Controversial conversion of Bath hospital into hotel approved

Controversial plans to show a historic Bath hospital into a 160-bed hotel have been approved after opposing threats of authorized challenges. The Fragrance Group, which purchased the Royal Mineral Water Hospital in 2018 for £21.5m, warned it will lodge one other enchantment if Bath and North East Somerset Council refused its revised software. Now opponents say the authority might face a judicial assessment after branding the choice illegal and alleging that councillors had been put below strain to approve the scheme – a declare denied by planning committee members. READ MORE: Iconic Bath clothes retailer that was Dame Judi Dench’s favorite shuts for good Following the committee’s determination, Fragrance Group consultant Kevin Murphy confirmed the continued enchantment can be dropped. Addressing members on July 28, he stated the proposals would safe the long-term future of the listed constructing, create 120 jobs and increase Bath’s financial system to the tune of £35m, supporting town’s post-Covid restoration. The software was met with greater than 460 objections and greater than 500 individuals signed an open letter urging the council to “defend our heritage for future generations”. Despite refusing the unique plans, committee members accepted the precept of turning the previous hospital into a hotel. Objector Jane Samson from Bath Campaigns stated: “There are not any important public advantages to this proposal. The advantages are personal and industrial. The improper determination right here might set a really harmful precedent for heritage belongings. Please perceive that if the error shouldn’t be averted the choice shall be challenged in judicial assessment as an error in legislation.” Her colleague John Mountford stated it was “astonishing” for officers say it was not the planning system’s position to intervene out there, regardless of them recognising that Bath doesn’t want any extra hotel lodging. He stated: “The planners are presupposed to make democratic choices that profit all members of our communities. Their job is to protect the character of our stunning metropolis. “Our heritage belongings usually are not money cows when cash is tight.” Another objector stated the developer’s risk of one other enchantment “seems to be like a tactic to place strain on you as choices makers with the menace of a prices award”. Councillor Duncan Hounsell insisted that committee members had not come below strain. He stated: “Certain individuals within the public misunderstand what our position is. We aren’t determination makers you’ll’ve discovered within the Soviet Union. Our solely accountability is to see if the applying is coverage compliant.” Recommending approval, officers stated Fragrance Group had overcome all of the earlier causes for refusal. The plans attracted some notable supporters. Historic England judged that the extent of hurt being brought on had been minimised so far as doable, whereas the Bath Preservation Trust stated the lowered peak, scale and massing meant the scheme was a lot improved. Likewise, the Abbey Residents’ Association concluded that the builders had made a “critical try” to handle the problems and provide you with a “moderately convincing answer”. Councillor Paul Crossley added: “The solely good final result is one you agree with so that you’re all the time going to upset individuals by some means, significantly with a controversial one like this. “I’ve been actually upset to listen to the implications of malpractice occurring right here. “I believe what we have is a extremely attention-grabbing software that is moved on fairly significantly from the earlier submission. “I believe the applicant has listened rigorously to what was stated. This software deserves to be approved.”
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