Jan – Feb 2012

Weeks 1-4

11/04946/AR & 11/04945/LBA – 2 Northumberland Buildings, Wood Street, City Centre

Display of 2no. fascia signs, 1no. hanging sign and 1no. plaque to replace existing signage (2-6 Northumberland Buildings).

OBJECT The Trust objects to both of these applications, which do not provide sufficient information to allow proper assessment of the impact. However, from the incomplete information provided, it is clear that the advertisements would result in a harmful impact upon the character and significance of these grade II* listed buildings, the conservation area, and the World Heritage Site.

The applications provide insufficient detail about the materials, finishes and fixings proposed for any of the signs, especially the “2no. fascia signs”. We consider that for a hanging sign in this setting only a timber framed sign, traditionally painted, would be appropriate, and further suggest that brass would be the most sympathetic and durable material for the proposed plaque. From the signage sections drawing it would appear that most of the existing holes which support the present wall / ”fascia” signs, will be redundant and that new holes would be necessary to support the new ‘contemporary’ lettering: we would deprecate any further drilling into the Bath Stone frontage which would cause irreversible harm to the stonework.

Applications such as these highlight the need for clear LPA guidance relating to wall mounted signs for offices and businesses which occupy buildings (especially listed and historically significant buildings) without a shop front. Such guidance could help to ensure greater consistency in the design and materials of plaque-type signs. This is important when several businesses occupy space within closely adjacent buildings or along a terrace, crescent or square. Consistency in materials and muted tones are far preferable to coloured plaques, which individually and collectively would create a cluttered and invasive appearance, detracting from the composition of the facade and group value.

The proposed advertisements at 5-6 Northumberland Buildings would harm the important listed buildings and neither preserve nor enhance the special character of the conservation area; they are contrary to D2, D4, BH1, BH2, BH6 and BH17 of the B&NES Local Plan, and to advice contained within PPS5 and the Planning (Listed Buildings & Conservation Areas) Act 1990. The applications should, therefore, be refused.

Should approval be granted for any part, a Condition should be applied to ensure that only existing drill holes are used.

12/00058/LBA – 2 Darlington Mews, Bathwick, Bath

Internal and external alterations for the change of use from Use Class B1 to Use Class C3, replacement of existing modern garage door and windows, removal of large timber canopy and insertion of modern glazed rain canopy over entrance.

COMMENT The Trust recognizes that this site presents opportunity for improvement. However, without Heritage Statement or impact assessment having been supplied, this application does not contain sufficient information to allow the proper assessment of the impact of the proposal to be made. Without such as statement it is not clear what regard has been given to ensuring the proposed development does not compromise the historic and aesthetic character of this grade II listed building, and that any damage or loss of historic fabric of significance is mitigated. Such practice fails to comply with local and national policies, in particular PPS5 policy HE7.

11/08073/AR – Francis Hotel, 6-11 Queen Square

Display of 1no. awning, 1no. fascia sign and 2no. menu boxes.

OBJECT The Trust notes the revised proposals which present an improvement, however the proposed fascia sign and menu box still presents visual clutter, and fixings would cause harm to the stonework. The proposed awning on Barton Street, by virtue of its position, design, materials and appearance would be visually intrusive and detract from the appearance of the street scene. The proposal would have a harmful impact on the visual amenity value of this highly sensitive location. It would neither preserve or enhance the character and appearance of the conservation area and detract from the setting of adjacent listed buildings. The proposal is therefore contrary to polices D2, D4, BH1, BH2 and BH6 of the B&NES Local Plan and in its current form should be refused.

12/00008/LBA – 17 Royal Crescent, Bath

External alterations for the removal of paint finish to walls of lower ground floor lightwell.

SUPPORT The Trust supports this proposal to remove paint. The peel-away product is recognized as a suitable least harmful method. The removal of the non-porous paint will enable the stone to be returned to its original appearance, and enable the fabric to breath and moisture to pass through. The work will restore the character of the listed building, and enhance the appearance and uniformity of the Crescent.

12/00079/FUL – Land At Rear Of Argos, Midland Road, Twerton, Bath

Erection of part-three/part-four storey buildings to provide eight townhouses and six apartments; associated off-street car parking and amenity space (resubmission)

*COMMENT * The Trust welcomes the redevelopment of this site to provide housing within the urban area and the regeneration of an attractive riverside setting.

