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Dick Lovett gets go ahead on redevelopment plan

Proposals to replace Dick Lovett's BMW and Mini showroom in Bath with housing and student accommodation have been passed by councillors, despite their expert planning officers advising against the project.

Planning officers warned there was insufficient parking in the plans, but it was passed by seven votes to three against.

AM reported last week that the committee was due to debate the plans, which will develop the site left vacant when Dick Lovett BMW and Mini moves from Bath to a new-build dealership at Melksham.

Dick Lovett BMW and Mini aims to move out of Bath's often-congested Lower Bristol Road to a new-build dealership at Melksham, near the Jaguar Land Rover dealership it opened there in 2017 beside the A350.

The AM100 dealer group recently obtained consent for variations to its already-approved plans for the new BMW and Mini showroom at Melksham, noting that since COVID-19 and rapid growth in online car sales its partner BMW has revised its showroom design criteria "to align with a permanently shifted trend for online sales".

Those revised plans, published by Wiltshire Council, have reduced the size of the showrooms, from a 15-car BMW display to 11 cars, and an 11-car Mini dispay to 7 cars.

The new design also increases the workshop space from 21 bays and 2 MOT bays to 27 bays and 2 MOT bays, while the number of valet bays has increased from six to eight.

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