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Sion Hill (new allocation)

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The University’s strategy is to focus development into two campuses: Newton Park and a new campus area around Locksbrook Road with sustainable travel links between the two and promoting ‘walkable’ campuses (see option in section 2 of this consultation). This approach would enable the University to release currently occupied sites within the city for alternative uses such as the Sion Hill site for residential.

Key opportunities and constraints

  • Providing a specific policy framework that encourages and enables the delivery of the site in accordance with the Council’s climate and ecological emergency declarations.
  • The site has many layers of history prior to its development by Bath Spa University. The site has known archaeological deposits in the area including Romano-British burials, an Iron Age site and St Winifred’s Chapel and Well. The exact location of the chapel and well are not known. The site is the former ornamental landscaped garden of 19th century house (St Winifred’s) built in 1803.
  • There may be below ground remains of the property remaining on site. The historic walls and railings survive in places around the perimeter of the site. Sion Place Lodge is located in the north west corner. In the immediate area there are several heritage assets including grade I Somerset Place and Sion Hill Place. The site is also prominent in the world heritage site landscape.
  • This site is in a sensitive hillside location within the World Heritage Site, Conservation Area and also within the green setting of Bath. Redevelopment should be contained within the existing built footprint of the university and needs to be designed sensitive to the landscaped setting and contours of the site. The surrounding gardens and mature trees must be protected.
  • A Transport Statement is required, and the scope of the assessment needs to be agreed in advance of a planning application.
  • An Arboricultural Impact Assessment, an Arboricultural Method Statement and Tree Protection Plan are required.

Policy Options (capacity 60 units)

The emerging Estate Strategy indicates around 60 apartments. Dependent on the acceptability of their development to expand the Locksbrook campus, the Sion Hill campus could be allocated for residential development subject to further site assessments.