Regeneration of a former MOD site in Bath

Objectives

MPC was appointed by a consortium of two leading developers to manage a complex programme of political and community stakeholder engagement to support plans for regeneration at a former Ministry of Defence site in Bath, a World Heritage Site. The redevelopment of the site, with a housing-led scheme, had broad political support from the local authority, who had prepared Concept Statements for delivery of new homes on the city’s three former MoD sites. However, a number of contentious issues were still to be determined throughout the planning process and MPC was appointed to manage these issues with politicians and the local community.

Strategy

MPC’s first action was to engage directly with local politicians and Bath’s vast array of heritage-lobby groups, to understand their aspirations for the site and the design approach. A series of briefing documents were sent to political stakeholders throughout, alongside presentations and briefing sessions. In particular, MPC worked closely and maintained a personal dialogue with ward members to manage the aspirations of the wide range of political stakeholders involved. After a successful period of community engagement, where broad support was indicated for the consortium’s plans, the next objective was to find a way to deliver the aspiration for a new primary school without compromising the development potential of the site.

Result

After a unanimous resolution to grant planning was achieved at committee the ward member gave a rousing speech in support of the development, praising the collaborative approach throughout. The defining issue became the Section 106 funding mechanism for delivery of the primary school. MPC entered into in-depth discussions with Bath and North East Somerset Council members to explore potential options for the delivery of the primary school, involving high-level discussion with Cabinet members, the Council Leader and officers and round table discussion with members and officers. These talks resulted in the establishment of a delivery mechanism and the agreement of Section 106 funding.

The site is now complete and the Abbot Alphege Academy Primary School, had its official opening celebration on 27th September 2018. You can learn more about the project in this video which MPC made for IM Land.

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