The Bath Magazine takes a site tour of some of the new developments large and small in Bath, which is witnessing the biggest domestic construction for decades

The exodus of the Ministry of Defence and the demise of so much of Bath’s heavy industry caused something of a catalyst in the city. And with the declaration from Bath and North East Somerset Council that the area would need more than 12,000 new homes by the year 2029, a building programme was energetically launched.

To the 2017 visitor this phase in Bath’s history must have had the same impact as someone visiting in the 1960s, when rows of contemporary family homes sprung up alongside the Victorian terraces up and down Bath’s seven hills.

We tread a fine line between protecting our glorious Georgian heritage and Bath’s World Heritage site status, and keeping this a living, breathing city where children can grow up and where their parents can live and work.

Laws concerning a quota of affordable, or social housing mean developers are not just building for the top end of the market, although it is fair to point out that the majority of Bath’s housing stock is beyond the financial reach of nurses, teachers and other key workers.

We’ve donned our hard hats to survey some of the projects, large and small, underway in the Bath and North Somerset Council area. This looks like being the busiest period in domestic construction for a generation.

Enjoy your virtual site tour . . .

HOLBURNE PARK

Holburne Park at Warminster Road, Bath, like Lansdown and Mulberry Park has been created from a former Ministry of Defence site.

How many homes and what size in beds terms?
There will eventually be more than 200 homes, ranging from two to five bedrooms.

Who is the developer/builder?
Hardrock Developments – Prices from £480,000 for the first phase. But the site will also include a mix of social housing.

What stage is the development at?
The first phase of 35 homes should be ready later this year.

Any special features?
The houses will be faced in Bath ashlar stone and the site will be fringed with 100 new trees. From Holburne Park it’s a ten to 15 minute walk to Bath city centre and St Mary’s Primary (which is being given a financial boost to allow it to grow) is almost next door to the site.

To find out more contact Savills, tel: 01225 474591.

BECKFORD GATE

Work is underway in a joint venture between MEO Projects and Bath-based property developer, Kersfield, to create four apartments in Lansdown.

The Beckford Gate development takes its name from the Grade II listed gateway south of the site and will comprise two large lateral apartments and two maisonettes.

Otherwise known as the Embattled Gateway, Beckford’s Gate was built in the 19th century and once formed part of William Beckford’s Ride, with commanding views across Bath and the surrounding countryside.

Beckford’s Gate will be in a Georgian style, with a design that’s sympathetic to the character of the area and dressed in ashlar stone. It replaces a 1960s home that stood on the site. Work will include essential repair of Beckford’s Gate, and access for visitors.

David Newton, chief executive at Kersfield said: “We’ve worked hard to create a development that combines the highest quality fittings you would expect from a modern property, while seamlessly fitting with the local architecture and preserving this important landmark for the community to enjoy. Even at this very early stage, we’ve had a lot of interest and two homes are already under offer.”

Working with local architects, The Nash Partnership, the plans were developed in consultation with the Bath Preservation Trust, the Beckford Society and the Lansdown Crescent Residents Association.

Trees will also be planted on the site. Completion is expected in Spring 2018 with Knight Frank, Bath and Savills, Bath appointed joint agents.

Visit: kersfield.co.uk or call 01225 904 646.

Westgate Buildings

Kersfield is also about to begin work on 17 apartments in 4 – 5 Westgate Buildings overlooking Kingsmead Square in the city centre, creating studio and one-bedroom apartments. Designed by Angus Meek architects, the development will be arranged over three floors above a shop.

With prices starting at £165,000, each home will benefit from Kersfield’s high standards of quality and attention to detail, including bespoke kitchens and bathrooms, with communal areas.

David Newton said: “Every apartment has an open plan, spacious feel, with high quality finishes throughout. Overlooking Kingsmead Square and within such easy reach of Bath’s restaurants, bars, shopping, theatres and cinemas, we expect demand to be high.”

Savills and Knight Frank are joint agents. Completion is due in July.

Visit: kersfield.co.uk or call 01225 904 646.

