Current Planning Applications

Feb – April 2018 

Responses due week beginning 30 April

18/00201/FUL – Comfortable Place, Kingsmead

Erection of 26 flats with cycle storage and car parking, refuse store, footpath linkage, revised access arrangements, landscaping and associated works, following demolition of 2 x 2 bed flats and 180m2 of office space.

Object: We have reviewed the revisions to this scheme and acknowledge that some work has been done to address widespread concerns regarding elements of the scheme. In particular slightly moving the built form and parking away from Onega Terrace (and additional tree planting) goes some way to relieve the overbearing character of this scheme on the local townscape, but we feel there is still harm from the heavy monolithic footprint of the building. The submission of LVIA’s with photomontages is welcome and we note there are some design changes including the rationalisation of fenestration on the south elevation and the revised roof storey on the west elevation.

In our view however we do not feel these changes go far enough to allow this development to assimilate comfortably within the distinctive grain of the local townscape or the conservation area and WHS (for detail on this refer to our previous submission). It is of a scale and massing that is still dominant and jarring with local character.  The combined use of a mansard roof turning into a step back roof form is clumsy and of poor quality design.  The large expanse of grey flat roof will be harmful in long views (see Southgate from Alexandra Park) and the material of the sloping roof element of the west elevation should be rethought as the expanse of grey is again blank and intrusive in views.  There is a predominance of grey cladding in the eastern balconied portion of the south elevation, this should be replaced with a different material such as Bath stone or even a high quality timber cladding to reference the approved application adjacent and to make a visual transition to this scheme.  The ground floor elevations are still inadequate in that they do not interface well with the towpath public realm; there could be more designed architectural interest and landscaping at this level.

A key tenet of urban planning under the Town and Country Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation areas) Act 1990 is the requirement to preserve or enhance local character and distinctiveness; this scheme continues to do neither. We cannot see that there is a case for sufficient public benefit to justify this scheme triumphing over considerate, contextually relevant place making.

We repeat our request that if the officer is minded to permit, we recommend that a condition is placed on the development that prohibits the use of these units as short term holiday lets; to ensure that they contribute to meeting Bath’s housing need and are not bought solely as investment properties.

 

Recommendation

The proposed scheme by virtue of its design, massing, form and scale would be harmful to the setting of designated heritage assets, would neither preserve nor enhance the character and appearance of the conservation area, would be detrimental to the visual amenity of the street scene and the riverside and would detract from the special qualities of the WHS. The scheme would be contrary to Section 12 (Conserving and Enhancing the Historic Environment) of the NPPF, policies B1, B4, and CP6 of the B&NES Core Strategy and policies CP6, D.1, D.2, D.5, HE1, BD1, B4 of the Placemaking Plan. We would therefore strongly recommend the application be withdrawn or refused.

 

17/06245/LBA& 17/06207/AR – Ladbrokes Racing Ltd   16 Westgate Street City

Display of 1no. internally illuminated fascia sign and 1no. non-illuminated projecting sign. (Regularisation).

Object: The Trust objects strongly to this application for low quality signage which fails to take any account of the guidance contained in the SPD on Commercial Signage in the conservation area and also fails to take account of the special interest of the listed building. The use of a metal fascia and internally illuminated acrylic letting is entirely unacceptable and must be amended or refused. The colours are lurid and inappropriate and the lettering far too large.  The fascia should be painted timber with hand painted lettering as a best option but high quality reduced size pin mounted lettering could also be considered (not illuminated).

The proposed scheme would neither preserve nor enhance the special interest of the listed building, would harm the character and appearance of the conservation area and would detract from the special qualities of the WHS.  The scheme would be contrary to Section 12 (Conserving and Enhancing the Historic Environment) of the NPPF, policies B1, B2, B4, and CP6 of the B&NES Core Strategy and policies CP6, D.2, HE1, D.9, B.4, B.2 of the Placemaking Plan. It is also contrary to the Commercial Signage and Tables/Chairs in the Conservation Area SPD. We would therefore recommend the application be withdrawn or refused.

 

18/01511/LBA – 5 Chatham Row City Centre

Internal and external alterations for the installation of a replacement combi boiler on the ground floor, including filling the existing flue and re-opening another.

Comment; It is difficult to tell from the application where the flue will vent out of the building. The flue should be of a recessive colour such as grey or cream to blend with the Bath stone.  In addition the applicant talks of making good with white mortar – this sounds concerning; the hole should be filled with lime mortar or an appropriate Bath stone dust permeable mix, If it is large a piece of stone should be pieced in to ensure the elevation is not pockmarked.

 

18/01407/EVAR – Site of Former Ministry Of Defence Offices Warminster Road Bathwick Bath

Variation of condition 24 of application 16/04289/EFUL (Erection of 6 no. apartment blocks to provide 87 no. new dwellings (Partial revision of application 14/02272/EFUL) granted on 09.08.2017

Comment:  The proposal to change from Bath stone to render (including imitation rustication at undercroft level) on the two blocks is in our view unacceptable.  These are the city facing elevations, visible in long views, and given the pastiche classical styling of the scheme these elevations should be in finely jointed Bath stone ashlar to match the materials palette of the 18th century city. Render usually appears hard, white and blank in long views and could therefore be harmful to the OUV of the WHS.

18/01510/LBA31 Sion Hill Lansdown

Internal and external alterations to insert pair of new windows to ground floor of rear elevation and new joinery details to existing rear doors.

Comment:  Whilst we are content to leave the final decision on this application to the planning judgement of the conservation officer, our view is that the proposed new windows to this elevation are not justified by public benefit and will substantially alter this – albeit already altered – elevation, thereby causing less than substantial harm to the special architectural interest of this asset.

 

18/01516/REG04 – Land To The Rear Of 89 To123 Englishcombe Lane Southdown

Development of 37 residential dwellings (Use Class C3, including affordable housing), vehicular and pedestrian access, open space, landscaping, drainage, related infrastructure and engineering works.

Comment: The Trust finds this application broadly acceptable (given that the principle of development on this land has been established).  We have some observations on the scheme as follows:

  • The site plans looks to be reasonably well laid and spaced out which is commendable but we would comment that the success of the assimilation of this scheme will rest with the effectiveness and quality of the landscaping and tree planting, especially to allow the scheme to blend into the urban townscape in long views
  • We do observe however that individual house gardens are quite small compared to the garden character suburb of the surrounding area.
  • It has been difficult in wading through the information on the application to get a proper visual understanding of the scheme; contextual 3D street or aerial views would be useful to see how the individual housing types sit together as a whole scheme and how they integrate with the surrounding housing.
  • Similarly we welcome the provision of LVIA’s but a series of photomontages would have been useful to understand how the scheme would appear on the hillside in long views.
  • We have some reservations about the elevational treatment of the houses; not only does there appear to be a lack of reference to local character design-wise but we question the extensive use of timber cladding. This is not a material seen in large quantities in Bath’s urban areas and we are not convinced it is appropriate in the context of an urban extension as this is, rather than a rural scheme. The use of buff brick is becoming more prevalent in housing applications, and we are concerned that its use is again not contextually relevant or appropriate given the surrounding area is largely built in Bath stone ashlar. Departing from the materials palette in this conservation area would potentially fail to retain or enhance local distinctiveness.   The use of clay roof tiles is also of concern given that if they are a bright red colour they will stand out on the hillside until they weather which could take some time. We would recommend the use of a pre-patinated clay tile to ensure that the scheme would not be built out with a highly visible red roofscape.

