residents and thereby through this we stand firm to our commitment to the Climate & Ecological Emergency.


The paper details a number of ways in which we will seek to meet these commitments - from the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 45