Crest Nicholson is on the verge of winning a long-running battle to develop one of the south-west’s most important regeneration sites this week.

Planners at Bath and North East Somerset council have recommended approval for the Western Riverside scheme, which was first mooted six years ago.

The council’s development control committee was meeting to decide on its officers’ report after Building went to press.

The authority has already approved a supplementary planning document for the Western Riverside site.

A masterplan, drawn up by Fielden Clegg Bradley, proposes 2,281 residential homes and apartments, accommodation for 675 students and local shops and services, including a primary school. The 18ha riverside site, which is being considered for the scheme, is 1km to the west of Bath city centre.

A previous office-led application, by Landscape Estates, was turned down three years ago, after which Crest entered into a joint venture with Grosvenor.

Crest’s scheme has been criticised by a review panel of expert designers, which it set up itself. The panel is not satisfied that the design is of high enough quality, given its location in the Bath World Heritage Site.

It expressed concerns over the height and bulk of the residential buildings proposed by Crest on the grounds that they block off views of the surrounding hills from the riverside.