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Creating a vibrant new community from an inaccessible 19ha military base

Mulberry Park, Combe Down, Bath
Mulberry Park hero

Comprehensive civil infrastructure design to unlock complex brownfield, former military base to develop a new community with local amenities providing vital housing close to Bath city centre.


Curo Enterprise Ltd


Combe Down, Bath

Service Lines

This former MoD Foxhill base was identified by Bath & North East Somerset Council as a key site in helping to meet Bath’s housing requirements up to 2026.

Acting for not-for-profit housing and support organisation, Curo Enterprise Ltd, who bought the site in 2013, we helped with their plans to remodel it into a distinctive, contemporary development – Mulberry Park – comprising up to 700 high quality homes, retail and employment space, community facilities and a primary school, as well as attractive open spaces.

As a former MoD location, this 19ha site had been inaccessible to the public for many years. We worked closely with planners, architects and other stakeholders to design a means of access and circulation in order to transform this once off-limits part of the city into a vibrant new place that people can live in and enjoy.

Our first role on the project was to carry out an engineering appraisal which provided the developer with the reassurance they were seeking to purchase the site. We also provided comprehensive infrastructure design services, including on-site and off-site highways design, surface and foul water drainage strategies, plot engineering and an assessment of cut and fill volumes.

With the proposed transformation of the site from a vacant military establishment to a well populated housing development, it was identified that the local foul drainage network capacity would be exceeded. We worked closely with the local sewerage authority to develop a strategy involving sewer diversions, emergency storage, flow controls and a pumping station to achieve a desirable solution. Our civil engineering team also provided detailed analysis that convinced the local highway authority to accept a source control drainage system beneath the on-site roads given that the site was too densely developed for a more orthodox arrangement.

By introducing sustainable drainage systems and assessing opportunities to recycle site demolition material, we have also helped our client to realise achievable sustainability targets and substantial cost savings.

With the site located in the world heritage city of Bath, visual impact is a key planning consideration. We worked with the design team to establish finished site levels that would enable ridge height target restrictions to be met without compromising our client’s development aspirations.

Praised by the Mulberry Park Project Director for our hard work, guidance and professional approach on the project, we successfully overcame various engineering challenges to facilitate a ‘reserved matters’ approval to enable site work to commence in time for the first homes to be occupied in late 2016.

Images reproduced with kind permission of HTA Design LLP.

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