In conclusion we find the scheme to be broadly acceptable but we feel the architects should reconsider aspects of the design and materials in relation to contextual character and provide more 3D visuals so that the scheme can be better understood and analysed in context.

 

18/01327/LBA65 Lyncombe Hill, Lyncombe

Internal and external alterations to include extension of existing rear cloakroom tower and conversion of first floor bathroom, alterations to dormer windows, external alterations to existing single storey sub-basement level extension and restoration of kitchen to original location in the basement.

Comment: Whilst we sympathise with the applicant’s wish to extend their property, the proposed extension does seem to be quite excessive and thus potentially harmful to the listed building and without any associated public benefit to outweigh the harm. The fact that an insensitive extension has been built next door is not justification for this level of intervention, on the contrary it actually shows how harmful the proposed scheme will be on the appearance and interest of the rear elevation.  The scheme should be tweaked to be less dominant, perhaps with the extension being taken out but not up so the 2nd floor remains intact and without additions. We welcome the removal of the pediments to the dormer windows.

Comments for week commencing 23/04/18

18/00197/FUL – 109 Wells Road Lyncombe

Change of use from residential (C3) to a Bed and Breakfast (C1), erection of single storey side extension, first floor rear extension, replacement single storey side and rear extension and insertion of ground floor side window

 

Comment: We consider this to be a very poor application which should not have been registered. There is no detailed Design & Access Statement or any justification or business case for the change of use.   The application also lacks information on the materials of the extensions or the additional window. We would recommend that the application is withdrawn whilst the applicant submits a better planning case to the LPA.

 

18/01227/FUL – Casa Bianca Bathwick Hill Bathwick

Extension and conversion of the current garage to provide an annexe for a full time carer for Casa Bianca

 

Comment: This is in effect a new building within the setting and curtilage of a significant listed building. We are surprised that there has been very little assessment of the impact of the proposed scheme on setting of the primary listed building (context elevations etc) and Priory Lodge. In our view the applicant should provide a 3D render of the building as viewed from the main house and surroundings, given that increased height will increase visibility and in order to understand how the finished scheme will interact with its surroundings. We refer to Section 66(1) of the Planning (Listed Building and Conservation Areas Act) 1990 that ‘decision makers should give “considerable importance and weight” to the desirability of preserving the setting of listed buildings’ when carrying out the balancing exercise’.”

In addition we ask why proper justification for extending this building has not been provided; and whether a carer could not be accommodated within the large main house. We are concerned that this becomes a cumulative harm issue, with the garage being built in 1981 and now being turned into a separate dwelling, both bringing intervention and possible harm to the setting of listed buildings.

 

The quality of any ancillary building should reflect the quality and character of the primary listed building. The proposed scheme combines modern materials (aluminium windows, utilitarian garage door etc.) alongside more traditional stone and roof materials and is neither in a sympathetic modern nor a traditional replica style. The suggested render is not appropriate if the building is in replica design to the host and the image of the Bath stone rubble with lime pointing used in the D & A looks to be in a Cotswold stone construction and colour. The use of rendered quoins with blank render, rubblestone and the modern window and door materials appears a confused juxtaposition and not of a quality befitting its proximity to two buildings of particular architectural interest.  We recommend that the applicant is asked to rethink both design and materials.

18/01332/FUL – 122 Bloomfield Road Bloomfield

Creation of driveway and erection of rear balcony

Comment: The character of the area is in part defined by the extent of historic boundary walls. The loss of the defining boundary wall with pedestrian gate in this scheme will in our view be harmful to local character and to the non-designated heritage asset, as it will lose an attractive feature of the setting of the building and one which, as intended, frames the arrival to the historic dwelling. Whilst we accept there is local precedent we feel it would be a great shame to lose this feature especially as there appears to be no justification as the applicant has parking at the rear of the property.  If the driveway gates are permitted wrought iron gates would be more in keeping with the character of the area and would still allow the villa to be glimpsed from the road and retain an active frontage to the street.

We are concerned regarding the loss of the rear balcony which is an attractive decorative structure that looks to be original Edwardian and designed with the building, no historic analysis has been provided to inform the planning decision and no real justification provided beyond the short term enjoyment of the owners. It mirrors the balcony feature on the front of the building and its loss would certainly harm the architectural interest and visual appeal of the building. We generally have no problem with a contemporary glass balcony on a dwelling where none exists (subject to material planning considerations), but in this case we would recommend that this balcony is retained so as to preserve the special interest of this non-designated heritage asset.

 

 

18/01472/FUL – Land South Of 378 Wellsway Bath

Erection of a building comprising 3no apartments following removal of the existing storage building and advertising hoardings

Object:  This is a prominent site overlooking the townscape in the WHS and we object to this application on the basis that the scheme overdevelops this small plot and the scale, massing and height of the building is excessive and at odds with the character and appearance of the local area. The design of the building is bland and lacking the quality required for a gateway location to the WHS. We object particularly to the flat stepped back roof which is at least one storey too high; this scheme should respect the slope on which it sits and the height should step down to meet the height of the Millennium Building, not dwarf it. We recommend that the building is scaled down considerably in both height and scale so that it assimilates more respectfully and cohesively with the local townscape and urban grain. In particular the provision of Policy D.7 come into play here which cites that corner infill must carefully consider primary and return frontage regarding heights, scale, massing and design and respect the local townscape character.

The proposed scheme would neither preserve nor enhance the character and appearance of the local area and would detract from the special qualities of the WHS.  The scheme would be contrary to Section 12 (Conserving and Enhancing the Historic Environment) of the NPPF, policies B1, B4, and CP6 of the B&NES Core Strategy and policies CP6, D.2, D.5, D.7, HE1, B.4 of the Placemaking Plan. We would therefore recommend the application be withdrawn or refused.

Responses week beginning 16 April

18/00945/FUL – Garricks Head 8 St John’s Place

Use of public highway for the siting of 17 no. tables and 60 no. chairs.

Object:  The Trust objects to this application on the basis of the excessive amount of tables and chairs and the fact that they will clutter and intrude upon the setting of an important listed building. Whilst we have no objection to the use of the pavement adjacent to the pub, the use of the corner spot intrudes on the front elevation of the Theatre Royal and harms the special architectural interest of the listed building. We acknowledge that Saw Close is going to be a dining and entertainment ‘quarter’ with a considerable amount of outdoor furniture but we do believe a line must be drawn somewhere to stop the area from becoming too cluttered to the detriment of the historic townscape. We would recommend the tables and chairs by the corner of the theatre should be removed from the application.

The proposed scheme by virtue of its amount and siting would be harmful to the setting of significant designated heritage assets, would neither preserve nor enhance the character and appearance of the conservation area, would be detrimental to the visual amenity of the street scene and would detract from the special qualities of the WHS. The scheme would be contrary to Section 12 (Conserving and Enhancing the Historic Environment) of the NPPF, policies B1, B2, B4, and CP6 of the B&NES Core Strategy, policies D.2, HE1, D.9, B.4, B.2 of the Placemaking Plan. We would therefore recommend the application be amended or refused.

