The Friends of Ashby Bath Grounds have the following concerns regarding the above planning
application. These need to be satisfactorily resolved if planning permission is to be granted.
- The submitted Transport Statement indicates that a significant part of the Bath Grounds/Cricket Club parking area will need to be kept clear in order to accommodate a turning hammerhead for refuse wagons, delivery vehicles and emergency services, resulting in a loss of public parking spaces on ground outside the application red line and which will be owned or leased by the Town Council. This is not acceptable as it would result in significant additional on-street parking in the vicinity. During evolution of the previous application (for an old peoples home on the Hastings Garden) we were assured that this requirement (for a turning hammerhead on the Bath Grounds) had been dropped with redesign of the access to the newbuild, but it seems to have been reinstated in this new application. However, it is unclear whether this is an error in the Transport Statement, given that it is not mentioned in the submitted Design and Access Statement or Refuse Strategy Plan.
- We are concerned about the loss of 81 trees (including 13 grade A and 31 Grade B) with only minor mitigation. Additional tree planting elsewhere should be financed if it cannot be provided onsite.
- The height of the Town houses, being the same as the Royal hotel, means that they will dominate the westerly view from the Bath Grounds, whereas they need to be subservient.
- We note that the LHA say they are satisfied with the 63 parking spaces allocated to the hotel. However, we are concerned that this remains 12 less than provided in the extant planning permission for redevelopment of the hotel and that functions at the hotel will result in significant additional off-site parking on nearby roads, to the inconvenience of nearby residents, and on the Bath Grounds car park, to the inconvenience of users of the Bath Grounds and the cricket club.
- The development will result in significant additional pedestrian journeys from the hotel and town houses to the centre of Ashby. This will involve the dangerous crossing at the bottom of South Street (at the South Street entrance to the Bath Grounds). We would like to see a financial contribution from the development towards provision of a pedestrian crossing at this location, the need for which is highlighted in the Ashby Neighbourhood Plan.
We also seek reassurance on the following:
- Is the proposed development the minimum necessary to raise the funds required to restore the hotel?
- Can we be sure that the hotel, as proposed, will be a viable business enterprise once restored and unlikely to fail and drift back into another cycle of closure and deterioration?
- Are the legal arrangements associated with the proposed s106 and Escrow agreements sufficiently robust to ensure that the funds raised from the developments are indeed used to restore the hotel in accordance with the repairs schedule and restoration proposals included?
- Can we be assured that the profits to be made from the whole package by the current owner are reasonable within the framework of Enabling Development guidance?
We would also like to see a means of sharing any excess profits with the people of Ashby in
recognition of their £620k input for the purchase of the Bath Grounds.