Retail to Residential in Bath Street

A premises in Bath Street has changed from retail to residential.

The building dates from the 1960s and the shop was a ladies clothes shop until July 2020.

Justifying the decision, VWHDC said ‘Whilst the loss of a ground floor retail unit is regrettable, due to the small size of the unit, and its location on a secondary shopping frontage, it is not considered that the loss of this unit would cause significant harm to the function, character or appearance of the existing shopping provision or to the town centre as a whole.’

4 thoughts on “Retail to Residential in Bath Street

  1. Hester

    The problem about this is not just the loss of a potential retail unit (eg for a start-up business) but whether the sort of homes that are being built are really what we should be building for people in the 21st century. Some of them are tiny, barely meeting national minimum space standards; some have no “amenity space”, not even room to store bikes, or bins. Some have very limited light, or “views” only of utility areas at the rear of previously commercial buildings.
    In other areas, notably our historic streets, clusters of tiny flats are being built which are reminiscent of the slum “courts” in the same areas which were demolished in the early 20th century.
    On the other hand, we do need homes for young people – maybe if they are priced right these are OK for a start?
    Many of the planning restrictions which controlled this sort of redevelopment have already been removed and more “relaxations” are in the pipeline, but the District Council does have the opportunity to make design guides and policies against which proposals will be discussed. It would be good to have a public debate about principles and standards they should apply.
    The Neighbourhood Plan consultation under way this month would be a good place to start that debate.

  2. Colin

    So Hester…on on hand you say these buildings are unfit for use as housing due to their size and then you say they are good for young people who may not be able to afford a house. Just trying to understand are you for or against this?

    No real loss of retail unit when so many others are sitting empty. I didn’t even know this clothes shop existed!

    1. Hester

      Colin – personally I am against it. However I have talked about this to various people and know that there are different views, hence my suggestion that it would be worth getting a discussion going.

  3. Sarah Smith

    I actually think that having people living in the centre of the town has to be a good thing (I’m sure like all tenants they will have evaluated the view and the size/shape of the accommodation against their needs and wants). New little flats like these tend to be rather cleverly designed for the small space they occupy. Having people in amongst and above the shops will stop the town centre becoming too much of a wilderness after dark.


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