18/00972/LBA – Flat 2   8 Oxford Row City Centre

Internal and external alterations for the removal of existing modern partitions to create open plan living/kitchen area.  New lobby and flat entrance to be created.  Rewire of electrical services including installation of new electric heating.  Installation of 2no. extract flues.

Comment: As usual the Trust would comment that the flues on the elevation should be a recessive colour such as grey or cream not black so as to harmonise with and not intrude upon the Bath stone.

18/01377/FUL – Mawingo Granville Road Lansdown

Demolition of existing dwelling and erection of an apartment building comprising 8no. flats, associated works including car parking, amenity space and landscaping (Resubmission)

Comment:  The Trust welcomes the changes to this scheme and the addition of detailed Landscape Visual Impact Assessments.  In particular the scaling down of the scheme and the simplification of the design has been beneficial.  The LVIA’s serve to show that this building will impact visually only marginally on the overall now urban character of this ridge that has been the subject of regrettable cumulative development which has become harmful to the OUV of the WHS. The verified visual montages show the roof treatment to a slate style colour and material, yet the application details the use of Redland clay tiles or clay pantiles, which we assume will be a clay red colour.  In our view the roof should be a grey colour to be recessive on the hillside and in long views, we would leave to the case officer’s discretion what that material could be but of course natural slate would be optimum given the Bath palette.

18/01076/AR – 2 Stall Street City Centre

Display of a replacement, internally illuminated, fascia sign

Object: The proposed signage is of poor quality appearance with inappropriate materials and unacceptable internal illumination. The applicant has clearly taken not seen the guidance on commercial signage SPD and does not appear to take regard that the building lies within the conservation area and WHS and that the building is listed.  We would also expect to see a listed building application for this signage.

The proposed scheme would neither preserve nor enhance the character and appearance of the conservation area and would detract from the special qualities of the WHS.  The scheme would be contrary to Section 12 (Conserving and Enhancing the Historic Environment) of the NPPF, policies B1, B2, B4, and CP6 of the B&NES Core Strategy and policies CP6, D.2, HE1, D.9, B.4, B.2 of the Placemaking Plan. It is also contrary to the Commercial Signage and Tables/Chairs in the Conservation Area SPD. We would therefore recommend the application be withdrawn or refused.

 

18/01267/FUL – Sports Training Village University of Bath Campus Claverton Down

Proposed new School of Management Building including new arrivals square, public realm enhancement, landscaping, cycle and motorcycling parking, disabled parking and other associated infrastructure works.

Comment: The Trust finds this application to be successful in terms of the scale of ambition to create a 21st century faculty building and in the proposed design of the building and its associated interaction with the campus and the student population.

This site does not appear to be planned for in the current university 2009-20 masterplan (though we note that site is part of a potential development area in Policy SB19) and we feel this undermines the purpose and gravitas of the masterplan. The masterplan is confusing in that in more than one of the opportunities maps, the site (now 4ES and the associated car park) is earmarked for development but it is detailed as residential accommodation (p38) and as academic space in other map (p39). It would appear that further academic space was not earmarked for development on this site given that the masterplan plans for the 4ES development only.

We cannot support this application however because,  as always, our main concern is how the university can justify the addition of further state-of-the-art academic space aimed to draw more students to the university without a published and agreed collaborative strategic plan with B&NES Council and Bath Spa University regarding student accommodation across the City. We would wish to see how the university will shoulder a greater proportion of its student numbers, and in particular any extra students being attracted to a city with an already challenged housing market and a student population of over 24,000. With new academic space intensifying the campus (and removing important green space) we would expect to see intensified accommodation development occurring on campus as a balancing exercise.

 

Responses week beginning 9 April

18/00990/FUL – 29 Edward Street Lower Weston

Extension of access and hardstanding to create additional off road parking at the front to include removal of stone walls, excavating top soil and erection of retaining wall.

Comment: This street within the conservation area is characterised by raised green front gardens retained by boundary walls alongside a single parking driveway to the front of houses.  The total loss of the garden proposed in this application would change this mixed garden/driveway suburban character and create a substantial hard frontage that would in our view neither retain nor enhance local distinctiveness.

 

18/00588/FUL – 5 Brock Street, City Centre 

Conversion of property from 5no self-contained flats to a single dwelling/house with associated refurbishments and works to external doors and windows and the inclusion of a terrace to the rear.

Support:  The Trust welcomes the reinstatement of the townhouse as this will better reveal and enhance the special historic and architectural interest of the listed building, by re-establishing the historic plan form. We would caveat this by saying that if possible it should be conditioned that in the future the house does not become a holiday let, though of course this would at that point need planning permission for sui generis use given the amount of bedrooms.

 

18/01022/REG02 & 18/01042/REG13 – 6 Milsom Street, City Centre

Change of use from A1 (shops) to A3 (cafe/restaurant) repair works to the exterior of the building and minor internal alterations to the existing building.

Object: We object to this application on the basis that the change of use is contrary to policy and no justification has been supplied to support the application. We are surprised that such a scant application should come from B&NES given that we feel the Council should be leading by example.  Milsom Street is a primary shopping street and has a distinct character as such. This character is underpinned by the historic use of the street as a shopping centre and therefore the shopping use is part of its special historic interest. The proposal to include an A3 use is in our view inappropriate and unwanted and would harm the special historic interest detailed above.  An A3 use could lead to legitimate but inappropriate food businesses within what is Bath’s most prestigious shopping street. In our view there is already a good mix of A3 offerings within the street with both cafes and restaurants (some that are empty) and losing another shop floor and frontage would be harmful to the shopping function of the centre (as per policy CR3) and result in an oversupply of A3 which could cumulatively harm the retail character of the street. Other secondary areas, including Kingsmead Square which is a café hub, are more appropriate for the balance towards A3 to be skewed. Moreover, following a change of use there would be no control over the type of food business (Greggs?) to lease the space.

The lack of supporting information is disappointing; no business case or justification has been provided as to why A3 use is needed and consequently why A1 use is not viable. We would except to see some form of business case added to the application for any informed decision to be made.

The proposed scheme would neither preserve nor enhance the character and appearance of the conservation area, would harm the balance and vibrancy of the primary retail area and would detract from the special qualities of the WHS. The scheme would be contrary to the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) sections 16, 66 and 72, Section 12 (Conserving and Enhancing the Historic Environment) of the NPPF, policies B1, B2, B4, and CP6 of the B&NES Core Strategy, policies HE1, B.2, CR3 of the Placemaking Plan and Saved Policy S.5 of the Local Plan. We would therefore strongly recommend the application be withdrawn or refused.

 

18/01095/AR – 56 Southgate Street, City Centre

Display of 1 no. illuminated fascia sign and 1 no. illuminated projecting sign.

Object: The proposed signage is of poor quality appearance with inappropriate materials and unacceptable internal illumination. The applicant has clearly taken not seen the guidance on commercial signage SPD and does not appear to take regard that the building lies within the conservation area and WHS and at a prominent corner location.

The proposed scheme would neither preserve nor enhance the character and appearance of the conservation area and would detract from the special qualities of the WHS.  The scheme would be contrary to Section 12 (Conserving and Enhancing the Historic Environment) of the NPPF, policies B1, B2, B4, and CP6 of the B&NES Core Strategy and policies CP6, D.2, HE1, D.9, B.4, B.2 of the Placemaking Plan. It is also contrary to the Commercial Signage and Tables/Chairs in the Conservation Area SPD. We would therefore recommend the application be withdrawn or refused.

