Bath's bundle clears hurdle

The two outstanding planning applications for the £54 million Bath transportation package (BTP) will not go to a public inquiry, the government has announced.

The BTP includes more than doubling the number of spaces at Bath and North East Somerset Council's park-and-ride sites, a rapid transit route and improving the bus network.

The Government Office for the South West said applications for the Newbridge park-and-ride expansion and rapid bus transit and the creation of a park-and-ride east of the city do not raise matters of regional or national planning importance.

A council spokesman said: "We recognise that strong views have been expressed about the BTP by residents, businesses and community groups. This is a step forward towards delivering the council's joined-up plan."

Permissions will now be issued in line with the development control committee's decisions. The council is negotiating with local landowners over sections of gardens and other portions of land to progress all elements of the BTP.

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