Dick Lovett site redevelopment plans could be rejected


Proposals to build student homes and apartments at Dick Lovett’s BMW Mini dealership in Bath will be presented to city councilors this week.

But the council’s town planners have recommended that the building permit be denied as they expect more off-street parking will be provided.

Dick Lovett BMW and Mini aims to move from Bath’s often congested Lower Bristol Road to a new dealership in Melksham, near the Jaguar Land Rover dealership he opened in 2017 alongside the A350.

The AM100 dealer group recently obtained consent for changes to its already approved plans for the new BMW and Mini showroom in Melksham, noting that since COVID-19 and the rapid growth in online car sales, its partner BMW revised its showroom design criteria “to align with an ever-shifting trend for online sales.”

These revised plans, published by Wiltshire Council, reduced the size of the showrooms from a 15-car BMW display to 11 cars and an 11-car Mini display to 7 cars.

The new design also increases the workshop space from 21 bays and 2 MOT bays to 27 bays and 2 MOT bays, while the number of valet bays has been reduced from six to eight.

In Bath, Dick Lovett and developer Watkin Jones Group aim to replace the once redundant BMW and Mini dealership with four accommodation blocks, up to six stories high, which will provide 316 apartments for rent as well as purpose-built housing for 335 students.

But Bath planners fear there will be parking spaces for just one in three apartments, which would increase street parking at the expense of road safety.

The proposal is presented to councilors on Wednesday.

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