We welcome the amendments to the design of the roof to the apartment block, which has addressed our previous concerns. The pitched roof profile is considered an improvement. We remain concerned about the massing and appearance of the apartment block. Again, we query the randomized approach to the fenestration and infill on the north elevations, which could be improved by using more traditional proportions.

We are generally supportive of the proposed terrace town houses. The contemporary design respects the scale and proportion of the local context. The number of storeys (3), whilst greater that the majority of surrounding traditional buildings, is considered appropriate for this riverside location. The floor to ceiling heights of the townhouses appear to be generous without the buildings exceeding average heights.

Materials are generally sympathetic, though we state a preference for natural slate and natural Bath stone on all elevations. A condition should be attached to any permission to ensure the proper maintenance of the green wall.

09/01488/FUL – 57 Bay Tree Road, Fairfield Park, Bath

Renewal of application (Erection of detached two storey dwelling (resubmission).)

*OBJECT * BPT retains its position and considers that the proposed new dwelling would be an overdevelopment of the site. The development would detract from the semi-detached character of this part of the conservation area. The proposed dwelling is inappropriate in terms of its siting, and design. It would be harmful to local townscape character and would neither preserve nor enhance the character and appearance of the conservation area. The proposal is contrary to B&NES Local Plan Policies D2, D4, BH1, BH6 and should therefore be refused.

11/05437/FUL – 19 Somerset Lane, Lansdown, Bath

Erection of a dwelling following demolition of existing dwelling.

OBJECT The proposed amendments are not considered to present an improvement to the permitted design. To the contrary, the additions including the wrap around balcony the additional basement level and alterations to the fenestration create unbalanced order and proportioning to the detriment of the overall composition, design and appearance of the building. The mishmash of Palladian, Italianate and chalet style present a confusing idiom and jumbled aesthetic that would stand to undermine the special qualities and integrity of the World Heritage site. The proposed building would fail to enhance local distinctiveness and would neither preserve nor enhance the character and appearance of the Conservation Area.

As such this application is contrary to PPS5, and B&NES Local Plan Polices D2, D4, BH1, BH2 and BH6 and the Planning (Listed Buildings & Conservation Areas) Act 1990 and should therefore be REFUSED. The Trust does not object to the previously approved proposal.

11/05341/CA – Avalon Service Station, Lower Bristol Road, Westmoreland, Bath

Demolition of existing garage building.

COMMENT The Trust does not oppose the demolition of the existing buildings on the site. However, conservation area consent should not be granted until detailed planning applications have been approved.

11/05163/LBA – 23 Grosvenor Place, Lambridge

Internal and external alterations for the repair and re-levelling of existing floor structure to Flat 14 and provision of liquid roof covering to porch flat roof area in lieu of leadwork.

COMMENT It is the Trust’s view that the continued use of lead for flashing and flat roof covering should be encouraged on listed buildings. The character and significance of this building could be adversely affected by the erosion of traditional methods of construction. The use of traditional roofing materials is in the best interest of the integrity, authenticity of the World Heritage Site which is characterized by its limited, consistent and cohesive palette of materials.

11/05177/FUL – Pulteney Weir, Spring Gardens Road, Bathwick, Bath BA2 6PW

Works associated with the overhaul of Pulteney Weir flood defence gate including installation of a set of permanent steps to provide a safer access for staff undertaking gate maintenance on the weir island; installation of a 3-phase power supply including a meter kiosk and enlarged electrical control cabinet, to power motorised valves and portable submersible pumps; installation of security and safety railings on the weir island and installation of a webcam unit attached to the existing platform located above the gate.

*COMMENT * The Trust recognizes that these works are essential for the proper functioning and flood defence gates. In order to reduce the visual impact of we would recommend that the metalwork is painted a recessive colour. We would also suggest that any signs or warnings are kept to a minimum as to avoid visual clutter. And suggest that kiosk, cabinets and control boxes are also painted in a recessive colour.

11/05198/LBA – 108 Walcot Street, Bath

Internal and external alterations for the installation of a domestic boiler flue and replacement of central heating system.

COMMENT When considering the position of a boiler flue in sensitive historic areas the vertical discharge through existing stacks is the least intrusive option. Should this application be approved the Trust would recommend that the flue itself is muted colour of black or dark grey.

*12/00039/FUL – Land Between Acess Road And Canal, Sham Castle Lane, Bathwick.