 

18/01296/FUL – 2 Linley Close, Whiteway

Change of use from a 3no. bedroom residential property (Use Class C3) to a 5no. bedroom HMO (Use Class C4).

Comment: The immediacy of Twerton Infants School makes this an attractive and appropriate property for families. A change of use to a HMO would not serve the local demand for housing in this area and would result in the unacceptable loss of accommodation in terms of mix, size and type.  We also question whether the use should be ‘sui generis’ given it is likely that 5 bedrooms will result in 6 or more residents.

Responses week beg 19 March and 26 March

18/00553/FUL – Garages to Rear of 7 Forester Lane, Bathwick 

Erection of 1no dwelling following demolition of four garages

Object: The Trust has no objection to an infill development on this site. However whilst we acknowledge that this application is not visible within the public realm, the proposals are in our view substandard with considerable design issues that will impact on the character and appearance of the conservation area. The bland boxy design with the large extent of glazing show very little design input and the unrelieved rear elevation is also uncharacteristic of the conservation area. The form and size of the building does not relate positively or respectfully to the prevailing pattern of local built forms.  There is little doubt this building does not take any cues or references from its local context and fails to preserve or enhance the local townscape character. The use of recon stone and grey recon slates are unacceptable and again point to a lack of understanding of local context, in which Bath stone ashlar or red brick are the main elements of the materials palette. In our view the architect and applicant should return to the drawing board.

The proposed scheme by virtue of its design, massing, form and scale would neither preserve nor enhance the character and appearance of the conservation area and would detract from the special qualities of the WHS. The scheme would be contrary to Section 12 (Conserving and Enhancing the Historic Environment) of the NPPF, policies B1, B4, and CP6 of the B&NES Core Strategy and policies CP6, D.1, D.2, D.5, D7, HE1, BD1 of the Placemaking Plan. We would therefore strongly recommend the application be withdrawn or refused.

 

18/00728/AR & 18/00729/LBA – Jolly’s, Milsom Street, City Centre

Display of 3no. hanging signs

Object:  The Trust objects to the application on the basis of the harmful visual impact of this signage on multiple heritage assets, on the group value of Milsom Street as a heritage asset, and that the materials proposed (aluminium and vinyl) are low quality and unacceptable in this location. Milsom Street is largely devoid of hanging signs except a very small number of historic or unauthorised signs. The absence of this type of signage clutter is a positive characteristic of Milsom Street as it allows the appreciation of the linear architecturally framed views up to Edgar Buildings and down to the Old Bond Street Island; these views form part of its special character.  The whole street has a strong group value as a sequential ensemble, even with the addition of shop fronts, and it is a typical example of harmonious and ordered Georgian urban design. The addition of projecting signs on Milsom Street would significantly intrude onto the classical facades and clutter the views of the architecture of the street and its flowing, sloping form, thus harming the appreciation of the heritage assets and their setting.

We cannot see any current fixings for any hanging signs therefore the new signage could cause harm to the historic fabric of the elevation if it is to be fixed to stone.  Given the building is already pockmarked from the unauthorised flags erected 2 years ago, and other accretions installed and removed over the years, consideration of cumulative harm should be key.

The proposed scheme would be harmful to the special interest of the designated heritage assets, would neither preserve nor enhance the character and appearance of the conservation area and would detract from the special qualities of the WHS. The scheme would be contrary to the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) sections 16, 66 and 72, Section 12 (Conserving and Enhancing the Historic Environment) of the NPPF, policies B1, B2, B4, and CP6 of the B&NES Core Strategy and policies CP6, D.2, HE1, D.9, B.4, B.2 of the Placemaking Plan. We would therefore strongly recommend the application be withdrawn or refused.

 

18/00807/ERES – Former MOD Foxhill Site, Bradford Road, Combe Down

Approval of reserved matters in regards to outline application 14/04354/EOUT for the development of 166 dwellings; parking; landscaping and all associated infrastructure.

Comment:  The Trust is largely comfortable with the overriding character and appearance of the Phase 3 scheme however we do have some observations and concerns as set out below:

  • As we expressed in the pre-app meeting with Curo and their architects, we find the shape of the ‘crescent’ fronting the park to be awkward and incorrect as a crescent form. Whilst we understand there are constraints which mean the plan form is designed at it is, we assume these are to do with housing unit numbers and not environmental constraints. In our view for these two straight terraces to be a correct crescent architecturally, it should be amended to form a pure curve as per the outline planning application, or a number of semi-detached pairs arranged on a curve, to form a crescent which is a strong tradition in estate layout. Whether or not this is an important planning issue we will leave to the judgement of the planning officer. Perhaps it is all in a name, if the form is retained then it would be sensible to drop any reference to a crescent and re-name these terraces.
  • The building forms, design and materials of this scheme are similar to those found in Phase 1 and obviously an overall distinct built character to the site is crucial to its success as a community and a neighbourhood. This begs the question of how well this scheme will assimilate with Phase 2 (to which we maintain a strong objection) should it be permitted. In our view the two schemes look to be entirely different visually in terms of impact and character and there does not appear to be any real form of architectural transition to knit the two phases together.
  • Our primary concern is the issue of the adequacy of the tree shelter belt to the north of the site. We do not think this has been properly detailed by the applicant and it is not clear what is to happen in terms of responsibility for succession planting for those trees that are not part of the Mulberry demise but which form part of the ridge shelter belt and therefore play an important role in screening the development. Whilst there are supporting documents regarding arboriculture, the provisions of these are not detailed in the drawings (nor is the real extent and actual content of the tree belt) and so it is difficult to get a visual idea of the robustness of the plans for the shelter belt; in fact this section of the wooded ridge looks to be quite thin. As always our primary concern is that this development should not be visible in long views from the city as the undeveloped wooded ridge of the city in the bowl is a crucial element of the OUV of the WHS. Glimpses of urban development through the shelter belt would urbanise the ridge and harm the setting of the WHS.
  • We welcome the provision of 4 experimental ‘passivhaus’ houses and 37% affordable housing and commend Curo on their continuing efforts to create a high quality scheme as is being evidenced in Phase 1 as it is being built out.

 

18/00835/LBA & 18/00834/AR – 7 Sawclose, City Centre

Display of advertisements for the new Casino at Sawclose

Object: The Trust objects to this application on the basis that the proposed materials for this signage is unacceptable.  The use of acrylic lettering with illumination is unacceptable and contrary to the SPD on signage in the conservation area. The fascia signs should be hand painted with no illumination.  We agree with BHW that the proposed lettering is at odds with the character of the listed building. The proposed hanging sign in aluminium and acrylic with halo illumination is also unacceptable. If a hanging sign is agreed at all, it should be painted timber with hand painted signage and no illumination. The illuminated case is also an issue as it will clutter the elevation and therefore impact on the special interest of the listed building.

