February 2015 - Update on your ideas and suggestions for Batheaston Village Centre
With the closure of the Batheaston toilets, Bath and North East Somerset Council have offered Batheaston Parish Council the opportunity to take a lease on the Stambridge Car Park area including the Toilet Block, Riverbank and Secret Garden.
The Parish Council realises that this is an important opportunity which requires careful consideration and due diligence to assess the potential and responsibilities. This will require, as a minimum, a site survey and legal advice to ensure the condition of the site is known and obligations of the lease are reasonable. These matters are in hand and are being progressed as a priority.
To create a vision for the area, Parish Councillor, Mike Corbett, was asked to head up a small team of people including 3 Parish Councillors and 3 residents, 2 of whom are experienced architects.
The brief was to produce a design proposal, incorporating ideas from the 2009 Vision Plan and recent Think Tank Suggestions, for presentation to the Full Parish Council meeting on 27th January 2015. (view minutes)
The main aim was to create a vision of a pedestrianised Village Square connecting the toilet block, secret garden and new cycle bridge. The wall to the rear of the toilet block is shown to include an opening to allow steps to be created down to the square from the pavement at street level.
Consideration will need to given to traffic calming to allow safe passage from the rank of shops to the square.
An extended toilet block and a new building are shown on this plan.
A new building will allow space for a community cafe and shop facilities.
Upgraded toilets, together with bike and boat hire, could be located in an extended toilet block.
A cafe could enjoy an al fresco seating area in the Secret Garden where parents would be able to supervise children in a new play area.
The riverbank will require some landscaping and could include the construction of a boating jetty.
These activities could represent an opportunity for a collection of smaller businesses to come together with the common purpose of enhancing village life and creating job opportunities.
In this plan, the car park would need to be reconfigured, without the loss of parking spaces and might require extending to the East and could include more disabled parking. Alternatively, a new car park entrance could be created at the 5 ways junction which would remove traffic from the pedestrian priority area.
Any new structures, buildings or extensions will be designed with sensitivity to existing local buildings and the natural environment.
Batheaston Centre will have the potential to become an increasingly popular destination for a variety of social, recreation and leisure activities. Walkers and cyclists will be able to choose routes to Bathampton or Bathford and beyond whilst those wanting a slower journey will be able to hire a boat from the jetty. It is hoped that the improvements to this area would increase footfall, improve existing business and attract a broader range of retail opportunities to the area and address the varied needs of residents and visitors as supported through the Think Tank suggestions.
Creating, managing and maintaining all of this will require funding and financing and it will be necessary to generate income from some of these activities to pay for the maintenance and upkeep of these facilities.
Overall this, or a similar scheme, will ensure the future for this key area of Batheaston for the benefit of residents and visitors and hopefully create an enhanced central hub for business, social and leisure.
The full details of this plan and further work from the Think Tank review will be the focus for a Village Wide open air presentation currently being planned for Saturday 14th March in the Car Park area.
Last Updated:9th February 2015