Erection of 2no. detached dwellings

COMMENT Whilst the site is relatively enclosed, the proposed site layout and orientation of proposed two buildings fails to respond particularly well to the pattern or grain of existing development, or canal side context. In addition, we would also expect a proposal such as this to be supported by a more thorough assessment of the visual impact of the development, especially in relation to the canal, and the character of the conservation area.

11/05485/FUL – Hazelwood House, Warminster Road, Bathwick

Fenestration adjustments and garden/boundary walls rebuilt and modified following the demolition of existing green house/conservatory (Retrospective).

OBJECT The Trust objects to the use of timber infill panels on top of the boundary wall. Such an approach would fails to enhance Bath’s character or local distinctiveness. Any extension to the wall should be in masonry like the rest. The Trust therefore objects to this application overall. The design of the wall and fence as proposed is unsympathetic to local townscape character, and is therefore contrary to policies D2, D4 and BH1 of the B&NES Local Plan.

11/05315/LBA – Flat 4 , 50 New King Street, Kingsmead, Bath

Internal and external alterations for the installation of a Valliant combination boiler, controls and flue.

COMMENT When considering the position of a boiler flue in sensitive historic areas the vertical discharge through existing stacks or roof is the least intrusive option. Should this application be approved the Trust would recommend that the flue itself is muted colour of black or dark grey.

12/00045/AR & 12/00044/FUL – 5 Kingsmead Square, City Centre, Bath

Use of the highway in front of 4-5 Kingsmead Square for the siting of 7no. tables and 28no. chairs.

OBJECT The Trust recognizes that Kingsmead Square is a great area for restaurants and the public space offers an ideal location for pavement cafes which could help to improve the vitality and safety in the area. However we are concerned that this proposal for tables and chairs and barriers presents and excessive amount of paraphernalia and advertising that would present visually intrusive clutter that would detract from the historic setting. We would not object to a reduced number of tables, and barriers should be removed.

The Trust objects strongly to the panel sign which is shown within the blind window recess. A sign in this position will severely detract from the architectural interest of the listed building and the method of fixing would potentially damage the stonework.

The proposal by virtue of the excessive amount and inappropriate advertising barrier, will detract from the significance and setting of adjacent listed buildings, harm the visual amenity value of the location, and neither preserve nor enhance the character ad appearance of the Conservation Area. This application therefore fails to comply with policies D2, D4, BH1, BH2, BH6 and BH17 of the B&NES Local Plan, and advice contained within PPS5 and the Planning (Listed Buildings & Conservation Areas) Act 1990, and should be refused.

12/00103/REN – Site Of 3, Northampton Street, Lansdown, BA1 2SN

Renewal of application 07/01720/FUL (Erection of attached five-storey building to provide five flats (Revised proposal))

COMMENT The Trust urges the applicant to maintain consistency in detail and timing of parallel planning and listed buildings applications.

The Trust is generally supportive of this proposal for a residential building on a brownfield gap site, which is in a sustainable city centre location. The house proposed is a facsimile of those situated on Northampton Street. It would reinstate the historic street pattern, and built form and enhance and appearance of the character of the area and street scene. This type of urban repair is welcomed.

Our previous concerns have related to the appearance of the gable end, and we have encouraged treatment to provide visual interest in a very large blank wall such as rubble band course or blind windows. The Trust does not object to glazed windows in this elevation, however if obscured glazing is considered necessary we would encourage a approach such as glazing that distorts or limits views from the inside, but appears as glass from the outside, rather than opaque glass which would have a deleterious effect on the overall façade.

11/05331/LBA & 11/05330/FUL – Red Lion, 468 Wellsway, Bath

Internal and external alterations to include the creation of new service yard and new kitchen extract system.

OBJECT The Trust objects to these proposals which would be harmful to the character and historic significance of this listed building, and would have a detrimental impact upon the appearance of the conservation area. The concern is principally in regard to the proposed ventilation outflow, which will be far too large and intrusive for the scale of this building. This is compounded by lack of information regarding the materials proposed for the ventilation outflow, making an assessment of the impact upon this building impossible. This application is detrimental to the listed building and the conservation area and is contrary to policies BH2 and BH6 of the B&NES Local Plan, the Planning (Listed Buildings & Conservation Areas) Act 1990 and fails to accord advice contained within PPS5, and should therefore be refused

12/00094/FUL – Pennard Court, Watery Lane, Twerton

Installation of replacement windows and one door to 36 flats.

