More units approved at Keynsham business site

PLANS for two more units at Pixash Business Centre in Keynsham have been approved despite objections.

A decision was deferred by Bath & North East Somerset Council planning committee in September so members could visit the site and the applicant could provide more information.

At the committee’s November meeting, planning officers said the application by Systopia Consulting Limited had attracted 25 objections.

People were concerned about noise, highways safety and loss of privacy, as well as over-development of the site and the effect on existing businesses.

Keynsham Town Council, which had originally raised no objection to the application, had also since decided to oppose the plans.

But officer argued that the proposed units, next to Proximity House, were suitable for the site. They would be high-quality, of a similar scale to existing ones, and would create jobs.

Also, the applicant had agreed to remove the request for class B general industrial use from the proposals, meaning the units would be for light industrial, storage or warehousing.

But Chris Beaver, representing the owner of the internal access road that connects the site to Pixash Lane, spoke out against the proposals.

He said that existing occupants such as Bottle Company South Ltd, Bristol & Bath Car Services, RoughTrax and Dataquest were united in their objection to the plans and believed the “inadequate” access arrangements posed a threat to the operation of their businesses.

In a statement, Councillor Andy Wait said the proposal was for “one business too many” but that a suggested compromise of a single unit served by the existing turning head had been rejected by the applicant.

He was also concerned about the prospect of more lorries using the nearby A4 Bath Road, where traffic had already been affected by the Hygge Park housing estate, the new recycling centre and the Meryton Place nursing home.

“The last things local residents want is more HGVs,” he said.

Councillor Wait also echoed Mr Beaver’s concerns about the effect of the proposals on a legal covenant governing right of way on the site.

But planning officers said land rights were not relevant to decisions on planning applications. Highways officers had raised no objections to the proposals and HGV access was felt to be acceptable.

Officers said that although the removal of class B use from the plans should allay noise concerns, the council could carry out a noise assessment in a few months’ time, with the possibility of enforcement if any issues were not rectified.

The officers again recommended approval, and a majority of the committee this time voted in favour of granting planning permission.