Contractors have now moved in to prepare for the demolition of the old Homebase building at Western Riverside.
It’s the first stage in preparing the site for redevelopment.
Living Guild are currently going through the planning motions in getting the go ahead for what they call a ‘later-living community’ which will include 317 residential apartments with extras like a cinema, gym, restaurant and shops.
But the developers have upset local people who have always used the east-west path across the site. A safe and tree-lined route to Sainsbury’s.
As John Batty illustrates – in his email to me – ‘without notice or consultation the east-west path at the Homebase site has now been closed.’
Local independent councillor June Player has added her voice in response to the action. She told Bath Newseum: ‘It would have been courteous to put up a sign to give notice to this action. It’s such a huge site l am sure a pathway could have been kept open while demolition took place without putting people at risk.’
On their website Guild Living say they ‘maintain a dialogue with councillors, officers and community groups in each city within which we’re developing.’ but June said she had been given no warning.
‘It’s the manner in which it’s been done that upsets me’, said June. ‘Not very neighbourly at all.’
Bath Newseum contacted Guild Living to ask for comment – and Chloe Croucher has responded on behalf of the developers.
She told me:
“Thank you for your note and the opportunity to respond.
I am also glad that you understand the long term benefits that we, in partnership with Legal & General, will bring to Bath should planning permission be granted. At Guild Living we value the extraordinary life of every older person, and are working to create a vibrant new community on the old Homebase site.
It has been necessary for us to restrict public access through the former Homebase building and car park on Pinesway, Bath in preparation for its scheduled demolition and site investigation works.
Our primary concern in doing this is one of Health and Safety as there will be machinery etc moving around the site which would constitute an unacceptable risk to the public still using the pathway.
We completely understand that the old Homebase car park was previously used as a pedestrian thoroughfare between Green Park Station and Bath Riverside / Lower Bristol Road and have worked with our design team to maintain this route in our development plans currently before the Council.
Our contractor took possession of the site on Tuesday this week and signage has been supplied to the fencing. We can assure you that we will do all we can to be neighbourly during the demolition works.”