BATH RIVERSIDE

In a remarkable transformation of one of Bath’s old heavy industrial areas a new community with parks, sculptures, trees and public walkways has been created at Bath Riverside.

How many houses and what size in beds terms?
Once complete, Bath Riverside will comprise approximately 2,000 homes including a mixture of three and four-bedroom townhouses, four-bedroom villas, studios, one and two-bedroom apartments and two-bedroom penthouses.

Who is the builder/developer?
Crest Nicholson – Prices based on current availability start from £435,000. The newest phase, Royal View is launching this month and, is a striking new building that incorporates a series of soft curves which blends effortlessly with its landscape and waterside setting. Royal View, like an ocean liner moored alongside the historic Victoria Bridge will comprise 45 apartments including eight one-bedroom, 34 two-bedroom and three impressive penthouse apartments.

What stage is the development at – have people moved in, are show homes open?
Outline Planning Consent was given in 2011 with the first residents moving in at the end of that year. So far 678 houses and apartments have been built, including 205 affordable homes. There are also a number of show homes including a dramatic penthouse show apartment.

Any special features?
Regarded as being the most significant new property development in Bath for more than a century, Bath Riverside is transforming the southern banks of the River Avon, once an industrial area, into a desirable new residential neighbourhood for the city.

As part of the scheme the Grade II listed Victoria Bridge has been fully refurbished and the Destructor Bridge replaced with a new structure. Dotted around the landscape there are various pieces of art including bronzes and stone carvings, many of which have been created by local people. There is also an original Stothert & Pitt steam crane which stands at the main entrance and as a reminder of the site’s history.

Bath Riverside has its own Energy Centre run by Eon which provides heat and hot water to the homes on the development. The scheme has also won many awards for the quality of the architecture and landscaping (including its communal gardens). Awards have been received from What House, The Sunday Times, Travel West, the Housebuilder Awards and Inside Housing.

The light coloured Bath stone, used across the city and famous across the world, is also used at the development linking it with the city’s Georgian past. Another notable aspect is the development’s proximity to the city centre which allows residents to walk into the heart of the city or to the Bath Spa station along the flat riverside path, in about ten minutes.

The marketing suite is open seven days a week, 10am – 5pm. To book an appointment tel: 01225 463517. Visit: crestnicholson.com

GREENWAY CRESCENT

This remarkable new crescent has been created on the hillside behind an unassuming garden wall just off Greenway Lane, above Bloomfield. Developers Simon and Lisa Hatch are putting the finishing touches to four large terraced houses and a separate eco woodland house.

This gated community overlooks woods and has views over Lyncombe Valley. The main houses, over five floors, have integral garages and the option for lift installation. Susanna and Chloe Temple of Blue Home at The Loft will be dressing the show home in the next few weeks. Savills is the agent.

The Chapel

Rengen, the developer which recently redeveloped the old Labour Exchange in Bath city centre, sensitively retaining its Second World War bomb scars, is now working on creating four two bedroom homes from a former gospel hall on Lower Bristol Road.

We’ll be able to see for ourselves when The Chapel is launched on to the market on Wednesday 29 March by agents Savills, tel: 01225 474500 to find out more.

The Chocolate Quarter

The Chocolate Quarter is the redevelopment of the former Cadbury’s Factory in Keynsham.

How many houses and what size in beds terms?
136 one and two bedroom retirement apartments with prices ranging from £230,000 to £540,000.

Who is the builder/developer?
Bristol-based charity, the St Monica Trust.

What stage is the development at – have people moved in, are show homes open?
45% of the available apartments have been sold since September. The show home and marketing suite is open from 10am to 4pm Monday to Friday, 11am to 2pm at the weekend. The development will open in the autumn.

Any special features?
The Chocolate Quarter will be an open and vibrant community, where facilities, including a 50 seat cinema, swimming pool, dance studio and pizza restaurant will be available to residents and people from the wider community.

Visit: thechocolatequarter.org.uk

Ashford Homes

Ashford Homes currently has seven projects in the area, but two in Bath and one in Bathford.