COMMENT The Trust recognises that this building is not of particular historic significance, and neither is it located within the conservation area, though it is in close proximity to the boundary and also falls within the World Heritage Site. The Trust suggests that aluminum double glazing or pressure treated timber double glazed frames would be a more appropriate and sympathetic treatment rather thanUPVC.

12/00094/FUL – 36 Upper East Hayes, Walcot, Bath

Internal and external alterations for installation of a sash window at first floor to currently blocked window opening, alterations to layout of ensuite and wardrobe and removal of paint to rubble stonework.

COMMENT The Trust is concerned by the absence of a proposed methodology regarding the removal of the spray-on paint from the Bath Stone. We draw the applicants attention to the B&NES Council and Bath Preservation Trust guidance for the cleaning of Bath stone. It is important to ensure that an appropriate method is used to avoid causing damage to the stone, and we urge the applicant to supply further information about the methods intended to be used. We also suggest that this might be an opportunity to consider slim line double glazing for the proposed new window, which will help to improve the thermal efficiency of the building.

11/05217/LBA – 108 Walcot Street, Bath

External alterations for the display of signage.

OBJECT The Trust objects to this application which proposes to use materials which are inappropriate and unsympathetic in this sensitive location. We are pleased to see that the applicant seeks to use existing drill holes to mount the signage, as this will minimise the harm to the historic fabric of the building. It is also considered that the overall design scheme is subtle and well considered for a building of this character. However, we are minded to object to the proposed use of applied vinyl upon the building which is an inappropriate and unsympathetic material for use upon this building. We would encourage traditionally painted signs. The Trust objects to these proposals unless an appropriate material or method can be proposed. As presented, this application would be detrimental to the World Heritage Site, the conservation area and the character of this listed building. This application is contrary to policies BH1, BH2, BH6 and BH17 of the B&NES Local Plan, advice contained within PPS5 and the Planning (Listed Buildings & Conservation Areas) Act 1990 and should therefore be refused.

12/00003/LBA – Bath Spa Railway Station, Dorchester Street, Bath

Internal and external alterations for the installation of CIS screens, PA speakers andCCTV cameras following removal of existing and making good.

COMMENT The Trust recognises the need for the new equipment proposed to ensure that Bath Spa Railway Station can continue to function effectively and provide a good service to visitors to Bath. However, we do express some concern regarding the potential for accumulative additions to create visual clutter, and we would urge the applicant to consider more discreet locations to mount the new equipment where possible. This would be more respectful of the character of this prominent listed building.

*11/05492/AR & 11/05491/FUL – 27 Upper Borough Walls, City Centre

Display of 1no halo lit fascia sign and 2no trough-lit projecting signs.

OBJECT The Trust will continue to object to illuminated signs and advertising within the Conservation Area and World Heritage Site. The halo illumination proposed here will be wholly inappropriate within this sensitive streetscape, and will degrade the special historic character of the area. The proposed materials (powder-coated aluminium and acrylic) are also incongruous and unsympathetic within this location, an issue compounded by the garish colours proposed. The proposed signage would be detrimental to the special qualities of the World Heritage Site and will neither preserve nor enhance the character and appearance of the conservation area. This application is therefore contrary to policies BH1, BH6 and BH17 of the B&NES Local Plan and should therefore be refused.

12/00012/REG04 – Street Record, Queen Square, City Centre

Creation of two pedestrian access points to east and west of Queen Square Gardens and insertion of two gateway piers within the existing boundary railings to north side of Queen Square.

COMMENT The Trust is supportive of this initiative to enhance Queen Square and improve access to the gardens. The public consultation and community engagement in the exploration of ideas is highly commendable. Unfortunately we do not feel that the information within this application is sufficient to allow a proper assessment, since the finer details regarding the design of the steelwork remains somewhat vague. We feel that it is necessary for the proposals to be supported by further drawings of detailing and sections. Given the architectural and historic significance of this high profile site it is considered appropriate to call for the submission and consideration of detail (by the public) at this application/consultation stage rather than it being dealt with by Condition.

11/05371/FUL – Transport Depot, Brougham Hayes, Westmoreland, Bath

Erection of a 98 bed hotel and associated works following removal of existing Depot building

COMMENT We previously commented upon the need for a more robust assessment of the historical value of the existing depot building, given the change in the planning policy context since application 08/02199/FUL was lodged. Since this application includes only a cursory and wholly insufficient appraisal of the value of this building within the design and access statement, we are compelled to repeat our comments. PPS5 requires that any applications concerning heritage assets should be submitted with a description of the significance of the heritage assets affected and the contribution of their setting to that significance. While not listed, and not located in the conservation area, this building is of local interest and should be considered an undesignated heritage asset, in accordance with PPS5. In this instance, we support the Historic Environment Team’s consultation response to this application, which suggests that an assessment of the historic significance of the site and the impact upon heritage is now appropriate and necessary for the proper assessment of the original proposals.

