The Bass Brewery was founded in 1777 by William Bass in Burton upon Trent and by the late 20th century the Company (Bass Plc) had become the largest brewer in the UK. (Incidentally, the Company’s distinctive red triangle logo became the UK's first registered trademark).
A major landowner in Burton upon Trent, including in and around the Town Centre, parts of which it had already redeveloped, one of the Company’s major initiatives had been the highly successful ‘Centrum 100’ Business Park, adjoining the A38 Trunk Road on the edge of the Town. Non-operational developments such as this were vested in a subsidiary trading company – Bass Developments Limited (subsequently SCPD Limited [and now M&B Plc]). In the late 1990s the Company sought to develop a multiplex cinema on land at Centrum, but the planning application was called in by the Secretary of State because such out-of-centre development was seen to be contrary to national planning policy.
We were instructed at this point and advised that the proposal at Centrum was unlikely to be successful. The decision was therefore taken to withdraw the called-in application and to consider accommodating the development it encompassed on a site in, or on the edge of, the Town Centre. Through the rationalisation of its operational estate the Company was able to release for redevelopment the Middle Yard distribution facility (formerly the Worthington Brewery) which lay on the northern edge of the Town Centre, off High Street.
We acted as planning consultants for the Company, drawing up, submitting and administering through to determination three major planning applications for the phased redevelopment of the Middle Yard site, subsequently renamed Middleway Park, between 1999 and 2004. Phase 1 comprised a multiplex cinema (UCO Class D2), 3 UCO Class A3 restaurants, a UCO Class A4 themed public house and two UCO Class A1 retail units. Phase 2 involved UCO Class A1 retail Class D2 (Bingo Hall) and residential development. Phase 3 involved further UCO Class A1 retail development. We participated in the initial feasibility exercise for the Site and thereafter acted as agent for each of the planning applications, as well as securing the discharge of the planning obligation and planning conditions precedent. The Practice also undertook a (then) PPS6 assessment and prepared a Town Planning Statement, both in support of the first phase planning application. The development was successfully completed and sold on to an institutional investor in the early 2000s and continues to trade strongly.
In the meantime we have continued to act for Bass’s successor companies (the brewing business, including the world famous Bass name, having been sold to Interbrew and then Coors in 2000) in respect of Centrum 100 where we secured planning permissions for major extensions (30 hectares) to the business park (at ‘Centrum West’ and ‘Centrum East’), for UCO Classes B1 and B8 and for showroom and hotel uses, which involved significant improvements to the adjoining principal and trunk road highway infrastructure.
Antony Aspbury Associates . Registered in England Number . 4600912
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