Council for Protection of Rural England asks county council to rethink £900m 30 ha riverside scheme.
The Council for the Protection of Rural England has drawn up an alternative masterplan for a £900m redevelopment in Bath in an attempt to persuade the county council and the regional development agency to rethink their proposals.

The CPRE believes that the plans for the 30 ha western riverside site need to be more innovative, with a higher density of housing, in order to avoid using green belt land. It is the first time that the CPRE has submitted a design scheme for a specific site.

Robert Marshall, chairman of its local committee, said: "Our development is an icon for the 21st century in terms of architecture and the integration of land use and transport planning.

"We are trying to raise people's expectations about the quality of urban design."

The CPRE has yet to decide whether to submit a formal planning application for the scheme, which has been drawn up without a fee by local retired architect David Thurlow, formerly senior partner of Cambridge Design.

The CPRE plan is pitted against a scheme by the South-west Regional Development Agency and Bath and North-east Somerset council.

One of the key points of the Thurlow masterplan is that the number of habitable rooms is nearly three times that proposed by the local council and RDA. Marshall said: "We are trying to demonstrate that you can get a lot of housing on the site, releasing pressure on the green belt."

The scheme, for 1600 dwellings and a mix of other uses, is a reinterpretation of the Georgian five-storey terraced house, combining residential and work premises in a flexible way.

The local council's original scheme was drawn up by Derek Lovejoy Partnership, with BDOR as public consultation advisor. Jeff Bishop of BDOR said they intended to apply for supplementary planning guidance by February. A third scheme is being drawn up by Landscape Estates for part of the site.

Architectural pressure group Save Britain's Heritage sponsored a series of alternative plans in the 1980s to convert threatened listed buildings. These included Billingsgate fish market and No 1 Poultry in the City of London.