Context: I moved into a one-bedroom, unfurnished flat here as my first flat out of university, and have lived here since June 2020.
The thing I’d say in particular which makes living at Frederick House really stand out is the Resident Services Manager; Belinda. Having a direct line to her in case of any issues is a godsend; for example, when my balcony door started leaking during a rainstorm I had someone sent around the next day to put an immediate fix in place. In case of any issues she’s always receptive, and always responds promptly with a suitable resolution.
The building itself is fine: I like the aesthetic of the Riverside development as a whole, and Frederick House looks similar to the rest. To get inside, there’s a double set of doors which both require either the keyfob to unlock, or for someone in the building to buzz you through — the corridor in the middle is used as a mailroom. There have been a couple of reported mail thefts due to this layout (anyone you buzz in can get to the post, so one uncareful resident can damage the security of everyone else’s post), though these were quickly reported to the police and all residents were informed by Belinda, and nothing has happened recently. I would still bear this design flaw in mind, and collect parcels promptly, especially if you’re expecting any important deliveries (letters are stored in individually locked postboxes)
For the flat itself, I’m a big fan of the layout and design (quite grey/modern), the white goods are excellent (large fridge, washer-dryer, good quality oven and hob, and an extractor fan over the hob which actually extracts rather than just lifting fumes), and there’s more than ample storage space between the wealth of cupboards in the kitchen, the utility cupboard, and the full-length mirrored wardrobe in the bedroom. Having only the bedroom be carpeted I think provides a good balance between comfort and practicality. There are more than enough plugs, and the tech nerd within me is very happy that each room is wired together with RJ45 (Ethernet) ports. The bedroom and living room even have separate, programmable thermostats — excellent attention was paid to the quality of fittings throughout.
I’ve not managed to make much use of the communal facilities: the Residents’ Lounge is a great idea, but I’ve not felt particularly comfortable using it during the COVID-19 pandemic. Likewise I’ve not gotten around to being inducted to the gym. I look forward to using them at a later date.
Please tell us what you like and dislike about this area:
There are a couple of small shops immediately nearby (the Tesco Express over Windsor Bridge and the Sainsbury’s Petrol Station) which do the job, but in practice you’d walk to the big Sainsburys’ or Lidl (about 10 minutes each) which have everything you could need. Links are also good for the Farmers’ Market (held just by Sainsbury’s) on Saturday mornings, for more local produce. For restaurants and bars, I’d mostly head into the city proper (15 mins walk), but the Belvoir Castle is perfectly good, and their chip shop Pollocks is excellent.
For open spaces, Elizabeth Park is just next-door, and provides a very pleasant green space by the river: it’s a good place to sit and chat with friends.
Transport links are some of the best I’ve experienced: the local area is incredibly walkable, and one of the fastest routes into town is a very pleasant stroll by the river which brings you right next to Bath Spa train station. The buses are great (Park Lane bus stop is a 5 minute walk over Destructor Bridge, which gets you to Bristol; the main Bath Bus Station is only a 20 minute walk away and links to most of the South West), and likewise with trains you’re lucky to have both Oldfield Park (10 minute walk) and Bath Spa (20 minute walk) in walking distance, both on the Great Western Mainline with all the connectivity that entails.
I don’t have a car so can’t comment on parking, though when visitors have come for short stays the Destructor Bridge carpark just outside has worked out just fine. There is on-site parking in the underground car park which I used for just a day or so when initially moving in.
I have a lovely view of the Midland Road sewage pumping station out of my window — I actually quite like the look of it, but I know others have mixed opinions. People complaining about the smell are probably actually smelling the tip (“Bath recycling centre”) which is just over the river, which you can sometimes smell if the wind is blowing the wrong direction, but I’ve never noticed inside my flat.
Please share one thing (or more) which you wish you had known before you moved in:
Instead of typical gas services, hot water for both taps and heating is provided through E.On Heat, which has a really high standing charge and not many tariffs! (e.g. I’m paying about £45/mo in hot water for a one-bed flat with no option to switch). It’s a greener option, but bear this cost in mind with the rent.
Bins are done using a central system, and you need to separate plastic/metal, cardboard, paper, glass etc. yourself. I’d recommend figuring out some system to sort them in your flat, or just get used to sorting them when you take the bins out.
The kitchen/living room has a vinyl floor: if you’re planning on having a wheeled office chair, I’d get a protective mat just to ensure the planks don’t separate.
The thermostats are programmable, but not smart! I’d recommend giving the manual a good read and setting a proper schedule up (e.g. I have mine configured to turn on later and stay on later at the weekend, and change temperature during the day based on my usage schedule) — it’ll probably take an hour or so but it’s well worth doing, and you only need to do it once.
How has the building management responded to any problems or issues you have raised:
Promptly and excellently. Any issues are dealt with next day (which was the case for leaking around my balcony door, and a fire alarm chirping due to a low battery). Any time I have a question about something (e.g. recycling things which don’t have their own bin) I’ve gotten a response within the next day or so as well.