2.100 Bath Spa University has grown in recent years and currently occupies multiple sites across Bath (also satellite sites in Corsham and Bristol), however many are not purpose built and the University consider that they are therefore inefficient and geographically dispersed. This gives rise to some inefficiencies in timetabling, travelling, staffing and maintenance. The major outstanding issue for the University in moving to net Carbon Zero is the issue of transport.
2.101 Bath Spa University is currently preparing its Estate Strategy. The University’s strategy is to focus development into two campuses; Newton Park and a new campus area around Locksbrook Road with sustainable travel link between the two and promoting ‘walkable’ campuses. The schools/facilities with high space per student requirements would be accommodated at Locksbrook campus which is close to much purpose built student accommodation, with other academic, administrative and management space and student accommodation being retained and expanded at Newton Park. The University consider that this approach will enable them to release currently occupied sites within the city for alternative uses such as the Sion Hill site for residential (see section 3).
2.102 The key issue in terms of the Locksbrook campus is its location within the Strategic Industrial Land and all industrial sites nearby are protected for industrial use through Policy ED2A. This development may contradict the aims of this policy and the objective of retaining industrial land supply within the city and should be reviewed accordingly.
2.103 However the University proposes that new space would not only be used for teaching spaces, but also used for innovative studio spaces for start-up business, shared study space for use with other students, academics and researchers and shared community space with local residence. This would contribute to creative industries/sectors and bring wider economic benefits to the District. This reflects the aim set out in the West of England Industrial Strategy and the West of England Combined Authority’s Business Plan 2018/19. The Business Plan includes:
- To plan a better education, employment and skills system building on regional partnerships including with universities
- To encourage research and development and innovation to industrialise through greater partnership with the universities
- To develop proposals to increase graduate retention, working with universities and businesses.
2.104 Given the alignment with the West of England Local Industrial Strategy and potential benefits for the wider economy it is proposed that an expansion of the Locksbrook campus for Bath Spa University should be considered as an option.
Consultation Reference DM 28
Bath Spa University Locksbrook Campus
Identify and allocate a site for mixed uses including teaching, community uses, creative innovation art studio space in a walking distance to the Locksbrook campus.