Government office of the South West decides to call in Wilkinson Eyre scheme due to flooding and heritage issues

Wilkinson Eyre’s controversial Dyson School of Design Innovation in Bath may be scrapped by its charity backers after being called in by the Secretary of State.

Dyson School in Bath

The James Dyson Foundation said it would “seriously consider” whether or not to continue with the Wilkinson Eyre-designed development after being faced with the legal costs of fighting a public inquiry.

A spokeperson said: “The inquiry is a scandalous waste of time and money... As a charity we’ve already spent £3.5m and four years on the school project, overcoming endless bureaucratic hurdles. The trustees will now seriously consider whether to direct funds towards further legal costs or instead move on to new projects. And who suffers? Bath’s young people.”

The school was given planning consent in March against the recommendation of the council’s planning officers, but the Government Office of the South West has now decided to call a planning inquiry into the scheme.

The Environment Agency has long objected to the scheme on the grounds that it will be built on a flood zone in a protected area of Bath. The James Dyson Foundation has countered that its consultant Buro Happold had taken measures to make the site safe even in the case of the worst flooding in 1,000 years.