A scheme for a supermarket in Bath made uk planning history this week when it was given outline permission because it will actually cut pollution in the area.
The plans, for a Safeway store near the city’s main railway station, were first mooted in 1991 and have been through three public inquiries. The third time, said scheme architect John Webster of Atkins Walters Webster, it became the first project ‘where permission was refused on a precautionary principle - that there is no proof that there will not be demonstrable harm’.
The basis for refusal at first was that a traffic-light junction created as part of the project would create a local deterioration in air quality. But Safeway succeeded in overturning this judgement with a wider environmental argument. The architect, backed by research by Ove Arup, showed that, by giving shoppers a supermarket on the edge of the town centre when the only other one was on the other side of town, cross-town travel would be reduced by a total of 640,000km a year, significantly reducing Bath’s total pollution.
Chapman Taylor has submitted proposals for a 46,000m2 ‘Neo-Classical’ redevelopment of Bath’s Southgate shopping centre, in an attempt to evade criticism from the city’s strong heritage lobby.