Below are outlined major land use planning applications which the Parish Council considers at its monthly meetings – see its meeting papers and decisions and how to speak at its meetings here.
The Parish Council can only comment on applications to B&NES Council who make the decision. See the B&NES planning page here and search for Timsbury.
B&NES makes its decisions based on its Local Plan which you can see here – see Rural Areas. They have to follow the Government’s National Planning Policy Framework.
Major Sites for Planning Consideration
Upper Conygre site / old ‘Wheelers’, North Road
Updated October 2021
The planning application to develop the derelict site at the corner of North Road and The Avenue was approved in March 2020 by B&NES Council. 26 new houses will be built, plus some office spaces. There will be a new road onto North Road and pedestrian facilities. This follows much consultation by the owner with the Parish Council and the village during 2018.
The development will be called ‘Upper Conygre’ after the name of the coal mine on the site which was in use from 1791 until 1916. Since then it was ‘Wheelers Yard’ which was a cement block works. The Lower Conygre pit was off Radford Hill. Building will start soon with completion in stages in 2022. The development in summary will include:
- 26 dwellings, mainly houses plus some flats, with 8 ‘affordable’ as 5 ‘social rented’ and 3 ‘shared ownership’ by the owner.
- 70 parking spaces
- Offices with extra parking as required in this ‘mixed use’ site in the B&NES Local Plan
- Widening of the pavement on the Avenue up to the bend, and new pavements in North Road
- Pedestrian access through the site from The Avenue to North Road
- New highway entrance on North Road with a speed table
- Extension of the 20mph zone to include the whole site
- Protection of wildlife and some trees linked to the batch next door, plus new trees and landscaping
- Renewable energy & efficiency on some houses
In May 2021 the developer applied under Permitted Planning rules to build 4 more small homes instead of the offices, claiming that having marketed the site for a year there is no demand for the offices. Timsbury PC supported this application. This was denied by B&NES in June 2022.
Once the building is finished £56,000 of funding will be provided to B&NES by the developer for play & Recreation on the Conygre Recreation field held and managed by B&NES Council.
Highways changes of the entrance and pavements is being negoatiated with B&NES Highways under a separate Section ‘278 agreement’. The pedestrian ramp onto the site is being moved closer to the crossroads due to the levels being more approriate. The Avenue pavement has been widned to 1.5m which is a normal width even in busy urban streets.
Also, in Sept. 2021 the developer paid the Parish Council £50,216 Community Infrastructure Levy funding to pay for facilities and services in the village. It must be spent within the next five years. See details here. The PC has carried out a conusltation with the village on options how to use this money. Final decisions are yet to be made.
In addition, B&NES Council has agreed with the Parish Council’s support to find a way to widen the pavement on the bend on The Avenue, which is not part of this development. A priority passing scheme will be completed in 2023.
The naming of the site as ‘Upper Conygre’ was requested by the village in memory of the name of the coal pit on the site, with an information board at the entrance to the site.
Details of the Upper Conygre application are on the B&NES website here.
A Plan of the site can be seen here – click image below to open or download a pdf here.
Land east of St Marys School off Lansdown Crescent
The site is approved in principle in the B&NES Local Plan for development as Policy SR15 which you can see here – see Rural Areas.
The site was was fully consulted on with the Parish Council in 2018 and with overall supported by the village in public meetings. At the time B&NES required sites for 50 houses in total which included the Upper Conygre site being built now – see above. And so the west part of the field will go ahead when owner(s) of it, whoever they will be, decide to make a planning application. Curo owns the garages which are crucial for the entrance to the site and so will have a role in it somehow.
The owners will have to make a detailed planning application which will be consulted on before being built, based on the following:
Design Principles in B&NES Local Plan
1. Around 20 dwellings on the western part of the site.
2. Views towards Farmborough Common, Tunley Hill and Bath must be maintained.
3. The viewing area/plinth on Lansdown Crescent should be re-provided.
4. Have particular regard to site layout, building height, and soft landscaping, to minimise the visual
impact of the development in this sensitive location.
5. The site should be designed to safeguard the amenity of neighbouring residential properties.
6. Any development on the site must have a 15m buffer from the mature trees adjoining the western
boundary of the site.
7. The strong landscape buffer to the eastern edge should be retained and the existing hedgerows and trees improved to create a strong countryside edge.
8. Ensure that undeveloped parts of the site are given suitable landscape treatment in order to achieve an appropriate relationship with development on site and the wider area.
9. Maintain or strengthen the integrity and connectivity of the green infrastructure.
10. Any development must make provisions to enhance the site for biodiversity including native planting, mixed species seeding of lawns and gardens and the provision of nesting boxes and hedgehog boxes.
11. Undertake a detailed historic environment assessment, and where necessary evaluation, in order to identify and implement appropriate mitigation.
Land south of Loves Hill for up to 45 houses
The Government Planning Inspector dismissed (26th Jan 2017) the developer’s Appeal (APP/F0114/W/16/3154927) against Bath&NES decision to refuse outline planning permission for this.
The reasons given for his decision included:
- The site lies just outside the housing development boundary of Timsbury.
- The site is part of the less well developed western approach to the village fronting on to a narrow, enclosed lane that would require improvement that would significantly alter the existing approach to the village.
- The new buildings would appear as a prominent feature that would further erode the rural character of this side of the village.
- The development would fail to conserve or enhance the distinctive character of the area and the wider landscape.
Since then another separate outline application for 20 houses on the same site (16/04260/OUT) was withdrawn by the developers on 1st February 2017 when they had heard that B&NES were likely to refuse it on similar grounds.
A lot of effort had been made by residents and the Parish Council in making the case against this application which was not included in the B&NES Placemaking Plan for Timsbury.