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News Articles

News Articles


Posted by [email protected] on November 27, 2018 at 11:15 AM Comments comments (3)

Ashby's electorate passed the Neighbourhood Plan with a 92% "Yes" vote  in the referendum held on Thursday 22 November 2018. The article below gives the background to the Neighbourhood Plan and explains its significance in boosting the planning protection for the Bath Grounds and Ashby's other green spaces.

The full result was;

YES - 2246 (92% of votes cast)

NO -  183

The turnout was 22%. 

The plan still has to be formally "made" by North West Leicestershire District Council but will be taken into account in all relevant planning applications form now on.

Many thanks to everyone who voted "YES". This is a significant step forward in our campaign to prevent house building on the Bath Grounds.

Support Ashby Neighbourhood Plan in Referendum

Posted by [email protected] on October 25, 2018 at 8:50 AM Comments comments (9611)

On Thursday 22nd November, residents of Ashby will have the opportunity to vote in a local referendum on Ashby’s Neighbourhood Plan. The Friends of Ashby Bath Grounds are encouraging everyone interested in protecting the Bath Grounds and other green spaces in the town to turn out and vote in favour of adopting the plan. Committee member Dave Bigby said, “A high turn-out and strong vote for the Ashby’s Neighbourhood Plan is particularly important at a time when our Bath Grounds are, once again, threatened with building development”.

The Friends have been heavily involved in seeking the strongest possible protection for the Bath Grounds in the Neighbourhood Plan. If adopted, the plan will become part of the statutory Development Plan for the area and must be taken into account in all relevant planning decisions. It designates the Bath Grounds and Ashby’s other parks as “Local Green Space”, which provides an additional layer of planning protection as if they were Green Belt. Specifically, the draft Plan states that, “new development [on these sites] is ruled out other than in very special circumstances” and “the construction of new buildings on Local Green Spaces is inappropriate”. The Neighbourhood Plan also describes the Bath Grounds as “Playing Fields” which should assist in renewal of the lease when the time comes.

Ashby’s Neighbourhood Plan has been developed over a period of 5 years and is based on extensive work by a series of local focus groups, covering the areas of Housing and the Built Environment, Economic Growth, Accessibility and Transport, Town Centre Vitality and Education and Leisure with the whole process overseen by a Steering Group consisting of 4 Town Councillors, a representative from Ashby Civic Society, a representative from Ashby Town Team and Town Council officers. Several drafts went through a series of Community Consultations before being examined by a Government Planning Inspector in the spring. The 22nd November referendum will be the final stage in bringing the Plan to fruition.

Dr Bigby continued, “Whilst I and many others would have preferred the Neighbourhood Plan to have been stronger in limiting further housing development in Ashby, unfortunately it is a legal requirement that it does not conflict with strategic policies in the current District Local Plan. Despite these limitations, the Neighbourhood Plan will provide significant additional protection to the Bath Grounds and Ashby’s other parks. It also addresses important issues such as future housing mix for both market and affordable housing, design criteria for new housing and the need for a Masterplan and Design Code for the new Money Hill Development agreed in conjunction with the Town Council.”

The Friends of Ashby Bath Grounds are also pleased to report that they have now received over 7400 signatures for their petition against any house building on the Bath Grounds. This will be presented to the District Council if and when the threatened planning application is eventually submitted.

Royal Hotel Planning Application Approved

Posted by [email protected] on November 20, 2014 at 8:05 AM Comments comments (1213)

The plans to build the "leisure pavilion" (commercial development) on the rear of the Royal Hotel car park and the kiosk at he front of the carpark were approved by of the NWLDC planning committee on November 4th 2014. We opposed this Application because of the design and proposed use of the Pavilion and Kiosk though we have no objections to the much needed improvements to the hotel itself. These are long overdue and will enhance Ashby and the Conservation area.

Ashby Town Council Planning Committee objected to this applications on grounds of loss of open space and poor design. However when it came to the District Council Planning Committee, those members of Ashby Town Council who also sit on that Committee all voted in favour of the Royal Hotel Application.

Thankyou to our many supporters who lobbied the District Council Planning Committee and came along to the meeting. We must now work to ensure that the building work is completed as sympathetically as possible for the Bath Grounds with the best materials available. In particular we must ensure that the improvements to the Royal Hotel are actually implemented.

Please lobby the District CouncilPlanning Committee before Tuesday

Posted by [email protected] on November 1, 2014 at 9:25 AM Comments comments (22)

If you would like to contact one of the councillors on the District Council planning committee to express your concerns/objections before next tuesday, regarding the Leisure Pavillion commercial building - then below are email and telephone contacts. Even if you can't speak to them in person you should be able to leave a message!