On reflection, the Trust takes a view that the existing buildings, whilst neither listed nor located strictly within the conservation area, have a positive contribution to the townscape at this location, providing distinctive local character. We urge the applicant to reconsider their dismissal of the value of this building, and to consider ways in which the existing structure could be incorporated into the design.

Of the new design itself, we consider that it is a marginal improvement upon the design proposed previously. We express some disappointment with the mix of materials chosen, particularly the metal roof, which feels out of place and incongruous to the Bath vernacular. We query the purpose of the enclosed open area at the first floor, which appears to have no access to guests.

We have no objection to the use of the site for ‘budget’ hotel accommodation. With than in mind, a hotel use is likely to be more intensive than office use and express concerns that such a use would necessitate a greater parking provision than is currently provided within the design scheme. While traffic and parking issues are not strictly in the remit of the Trust, we are concerned that overspill car parking in the nearby streets would have a detrimental impact upon the character and appearance of the local area.

12/00192/FUL & 12/00193/LBA – Francis Hotel, 6-11 Queen Square, City Centre

Erection of an extension to provide 21 net additional guest bedrooms and store room (revised resubmission).

OBJECT The Trust considers this design to be an improvement upon the proposal submitted last year, however on balance we object to this application. We are pleased to see that the applicant has responded to consultation responses regarding the design of the building. The Trust has no objection to the principle of erecting an extension to the hotel in this position. At present, the gap along Barton Street works against the urban grain, and does not reflect how this street would have looked historically. As such, we consider that in principle an infill development, which would respond appropriately to its context would help to improve the continuity of the street frontage, and could potentially help improve the setting of the adjoining modern buildings. This is, however, a sensitive location in the World Heritage Site and the conservation area and the design and appearance must respect the local character an qualities. We welcome many of the revisions to the design which have served to improve the overall quality; however, we remain concerned by certain aspects which would be harmful to the setting of this listed building and the conservation area.

Chiefly, we object to the proposed material pallet, which contains some materials which do not fit in with the Bath vernacular and would be unsympathetic to the setting of this listed building and fail to preserve and enhance the special character of the conservation area. The design and access statements quotes ‘welsh slate’ as being part of the limited material pallet, though it is unclear where this would be used in the design. The plans, elevations and images imply that painted zinc would be the principal material in use upon the roof. For the windows, we would prefer timber frames rather than the proposed powder-coated aluminum frames. The design and access statement speaks of referencing the local vernacular in terms of simplicity and style, and also the local palette of materials. However, ignoring even the rudiments of classical proportions, and using zinc and powder coated aluminum, would not appear to be fulfilling these intentions.

In addition, the Trust reserves some concerns regarding the fenestration of this extension. While it marks an improvement upon the incongruous window design proposed in the last application for this extension, we still consider that the proportions and distribution of these windows is poorly arranged. The fenestration pattern (the spacing of the pairs of windows, and the large gaps between them) is unsympathetic to the surrounding rhythms. Furthermore, considering this street sits upon a hill, the arrangement of the windows on a level plane seems erroneous and does not respond to topography. This result in the ground floor windows in particular having an awkward relationship with the pavement, and particularly the pair of windows at the northern end which seem to almost collide with the pavement. The broken solid parapet in front of the proposed dormer windows also represents an unusual and alien feature in a Palladian context. We do welcome, however, the stepping down of the roof from the 20th century extension, which is certainly an improvement in massing.

It is also notable that these design proposals only explore how this development will relate to the existing buildings and street-scene, without regard to the applicant’s proposals submitted last year for a new restaurant entrance along Barton Street (ref. 11/001789/LBA). Since this application was given consent, there remains a question as to whether the applicant still intends to undertake these works, and if they do, how will this interact with the design scheme proposed here.

This application is contrary to policies BH1, BH2, BH6, D2 and D4 of the B&NESLocal Plan, advice contained within PPS5 and the Listed Buildings & Conservation Areas Act 1990, and should therefore be refused.

The Trust supports the contemporary approach.

Designed by Ice House Design