In the city centre, in James Street West, are four townhouses, pictured top, each with gardens. These properties range from two to four bedrooms, two have garages and two parking permits for Charlotte Street car park. Prices range from £565,000.

Up Bathwick Hill at Claverton is Norwood Dene, pictured above, tucked away in secluded private grounds. There are seven apartments, all with parking and patios. They range in size from two to three bedrooms and are priced from £895,000.

A little further out of town, to the east at Bathford is Evelyn Close. Here Ashford Homes is constructing four three and four bedroom contemporary detached homes. Prices start at £595,000.

To find out more about these three sites and Ashford Homes’ other housing projects in the area contact the agents Cobb Farr on tel: 01225 333332.

Lansdown Fields

How many houses and what size in beds terms?
This is a development of 26 four and five bedroom houses priced from £975,000 to £1,750,000 and nine large lateral apartments priced from £1,000,000 to £1,250,000.

Who is the builder/developer?
Kersfield – Prices from £975,000.

What stage is the development at – have people moved in, are show homes open?
The Walcot show house is available to view by appointment and a new townhouse will be open on Saturday 11 March. There are homes that have been completed and are now occupied.

Any special features?
Quality architecture with attention to detail in a fantastic location with outstanding views over Bath, Lansdown Fields is arranged around two new garden squares, surrounded by green belt in an area of outstanding natural beauty. All houses are positioned to take advantage of wonderful views and designed with a particular emphasis on volume and natural light.

Joint agents are Knight Frank, Bath: 01225 325 999 and Savills, Bath: 01225 474 591.

Ensleigh

How many houses and what size in beds terms?
Set in an elevated position in Lansdown, Ensleigh is a development of 84 three, four and five bedroom executive homes, just up Lansdown Hill from Bath city centre and with the countryside close by. There are wonderful views to be had from Lansdown.

Who is the builder/developer?
Linden Homes – Prices from £395,995. Each home in the current release has parking for at least two cars; some have balconies, bi-fold doors and dressing rooms.

What stage is the development at – have people moved in, are show homes open?
The first residents moved to Ensleigh in summer 2016 and visitors can view the show home. Outline planning permission has been granted for an additional 95 homes, which will extend the Ensleigh development. Linden Homes will develop half of this new phase.

Any special features?
Sue Scholfield, sales and marketing director for Linden Homes, said: “We’re creating generous-sized homes with good parking in a special location, so we’re not surprised that we’ve already reserved two-thirds of the properties first released. The homes are large, some are 2,172 square foot, and the show home is light and well-designed.

The marketing suite and show home are open daily from 10am to 5pm, off Granville Road, Lansdown, Bath, BA1 5AB.

Call 0843 783 4298 or visit: lindenhomes.co.uk.

Mulberry Park

Mulberry Park is being created on the former Foxhill MoD site.

How many houses and what size in beds terms?
Mulberry Park will include 700 homes, ranging from one bedroom apartments to five-bedroom family homes. Thirty percent of the new homes will be affordable, for shared ownership and social rent.

Who is the builder/developer?
Curo’s house-building team is developing the new homes at Mulberry Park. Prices start from £320,000 for a two-bedroom house. Specific homes will be available through the shared ownership scheme. The government’s Help to Buy equity loan scheme is also available. More details of shared ownership and Help to Buy are available at: helptobuysouth.co.uk.

What stage is the development at – have people moved in, are show homes open?
Outline Planning Consent was granted in 2014 followed by Detailed Planning Consent for the first phase of 275 homes in March 2015. Construction started on site in spring 2016. The first residents are expected to move into the new homes very soon.

Any special features?
Aside from 700 beautiful homes, Mulberry Park will also have a £10m primary school, a nursery and community building. Rydon has been appointed to build the new facilities and work is expected to start in the spring. Curo is also building the first new park in Bath for over 100 years and a woodland walk.

To find out more visit: curo-sales.co.uk, to register interest tel: 0345 140 5050.

Main image: Royal View, moored like an ocean liner beside the River Avon. Visit: crestnicholson.com