The proposed scheme would be harmful to the special interest of the designated heritage asset, would neither preserve nor enhance the character and appearance of the conservation area and would detract from the special qualities of the WHS. The scheme would be contrary to the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) sections 16, 66 and 72, Section 12 (Conserving and Enhancing the Historic Environment) of the NPPF, policies B1, B2, B4, and CP6 of the B&NES Core Strategy and policies CP6, D.2, HE1, D.9, B.4, B.2 of the Placemaking Plan. We would therefore strongly recommend the application be withdrawn or refused.

 

18/00884/LBA & 18/00883/FUL – 12 Rivers Street, City Centre

Conversion of ground and first-floor maisonette  to self-contained flats, internal alterations to lower ground, ground, first and second floor flats and erection of rear extension following part demolition of existing extension.

Comment: The Trust questions whether the drainpipes on the front elevation, which harm the special interest of the listed building, could be rationalised or even removed as a conservation benefit whilst this building is being refurbished and repaired.

18/00965/LBA 15 Devonshire Buildings, Bear Flat

Internal and external alterations for the replacement of existing windows with timber windows with glazing bars, replacement of existing roof slates with natural slate, removal of existing external plastic pipework, reinstating original interior doorways and restoring interior layout to original form.

Support: Subject to planning officer consideration of finer details, the Trust supports the proposals to reinstate multi-pane sash windows to the front elevation, to reinstate a natural slate roof and to undertake general conservation and repair work to the listed building. As we do not have the benefit of an internal site visit we leave the consideration of the proposed internal works to the expertise of the conservation officer.

18/00756/FUL – Birch House Mount Beacon, Beacon Hill

Erection of single storey timber outbuilding

Comment: There have been numerous landslips in this location recently but there is no reference in the D&A to the stability or otherwise of the cliff edge or the potential danger to the applicant or residents below or if any structural survey has been carried out.

As an aside, referring to it as ‘a timber outbuilding’ in the main application, the D&A states the proposed outbuilding seeks to future-proof the use of the site as a family home by providing sufficient accommodation to serve the family’s needs which to our mind looks to be an additional dwelling not an outbuilding. Further urbanising and developing this valued green wooded area that serves as a valued part of the setting of the WHS is also of concern given any light spill etc will be highly visible across the valley.

 

Responses week beginning 12 March

17/06242/FUL – Street Record Kingston Parade City Centre

Use of public highway for the siting of an outdoor photography exhibition (5no structures) from 18th April 2018 to 30th April 2018 as part of Art and Film Festival.

Comment – Trust is supportive of open air exhibitions but this proposal raises concerns that the Council has no coherent policy in respect of such exhibitions. Whilst we accept that the proposed exhibition is temporary, it would still have a potentially negative visual and physical impact on the setting and significance of the Abbey and adjacent listed buildings, the character and appearance of the Conservation Area, and the Outstanding Universal Values of the World Heritage Site. It is our view that the exhibition stands, and in particular their illumination, would detract from the ambience of Kingston Parade (as labelled in the location plan but sometimes called Abbey Churchyard) and impinge on important townscape vistas and spatial sequences. In particular we question how these stands will work from a lighting point of view and whether unsightly electrical cables will be run from a nearby building as this will further exacerbate the harm. We question whether a better location exists for this exhibition, such as Kingston Buildings (as labelled in the location plan), which is a central but secondary public space that does not offer long views of the Abbey (views which would be harmed by the current proposed location), or further afield within the city. We urge the case officer to consider asking the applicant to present other less sensitive location options for this display.

18/00522/FUL – 37 Maple Gardens Oldfield Park

Erection of Single storey rear extension, loft conversion with installation of two dormers, and minor external works.

Comment: In our view the side dormer is unnecessarily large, therefore overdeveloping and overbalancing the roof, and we are concerned that the grey timber cladding is not an appropriate material for the dormer cheeks. We recommend that the dormer is reduced in size and the applicant has a rethink on the materials in order to reduce the impact on the character and appearance of the conservation area.

 

18/00552/LBA – 20 Bathwick Street Bathwick Bath

Erection of rear single storey extension following demolition of existing, and internal modification and refurbishment.

Comment: The Trust has no concerns regarding the principle of the proposed new extension however there is a lack of detail regarding the proposed materials, especially the timber cladding (there is no information on type of wood, weathering, colour etc.). In our view timber cladding is not an appropriate material for use in an urban 18th century environment as it has a rustic finish that is rural in nature and visually discordant with the fine stone detail of the listed building (and particularly if it does not weather well). Whilst we accept that the extension should be a legible modern addition (and it is clear the applicant’s want to make this ‘statement’) we feel that better contemporary cladding materials could be used that are more visually refined and lightweight with better longevity such as metal, porcelain or through colour render. LB significance

 

18/00589/LBA – 5 Brock Street City Centre Bath   

Internal and external alterations for the change of use of building from 5no self-contained flats to single dwellinghouse with general refurbishments, removal of partioning and fire doors, replacement of sash windows, addition of ground floor terrace and replacement of first floor balcony and canopy.

Support:  The Trust welcomes the reinstatement of the multi-pane sashes on the listed building and the proposed works to the first floor balcony and canopy. In general the works appear to be sensitive and conservation focussed though we caveat our support by saying that we have not reviewed the finer detail nor visited the site therefore rely on the final judgement of the conservation officer. CA

 

18/00659/LBA – 1 Barton Street City Centre Bath

External alterations for the replacement of stonework

Comment: There is not enough detail within this application to be able to fully judge the works to reinstate the stonework.  The applicant has not mentioned which conservation stone mason they propose to employ and in our view a method statement with stone survey should be submitted with the application. The proposed piecing-in looks to be quite random in that it repairs some areas and leaves other degraded areas in situ, which may look odd and therefore harm the significance of the listed building.

 

Responses due week beginning 5 March 2018

18/00548/FUL – St Joseph’s Church Sladebrook Road Southdown Bath

 Redevelopment of redundant church site for 9no 3 bedroom houses

Comment: The Trust welcomes this application on the basis that generally the proposed development appears to sit comfortably within its context, neither overdeveloping the site nor detracting from distinct local townscape character. The massing and heights of these buildings are contextually appropriate and we commend the applicant on their restraint in looking to build a scheme that contributes positively to local character and creates a good quality open traditional cul de sac. Our only comment would be that we are disappointed that this particular applicant is not proposing any affordable housing within this scheme. In addition we would recommend that Permitted Development rights are removed as part of any approval to maintain the integrity of the designed scheme.

18/00261/FUL – Parade Park Hotel, 8 – 10 North Parade

Conversion of internal rooms to provide new guest rooms and to modify existing guest rooms to include en-suite bathrooms. Use existing rear gardens for food and beverage service

Object: We strongly object to this application which is completely deficient and in our view should not have been registered. This is a Grade I listed building by John Wood the Elder and as such is afforded the highest protection under the NPPF. The applicant is required to provide a level of detail regarding their proposals which is proportionate to the significance of the asset; in this case the level of detail should be very high.  There is no Heritage Statement and Heritage Impact Assessment accompanying the application, nor any justification or mitigation given for harm to historic fabric and plan form. It is even difficult to understand what the applicant wishes to do based on the very general brief Design & Access Statement.  No analysis or breakdown of significance of the building and the interior spaces has been undertaken and it is not clear, for example, what age and special value the panelling in the breakfast room has if any nor what the applicant proposes for this area given it is labelled ‘area in ambit’ (though we note in an earlier drawing that the area is carved up into rooms). Obviously a listed building application should also be submitted.

