Retrospective planning permission denied for 25-bed Bath party house

The owners of a 25-bed party house in Bath want to appeal after the subsequent building permit was denied.

The former guest house of the Roman city in Raby Place, which was confiscated in 2019 | Photo: NCA

Residents have complained that Raby Place is “uninhabitable” after the listed former Roman city guest house was reopened as a steam house “a few months ago”.

Owner Bath Hot Houses said it was disappointed that neighbors “harassed” guests over the weekend after building permits were denied last Thursday.

Rental agent Bath Luxury Rentals is promoting the Georgian six bedroom property at prices starting at £ 1,799 for weekends – valued at around £ 60,000 from the 33 weekend bookings to next September listed on its website.

A spokesman for Bath Hot Houses said: “We were of course disappointed to be informed of the rejection of the plan and will challenge this decision at the planning inspection.

“The building has a commercial planning use and was empty until recently, attracting squatters and drug users.

“We believe the plans for the building will be beneficial to the Bath region and tourism industry.

“We were further disappointed when we heard reports from neighbors over the weekend directly harassing guests at the property. This was reported to the relevant authorities.

“This is not the face of Bath that should be presented to visitors and we ask for further comments to be made to the planner responsible for the case.”

More than 90 people had objected to the retrospective application.

Resident Andrew Hudson wrote in his objection: “Unfortunately, we have had this party house in operation for several months, much to the annoyance of almost all of the neighbors on the street.

“The residents have already had to put up with large groups of boys and girls late into the night / early morning who play loud music, sing karaoke, groups drinking in the street, large groups of smokers in the back yard late at night.”

An environmental protection officer said the Bath and North East Somerset Council received only one baseless noise complaint, so there was no reason to object to the change in use.

Bath Hot Houses insisted in its building application that 25 was the maximum number of guests and said they would lose £ 500 on their deposit if they received a noise complaint.

Visitors are instructed not to smoke outside the building after 9:00 p.m. and not to use the inner courtyard after 10:00 p.m.

Mr Hudson said it was way too late and could not be enforced.

He said the £ 500 fee was “not a big incentive to do something about the noise as the agent makes more money every time he receives a complaint”.

Planning officials took a similar view, ruling that a fine of just £ 20 per person would not be a great deterrent.

Another objection, Chris Borkett, said, “I firmly oppose this proposal. This property has been hosting parties for almost two months, causing significant noise and disruption for local residents.

“Combined with the dormitory noise at this end of Bathwick Hill, it’s rare for us to have an uninterrupted night’s sleep. This area of ​​Bath is becoming uninhabitable for ordinary taxpayers. “

Others feared that approving the change of use would set a precedent.

Bathwick City Councilor Yukteshwar Kumar said: “The property is in a residential area. It’s just not suitable for a ‘party house’.

“Moving from a B&B to a commercial vacation rental will have a huge impact on the residential area. There will be more noise, light and air pollution if we approve this motion.

“There are unsightly and extremely unhygienic trash cans and I’ve already had dozens of complaints from the neighbors.

“Where will the guests park their cars? There is no designated parking space. “

Councilor Manda Rigby said the change in use was unacceptable.

The planning officials declined the permit, saying that future complaints were likely, adding, “The potential noise and disturbance levels of the development would significantly affect the living quality of the neighboring residents.”

The townhouse was part of a £ 8.1 million real estate portfolio owned by Shane Davies, wife Rihanna, mother Sheila, and sister Tracey that was confiscated in 2019 after the National Crime Agency found it was illegitimate from the proceeds of the property Behavior comes from.

The investigation found the property was likely bought due to mortgage fraud and controlled drug sales.

Bath Hot Houses’ application stated that the current owners had extensively renovated and repaired the former bed and breakfast, but the business was no longer viable due to the changes in tourism.

Stephen Sumner, local democracy reporter

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