Radstock Co-op makes progress on town centre development plans

The society is planning a mixture of housing, retail and office space on the site of its old Radco Superstore

Somerset-based retailer Radstock Co-operative has announced updates on its ambitious plans to redevelop the site of its former Radco Superstore, which closed in August 2020.

The society has been working closely with Bath & North East Somerset (Banes) Council planners to complete all pre-planning commencement conditions –with progress slowed by the pandemic.

CEO Don Morris said: “It’s been a long time coming, but I’m truly delighted to announce the last pre-commencement condition has been passed.”

He said this meant the society could move ahead with the demolition of the site, which is scheduled to take place this summer. “It’s not only great news for the society but also fantastic news for the town,” he added. 

Don Morris at the old Radco site

The approved plans for the site, which the co-op has drawn up alongside planning, urban design and development consultants Origin 3, include a modern store and other retail units, offices and 28 apartments in two mixed-use buildings. In addition, outline planning has also been approved for the construction of 26 new homes on part of the existing car park.

Nikki D’Ovidio, PR and communications specialist at the society, said co-op members and the local community “have been an integral part of the planning process – included in every step from conception to the final plans. 

“Their feedback has been incorporated and changed the original plans from an uber-modern building to a more traditional design, with the new building gently integrated into the surrounding hillside and mirroring similar design elements to that of the surrounding buildings. 

“Along with Origin 3, we received high praise from Banes Council for our approach to the redevelopment – referring to our process as the model for how to plan and include the local community.”

D’Ovidio said the site “will bring numerous new jobs to the area – we are already using local contractors in all aspects of the build. 

“Working with Bath College, we have set up a committee to provide apprenticeships to young adults looking to begin a career in the industry.”

Related: Radstock Co-op reports surplus for 2021 despite pandemic challenges

Sustainability is also a crucial aspect to the plans, she said. “It will be built to the latest environmental standards, ensuring all wildlife and riverscape are protected, along with solar panels, shared energy groups and effective drainage.”

Radstock Co-op is also working with partners “to create an affordable housing scheme available to the society’s employees, old and new, along with anyone who has a connection to Radstock,” she added. 

The retail units will be open to major food chains to enhance the local economy, while Radstock Co-op will have its office on the site, along with further office space to rent. 

“We hope to be joined by Co-operative Funeral in a purpose-built unit along with other local businesses,” said D’Ovidio. “We want the redevelopment to serve the community for the future, bring the town together and create quality public realm where people can gather with friends and family.”

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