The proposed scheme would be harmful to the special interest of the designated heritage assets, would neither preserve nor enhance the character and appearance of the conservation and would detract from the special qualities of the WHS. The scheme would be contrary to the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) sections 16, 66 and 72, Section 12 (Conserving and Enhancing the Historic Environment) of the NPPF, policies B1, B2, B4, and CP6 of the B&NES Core Strategy and policies CP6, D.2, HE1, B.4, B.2 of the Placemaking Plan. We would therefore strongly recommend the application be withdrawn or refused and the applicant instructed to submit a properly detailed application.

18/0444/AR – 5 Saville Row Lansdown Bath

Display of 3 No. non-illuminated fascia signs on existing fascia board and 1no. externally illuminated hanging sign

Comment:  The overall proposals for these shop fronts are supported subject to the case officers review of the details; painted wooden fascias with traditional gold leaf signwriting is entirely appropriate.  We note however the absence of large scale drawings of the hanging sign and we are unsure as to what is proposed regarding lighting of the sign.  The current external lights as shown in the photo are ugly and inappropriate for the signage and bracket proposed. We note the ornate hanging frame is to be moved from the location of the V bracket on No.7 down to the second bracket on No.6. Of further concern is whether the building is ‘knocked through’ as is shown in the plans; of course any proposed ‘knocking through’ between listed buildings would be harmful to the special interest and architectural significance of the building.

 

18/00494/FUL – 9 Prospect Place Upper Weston Bath

Erection of a single storey side extension, double storey rear extension above the existing single storey pitched roof and a loft conversion with a raised roof and dormer window

Object: The proposed additions to this modest early Victorian cottage are in our view excessive, poorly designed and constitute overdevelopment of the non-designated heritage asset. Whilst there may be some opportunity for an extension of space in this building, the amount proposed is harmful to the building and will impact negatively on the overall character and amenity of the terrace.  In particular the two roof additions (Juliet balcony and dormer window) appear odd and incongruous; looking as if they have not been designed at all just added with no thought to the overall effect on the roofscape. The addition of a pitched roof to the flat roofed element is probably tolerable (though it appears too deep) but no other roof additions are appropriate.  We have no concerns regarding the glazed infill, but would question the proposed first floor balcony element as being a discordant feature not found locally. We would recommend the applicant is requested to return to the drawing board and tone down their proposals to take account of what is best for the cottage and its context.

These proposals would detract from the interest of the non-designated heritage asset, would neither preserve nor enhance the character and appearance of the conservation area, and would fail to maintain or enhance the distinctiveness and character of the local townscape. The scheme would be contrary to Section 12 (Conserving and enhancing the historic environment) of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), policies; B1, B4 and CP6 of the B&NES Core Strategy and policies CP6, D.2, D.5, HE1 and BD1 of the Placemaking Plan.  We would therefore recommend that the application is amended or refused.

 

Responses due week beginning 26 February

17/06200/FUL – Build A Bear, 7 Southgate Street

Provision of new aluminium shop front

Object: Despite the recent revisions the Trust objects to the proposed materials and colour scheme. Aluminium and acrylic are low quality materials and the use of either is inappropriate in the WHS and conservation area. We also find the colour scheme to be garish and harmful to the visual amenity of the streetscape.

The proposed scheme by virtue of its materials and colour scheme would be detrimental to the visual amenity of the street scene, would neither preserve nor enhance the character and appearance of the conservation area and would detract from the special qualities of the WHS. The scheme would be contrary to section 72 of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990, Section 12 (Conserving and Enhancing the Historic Environment) of the NPPF, policies B1, B2, B4, and CP6 of the B&NES Core Strategy and policies CP6, HE1, B4, B2 of the Placemaking Plan. We would therefore strongly recommend the application be withdrawn or refused.

 

18/00345/AR and 18/00408/LBA – 20 Green Street, City Centre

Display of 1no. non illuminated fascia lettering and logo, and 1no. non illuminated wall mounted projecting sign.

Comment: The Trust supports the amendments that have already been made to this proposal but we still wish to raise concerns regarding the hanging sign. Whilst projecting signs are a common feature of Green Street, the proposal seeks to affix the sign to the ashlar stone. To mitigate any harm to the historic fabric of the building we recommend that the sign is attached to fascia instead.

 

18/00361/LBA – The Coach House, Linden Gardens, Bath

Internal and external alterations for the removal of canopy and addition of new porch to front door.

Comment: The Coach House is listed for its architectural interest. The addition of a porch would be unsympathetic the building as it were designed and would harm the special  architectural interest of the building. The addition would significantly alter the footprint and front elevation of the building and would diminish its legibility and secondary status as a former Coach House. Additionally, the proposed works themselves are not in keeping with the gothic aesthetic of the building, in particular the proposed design of the oval windows on the side elevations.

The Trust considers the proposal to be a regrettable alteration to what is considered a good example of a C19 Coach House. We hope that case officer considers the architectural integrity of the building as part of their decision making process.  Should they be minded to approve, we hope that they are entirely satisfied that the impact of the proposal on the special interest of this building is justified.

 

18/00457/LBA – Basement Flat, 20A Bennett Street

Internal and external alterations including replacing existing bath with a level access shower and associated works and cleaning front access stone steps.

Comment: We are concerned by the proposed method of stone cleaning (brick acid) attached to this application. We hope that the case officer, when considering the application, is entirely satisfied that the method is not harmful to the historic fabric of the building.

18/00474/LBA – 22 Macaulay Buildings, Widcombe

Internal and external alterations for the removal of existing rear conservatory, reinstatement of railings and stone pillars to front elevation, replacement of rear windows, reinstatement of stone detailing to rear windows, removal of paint finish to front elevation and provision of iron balconettes to rear ground floor french doors

Comment: The Trust supports, in principle, the reinstatement of the railings and gate piers provided the case officer is satisfied the details are correct. From our desktop research we could not ascertain where the paint on the front elevation was, but we would welcome its removal from the stone provided that the proposed method does not cause any harm to the historic fabric of the building.

Responses due week beginning 19 February

 

17/06201/AR – Build A Bear 7 Southgate Street Bath

Display of 1no. internally illuminated fascia sign

Object: The Trust objects to this application on the basis of materials, colour and illumination. Whilst we accept that signage in the Southgate precinct can have some additional flexibility to that in the historic core, we find the colours to be garish, the materials of aluminium and acrylic to be low quality and the proposed internal illumination to be harmful to the character of the townscape. We remind the applicant that Southgate is within the conservation area and therefore the Guidance on Commercial Signage in the Conservation area does apply.

The proposed scheme by virtue of its materials, colour and illumination would neither preserve nor enhance the character and appearance of the conservation area, would be detrimental to the visual amenity of the street scene and would detract from the special qualities of the WHS. The scheme would be contrary to sections 16 and 66 of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990, Section 12 (Conserving and Enhancing the Historic Environment) of the NPPF, policies B1, B2, B4, and CP6 of the B&NES Core Strategy and policies CP6, HE1, D.9, B.4, B.2 of the Placemaking Plan. We would therefore strongly recommend the application be withdrawn or refused.