It can make a difference and is a powerful way of lobbying .. the Planning Application Number is 14/00104/FULM


[email protected] – 01530 459235 /07557 038432

[email protected] - 01530 411643 /07765 251208

[email protected], - 01530 564645

[email protected], - 01530 414300

[email protected] – 01530 223074 / 07854 687629

[email protected] - 01530 452930

[email protected] - 01530 468179

[email protected] - 01530 834597

[email protected] - 01530 01530 832457 / 07976 728003

[email protected] – 01530 415692

[email protected], - 01530 832622 / 07981 500997

[email protected] - 01530 515317 / 07738 461947

[email protected], - 01530 835668

[email protected] - 01530 817544

[email protected] - 01530 222970 / 07762 924720

[email protected] - 01530 831542 / 07989 577847

[email protected], - 01530 459514 / 07773 341531

[email protected] - 01530 564645

[email protected] - 01530 589625

Oppose Pavilion Application at Planning Committee 4th November!

Posted by [email protected] on November 1, 2014 at 9:15 AM Comments comments (389)

The Spaceship is Landing!

Planning application to be decided next week

Next Tuesday, 4th November, is decision day when the planning application for improvements to the Royal Hotel and new commercial buildings on the car park next to the hotel is due to be considered.


We are encouraging as many people as possible to come along to the meeting.


Our concerns centre on the planned 'pavilion', next to the Hotel and facing the Bath Grounds (shown above).


We have no objections to the proposed improvements and extension of the Royal Hotel itself as these are long overdue and will enhance Ashby and the Conservation area.


However, the proposed 'pavilion' is a substantial two storey building, with a larger footprint than the hotel itself, located in the conservation area, overlooking the Bath Grounds and between a pair of grade II* listed buildings.

• The design is wholly inappropriate for this very sensitive area;

• It will impact the character of the area due to its scale, proportions and massing;

• It has an imposing frontage on to the Bath Grounds;

• Important views within the conservation area will be lost;

• The proposed uses are contrary to planning policy;

• Car parking spaces for users of the Bath Grounds will be lost.

We are also concerned about the impact of the overall proposal on the Hastings Garden, where parking is planned. Little reassurance has been given about continued access by the public and the impact on trees in the area.


The application will be considered by the District Council planning committee on Tuesday 4th November, at the council offices in Coalville starting at 4:30pm. It's first on the agenda so you won't need to be there for too long!


Thank you for your time and support. Hope to see you on Tuesday.

Confirmation of Houses Application Withdrawal but the Fight Goes On

Posted by [email protected] on August 7, 2014 at 9:45 AM Comments comments (88)

The District Council has now confirmed that Oakland Hotels have withdrawn their planning application to build 5 "villas" on the Bath Grounds. This is a great victory in our battle to defend and protect the Bath Grounds for the Ashby community and we thank all our supporters for their help in this achievement. You may well have seen the Ashby Times article published today.If not you can find a link on our "Campaign" page.

However we cannot afford to be complacent. Oakland Hotels still have plans lodged for development of the Royal Hotel including 2 unsightly new buildings on the current hotel car park. Also, whist the Bath Grounds remain in private ownership, there is always a danger of further attempts to build on them. Our campaign will now turn to working with the Town and District Councils to ensure that they are properly protected in the new Neighbourhood and Local Plans and ideally to achieve community ownership of the grounds. Should the latter not be possible then we need to ensure that there is no impediment to the Town Council renewing their lease which expires in 2023 (see details below). We are also working with the Town Council to improve the grounds for community use and at their September 15th Parks and Cemetery Committee meeting we will be presenting our detailed suggestions for a properly constructed path for pedestrians and wheelchair users between the South Street and Prior Park Road entrances. We will be posting details of this project and a consultation document shortly.



Posted by [email protected] on August 6, 2014 at 12:05 AM Comments comments (0)

We have just heard that the Planning Application to build 5 large houses on the Bath Grounds has been withdrawn. This has still to be confirmed by the District Council but we understand that Oakland Hotels have withdrawn their proposal due to the numerous objections, not least by the Friends of the Bath Grounds and all our supporters.

So thank you to everyone who joined the campaign and sent in a letter of objection or signed the petition.

However, we understand that Oakland Hotels have NOT withdrawn the applications to extend the Royal Hotel and build two horrid annexes on the car park. So that fight must continue.

Applications Not To Be Considered at August Meeting

Posted by [email protected] on August 3, 2014 at 1:50 PM Comments comments (0)

The Agenda for the August meeting of the North West Leicestershire Planning Committee has been published. It does NOT include the Bath Grounds Planning Applications. So the earliest they could now be considered is at the 2nd September.:D

Plannning Applications Delayed Again

Posted by [email protected] on July 1, 2014 at 11:50 AM Comments comments (0)

The Planning Applications for the 5 houses on the Bath Grounds and the Royal Hotel extensions have both been delayed again for consideration by the District Council. We believe this is because there have been some major objections lodged by important consultees such as Sport England and English Heritage, as well as ourselves, and the developer is looking for ways to get them to change their minds.

The applications whill not now be consdered by the District Planning Committee until Tuesday 5th August 2014 at the earliest.