PR: Piers Taylor, presenter (BBC2) and architect slams council’s claims that it can ‘hide’ new east of Bath Park & Ride

 The farmer whose family own one of the two proposed sites for Bath’s new Park & Ride has been refused planning permission for two temporary shepherds huts because, planners said, it was ‘inappropriate development’ and would harm the green belt.
 Farmer Steve Horler, who has been campaigning for more than a year to save his family’s farm and business from council proposals for a Park & Ride, said: “You could not make this up. They told me these two small huts were inappropriate, and that conserving and enhancing the landscape here should be ‘given susbstantial weight’. But yet they’re proposing to build a Park & Ride here! Are they telling me 1,000 plus cars on the meadows won’t harm the landscape?” B&NES council announced last week its two preferred sites for a new east of Bath Park & Ride. Both sites are on Bathampton Meadows. However, Bath-based award-winning architect and presenter of the new BBC 2 series, The World’s Most Extraordinary Homes, Piers Taylor has called council claims that a Park & Ride on either site could be hidden by screening ‘grossly misleading’.
 Mr Taylor, who is considered one of the brightest architects in the profession, and who co-presents his latest series on BBC2 with actress Caroline Quentin, said: “The images that the council has produced, purporting to show how a Park & Ride on Site B or Site F could be mitigated and screened, are grossly misleading and fly in the face of council members’ responsibility to tell the truth.”
 “This proposed Park & Ride on Bathampton Meadows is not needed or wanted for anything other than petty local political gain. Instead of a forest glade, as these images suggest, it will be a sea of hard surfaces, lighting, vehicles and signage in a landscape whose identity depends on being open grassland. This landscape acts as a flood plain and helps to set the Bath world heritage site in the context that defines it.”
 “Even if this car park could be concealed within a forest glade, which my years of experience working with sensitive landscapes tells me it most certainly cannot be, this would still be highly inappropriate development in an area that depends on open grassland for its identity.” Mr Taylor, who is a former member of the South West Design Review Panel (see Notes below), said: “If this Park & Ride is built, we will destroy a vital aspect of Bath forever. That council members cannot see the absurdity of a proposal which has been so discredited from every quarter, and that will be so incredibly damaging for the city that they serve, is a tragedy of enormous proportions.”
1. This is the planning report to New Leaf Farm
2. Piers Taylor has presented a number of architectural programmes on BBC 2 and has founded two architectural practices. He is a former design fellow at Cambridge University. This is his biography
3. The Design Review Panel provides a multi-disciplinary peer review process during the pre-application stage of the planning process, to applicants & local authorities across the south west of England