 

18/00378/AR – Northgate House Upper Borough Walls City Centre Bath

Display of 1. non-illuminated letters sign above the entrance to Northgate House, 1no. non-illuminated letters sign on external wall between the first and second floors of Northgate House and 1no. non-illuminated projecting sign above current TK max sign (Resubmission).

Comment:  The revised signage plans for this site are welcome however we still have a concern regarding the projecting sign which appears to take the unauthorised TK Maxx sign as precendent and which contributes to street clutter in this key historic location.  Also whilst an improvement, the mounted letters facing the Guildhall still appear to be too big and are off centre.  They should be central to the windows.  The use of acrylic as material is not supported. It appears but is not clear that the pin mounted lettering is to be stainless steel (this needs to be clarified).

 

18/00407/FUL – Breezes  53A Stonehouse Lane Combe Down

Change of use from 4no. bedroom dwelling (Use Class C3) to 6no. bedroom HMO (Use Class C4).

Comment:  We believe this application may be registered wrongly and the applicant should be applying for Sui Generis use as there are 6 bedrooms and Use Class C4 is for 6 residents or less.

 

18/00185/FUL & 18/00186/LBA – 55 New King Street Kingsmead Bath

Erection of new block of 4No residential flats and associated bike and bin store amenity structures to rear courtyard, including demolition of the 1960’s garage building, the remaining original rear facade element of No54, the rear 1960’s concrete pre-fabricated building and the partial demolition of the reconstructed rear boundary wall to Cumberland Row and continued use of No55 as office accommodation.

Comment:  The Trust is supportive of the principle of streetscape repair on this site. We consider that the application is lacking in appropriate detail at this stage to properly assess the impact of the scheme on the listed building No.55 and the historic streetscene. It is our view that whilst the overall scale, massing and height of this scheme is sensitive and appropriate to context, it will be the finer detail of this scheme that will decide its quality and the success of its contribution to the townscape.

The Heritage statement does not give enough detail of the original buildings on the site, visual information is readily available and we would be happy to provide some examples. The level of detail regarding the surviving fabric in No.55 is inadequate and there should be floor plans of all levels on this building so we can understand the impact of the new build on this asset as we have some concern that there may be more loss of historic fabric to this building than the surviving rear wall remnant. The drawings are not detailed enough to properly understand how the old and new will assimilate together physically and visually and in particular their junctions. We recommend the case officer request 1:50 scale drawings so that understanding of finer detail can inform the planning judgement, this includes joinery and stone work detailing at 1:2 or 1:10. In particular there are no large scale window drawings but they appear flush to the surface of the façade; we question whether they should be inset with stone cills to mirror the prevailing fenestration pattern of the street.

It is regrettable that the corner lost to the highway impacts on the scheme in such a fundamental way as to preclude reinstatement of the original façade with a 90˚turn up Cumberland Row and we ask whether any enquiries have been made as to whether this arrangement is unchangeable. The design of the corner link building does not excite or enhance the special interest of the listed building but we accept that it does offer a simple transition on an awkward corner and the legible scar of war damage is still visible.

Other observations are:

  • We are unsure of the impact of the flat roof to the link building but accept this is difficult to design in to the scheme, the introduction of human activity via the roof terrace should be very carefully considered for appropriateness given it faces the public realm. A 3D rendering of the scheme viewed diagonally from New King Street would help understand how it would look in reality.
  • The drop in parapet height on the new build is awkward and visually discordant and should more closely replicate No.55
  • Similarly the size and location of the new dormers should be reconsidered , again possibly to replicate No.55
  • In adopting a traditional design approach on the Cumberland Row elevation it would desirable to incorporate a correctly detailed chimney stack to enliven the roofscape (and this could be used to vent internal services)
  • We find the design and detail of the rear elevation to be bland and without particular design merit, resulting in an overbearing character. The use of render of the rear return elevation is also in our view inappropriate.
  • In particular we urge the case officer to insist that the windows are timber sashes not aluminium. Slim line double glazing can be incorporated.
  • The rainwater goods should be painted cast iron or aluminium to be of a suitable quality for the scheme.
  • The truncated mansard roof with the flat roof section that leads back to the new tall rear elevation wall, adjacent and overlooking the listed building, is an uncharacteristic traditional roof form.

We urge the case officer to be entirely satisfied in the quality of this application and the detailing to ensure this scheme is worthy of its location in the WHS.

Responses due week beg 12 Feb

18/00289/FUL – 13 Penn Hill Road Lower Weston Bath

Erection of new two storey side extension and rear single storey extension, in lieu of existing conservatory

We see the proposals as a retrograde step – the loss of the cat-slide roof would be harmful to the character of this part of the road which is distinguished by the particular and unusual front roof profiles of the dwellings. There are examples of extensions along the row – including next door – that do provide additional accommodation but do not harm the special built character and the streetscape rhythm created by the cat slide roofs.

18/00201/FUL – Food Machinery 2000 Ltd Comfortable Place Kingsmead Bath

Erection of 26 flats with cycle storage and car parking, refuse store, footpath linkage, revised access arrangements, landscaping and associated works, following demolition of 2 x 2 bed flats and 180m2 of office space.

Object: The Trust would have been pleased to have offered constructive feedback at an earlier stage than at planning. We object to this application on the basis of overdevelopment of the site, detrimental impact on the setting of non-designated heritage assets and the historic townscape, and poor quality response to site context.

This scheme fails to assimilate with or contribute to the local townscape character. Whilst some effort has been made to avoid completely overshadowing Onega Terrace by abruptly stepping down the riverside elevation and in the car park courtyard, nevertheless the scheme looks to sit hard, high, bulky and tight on the site, with no permeability or access offered to the river from the street.  The excessive amount of development proposed generates a requirement for parking which in turn compromises the planning of the scheme. The irregularity of the arrangement of void to solid produces a design that is tense and unsettling.

We cannot see how the applicant has analysed or understood the site and local context in any meaningful way in order to inform the final design which we regard as unworthy of a key riverside site in the World Heritage Site. In particular there is a lack of finesse and detail to the development which, as the B&NES’ own Urban Designer & Landscape Officer both point out, sits within a domestic scale fine-grained townscape.  As such this site should be developed in a more fragmented, permeable way with varied forms and roofscapes in order to lessen its impact both locally and in longer views and to sit more comfortably on this small site. In particular the historic local context (formal frontages to street and distinct, detached warehouse buildings to riverside) should inform how the scheme is designed. The flat stepped-back roofs present a blank and barren 5th elevation sitting on the valley floor; whilst precedent for this roof form has been set at BWR that has illustrated how uninteresting and over-dominant flat stepped-back roofs are in the townscape.  We strongly recommend that the applicant is required to articulate and vary the roofscape. The elevation of the block along the towpath should follow the line of the towpath (in plan) to conform to historic relationships between the towpath and built forms behind, and the change in heights needs to be managed with more subtlety.

Whilst the applicant argues that the addition of a bland classically inspired terrace to the Upper Bristol Road elevation assists in repairing the streetscape, in that it will extend the classical terraced language of the street, the facts are against this. The proposed street elevation lacks authenticity and in any case, as the maps in the Heritage Report show, Georgian terraces were not built on this section of road. The history of this site is largely bound up in the piecemeal 19th century riverside development of Bath; so there is no authenticity in this response to the streetscape.

