An insight into the BANES planning department

In reviewing an application to change the use of a premises in Edgar Buildings from its current use as an Estate Agency to a late night bar we came across the following astonishing pre-application advice from a BANEs planning officer from which we quote verbatim:

‘The change of use to a drinking establishment would be acceptable in principle under current policy.  Considering the context of this site it is my view that the proposed change of use would not be harmful to the character of the Conservation Area or the vitality or viability of the centre  It is my view that there is not an over concentration of A4 uses in this locality and the proposed change of use would support vitality and viability by attracting more people to the area.’

A4 use is planning jargon for Drinking establishments – Public houses, wine bars or other drinking establishments.

George street has the largest concentration of drinking establishment in BANES and BANES recognise this by including it in the area covered by the cumulative impact zone. The George Street area regularly tops the police statistic for alcohol fuelled disorder.

Our questions would be:

  • Who is this person?
  • Have they ever been to George Street?
  • Have they ever been to Bath?
  • How do you get a job in planning and know this little about the major city in your area?