Baskervilles Gym have applied for planning permission to extend their building and put a new car park on part of the Moorlands Recreation Ground. Follow this link to view the application.
We know that Baskervilles is popular and successful family business which provides excellent sporting opportunities to the people of Bath and beyond.
Over the past weeks Will and Shaun have meet with Baskervilles, the Friends of Moorlands Park and other members of the community to discuss the application. We have also received numerous emails from people supporting the application and objecting to it.
Having carefully considered all views, we have recommended to Baskervilles that they withdraw their planning application.
We should be clear that we do not object to the principle of an extension to the gym building. As the applicant is aware, taking an area of parkland to create a new car park is not acceptable due to existing planning policy.
It is our view that no matter how good a facility Baskervilles provides, it does not justify taking away part of a public park to reserve it for just a few Baskervilles customers who chose to drive to the site.
We have encouraged Baskervilles to develop a better planning application and have made the following suggestions to them:
– Enter discussions with the School to seek to make use of their adjacent hard standing for parking outside school hours. This may present an opportunity to enhance the school playground and facilities there, and provide you with additional parking on brown field land.
– Open dialogue with the Friends of Moorlands Park and the Management Committee of Englishcombe Court to understand what a successful planning application would look like for them.
– Draw up new plans and make a pre-application to the Council. You will benefit from the professional advice of planning officers who can help you formulate an application which has a greater chance of success.
– Consider formalising a concession scheme for members of the local community who live within a certain distance of the park – say 500 metres, or those who walk or cycle to the site.
– Consider in a new application opening your cafe to all members of the pubic and not just your members. This would help put the site at the heart of the local community.
– Consider providing park and ride minibus service options for your out of town customers from existing park and ride facilities in the city.
Cllr Will Sandry | Cllr Shaun Stephenson-McGall