Whilst the adjacent permitted development has not yet been built out, it is regrettable that this scheme has failed to reference or identify with the forms and design of that scheme, to ensure a cohesive and visually harmonious entity over the two sites.  Instead, the buildings will sit hard up and discordantly against each other.

We note no Landscape Visual Impact Assessment has been included with the submission.  Given the sensitive location of this site on the valley floor and on the river frontage, we would expect some analysis of impact in long views into the site from vantage points around the city.

If, following any revisions to the scheme, the officer is minded to permit, we recommend that a condition is placed on the development that prohibits the use of these units as short term holiday lets; to ensure that they contribute to meeting Bath’s housing need and are not bought solely as investment properties.

Recommendation

The proposed scheme by virtue of its design, massing, form and scale would be harmful to the setting of designated heritage assets, would neither preserve nor enhance the character and appearance of the conservation area, would be detrimental to the visual amenity of the street scene and the riverside and would detract from the special qualities of the WHS. The scheme would be contrary to Section 12 (Conserving and Enhancing the Historic Environment) of the NPPF, policies B1, B4, and CP6 of the B&NES Core Strategy and policies CP6, D.1, D.2, D.5, HE1, BD1, B4 of the Placemaking Plan. We would therefore strongly recommend the application be withdrawn or refused.

18/00275/AR – Mcdonalds Weston Lock Retail Park Lower Bristol Road Westmoreland

Display of 7no. illuminated freestanding signs to accommodate new drive thru layout.

Comment: The Trust has no objections to the proposed ‘drive-thru’ as submitted in 18/00229/FUL.  We understand that such a facility does require considerable signage and that in this instance the signage is to the rear of the listed building and the new build and is therefore not likely to impact on the streetscene. We are however uncomfortable with the cumulative amount and extent of illumination of the signage and would urge the case officer to ensure that where possible signage is rationalised down to a minimum to ensure the effective operation of the facility but without unnecessary signage clutter and intrusive illumination. There is a long history of attempted over-signage at this site and we would urge a reminder that it is a listed building.

17/05944/FUL – 69 Bloomfield Avenue Oldfield Park

Creation of driveway in front garden. Removal of wall.

Comment: We cannot find enough detail in this application to understand what the applicant wants to do exactly. In this case there is considerable precedent within the street but it is unfortunate that yet another boundary wall, which forms part of the character of the street, is to be lost.  We can find no drawings of the proposed arrangement including whether the gate pillars are to be retained and re-sited. In our view the proposal must be similar or the same as the arrangement in plan form and materials/treatment at No.68 in order for the semi-detached pair to retain a balance and coherence. The use of a cream resin may be too visually intrusive in the streetscene. We would urge the case officer to ensure the scheme is similar to those nearby to ensure it does not detract from local character.

18/00264/FUL – 44 Calton Gardens Lyncombe Bath

Erection of first floor rear extension.

Comment:  The Trust has a general concern regarding the cumulative impact of changes to this terrace. Whilst we understand the applicant’s desire to make the most of the views from this dwelling, our point of view is concerned with the overall cumulative harm to these highly visible examples of modern post war housing in Bath. In this context we find this proposal to be unsympathetic and potentially harmful to the character of the terrace and long views from the city.

We are concerned regarding the entire loss of the balcony element which is part of the particular design intent of these dwellings.  The scheme proposes an extension which will cover the entire first floor elevation; the horizontal emphasis of the windows is at odds with the predominant character of verticality seen in the terrace. The use of No.45 as an example is inappropriate given that that extension uses a vertical emphasis and retains a glazed balcony element. The use of grey brick is also not appropriate. In our view the proposed extension will be a discordant entity in the terrace and within long views into the site and the design should be amended.

Responses due week beg 5 February

18/00175/FUL – 6 Malvern Buildings Fairfield Park

Erection of single storey rear extension and provision of dormer window (Resubmission)

Comment: Despite the citing of local precedents (in our view two wrongs do not make a right) the proposed dormer is too large for the roofscape of this dwelling.  It is of a size that overdevelops and overbalances the building, and would add to the harm already caused by other oversize dormers to the character of this modest terrace. We would recommend the dormer is reduced in size and materials are revised to reduce its visual dominance.

18/00136/AR – M & S, 16-18 Stall Street, Bath

Display of 4no illuminated fascia signs (blue background with Metro Bank logo), 4no illuminated ATM signs (two for each ATM), 2no non-illuminated logo door handles, 3no illuminated ‘Open 7 Days’ signs and 5no illuminated projecting signs

Object: The Trust objects strongly to this application on the basis of the colour, materials and illumination of the signage. Whilst we understand the applicants’ arguments relating to their need for visibility, this application shows an excessive approach to signage, in particular colour and illumination which would be harmful to the amenity of the street scene, to the character and appearance of the conservation area, and to the special qualities of the WHS.  The signage will intrude rudely upon the street scene, it is ‘shouty’ and garish and would give a low quality aesthetic that is discordant with the overall character of the area.  We recognise that there is some leeway in both materials and illumination within this area, being close to Southgate, however this is a gateway site between the historic and newer parts of the city centre.  This means that signage must be of a high quality to relate positively with its context and to enhance Bath’s distinct character. In our view the materials should be revised so that the bright blue element is toned down, sized down and illumination removed. This could be achieved by having a matt fascia (preferably timber) without internal illumination, the logo and/or mounted lettering could hold a subtle amount of internal or external illumination. Even better would be for the logo and lettering to be pin mounted in a Bath stone fascia as current. In our view the amount of internal lighting and paraphernalia within the windows will advertise the business adequately in this prime location, especially given the extent of the shop front glazing.

The amount of illuminated blade signage is unacceptable, we recommend that this is rationalised down to one or at most two blade signs with subtle illumination.

The proposed scheme by virtue of its materials, colour and illumination would harm the setting of numerous listed buildings, would neither preserve nor enhance the character and appearance of the conservation area, would be detrimental to the visual amenity of the street scene and would detract from the special qualities of the WHS. The scheme would be contrary to sections 16 and 66 of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990, Section 12 (Conserving and Enhancing the Historic Environment) of the NPPF, policies B1, B2, B4, and CP6 of the B&NES Core Strategy and policies CP6, HE1, D.9, B.4, B.2 of the Placemaking Plan. We would therefore strongly recommend the application be withdrawn or refused.

18/00135/FUL – M & S, 16-18 Stall Street, Bath

External alterations to shopfront including the installation of 2no ATMs, display of advertisements and associated works.

Comment:  The Trust is not particularly concerned with the proposal to bring forward the shopfront and will leave planning balance considerations to the case officer.  Our only observation would be that this will result in an large extent of glazing which may impact on the streetscene.  However we are concerned regarding the proposed use of limestone rendered cladding for the frontage. This should be fine jointed Bath stone ashlar and not a prefabricated material. There should be no place for poor quality material in such a sensitive city centre site.

 

18/00111/LBA – 24 Richmond Place, Beacon Hill, Bath

External alterations for the removal of fibreglass canopy roof covering and replacement with welted lead.

Comment:  The ambition to replace the canopy with a lead version is supported as it will enhance the special interest of the listed building, Our only concern would be the retention of the glazed section. Whilst we understand why the glazed section exists (to provide more light for the window below), it does detract somewhat from the appearance of the canopy and thus the architectural significance of the asset and the appearance of the front elevation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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