June –July 2012

Weeks 22 – 26

12/02415/REG03 – Car Park, London Road Car Park, Batheaston, Bath, BA1 7NB

Construction of a pedestrian/cycle footbridge and path (Batheaston Car Park to Mill Lane Bathampton) with associated landscaping and engineering works.

COMMENT There is no doubt that the siting of the proposed bridge and associated engineering and landscaping will have a substantial impact on the setting of nearby listed buildings and walls, and the character of the conservation area. In accordance with the requirements of the NPPF there is insufficient evidence within this planning application to justify the siting of the bridge at the precise location identified or an assessment of the impact on the significance of the listed buildings.

It is unclear why the bridge has to be sited so close to the listed wall. One argument cited is that Batheaston Gardens (part of the original curtilage of Batheaston House, but now a public space) has suffered from antisocial behaviour, and placing the bridge here will ‘supervise’ this area to some extent. The application itself says that “the further away from the listed wall that the bridge can be placed the more its impact on the setting of the wall will be reduced.”Therefore, we would encourage the applicants to review the siting and locate the bridge as far away from the wall as possible and submit further supporting documentation is support of the conclusion.

Whilst we regret that the bridge cannot be constructed in timber, the proposed bridge has a graceful line, and credit must be given to the amount of work which has taken the original clunky design to this much lighter, lower, less intrusive bridge. Although we recognise that efforts have been made in the design process to minimise the impact on the wall, the proposal will not enhance the setting of the listed structures or conservation area.

However, the bridge will deliver real benefits in terms of improving amenity value and the opportunities for enjoyment of the countryside around Bath (one of BPT’s charitable objects) and encouraging sustainable travel which outweigh the recognised harm. Therefore, on balance we do not object.

It should be a Condition of any permission that the bridge and handrails are painted in a recessive colour. Landscaping Conditions should ensure suitable planting for the memorial garden, and details of benches, bollards or cycle stands, and path surfaces. Standard tarmac shared-surface would be inappropriate for water meadow location as it is too urban/suburban – we would recommend reinforced-grass. The cattle-grid (shown on drwg) would provide sensible junction of surfaces. Approach ramps proposed are tarmac and the bridge surface resin-bonded, we recommend that the resin bonded surface should extend to mound, if not to cattle grid.

12/02210/FUL – 11 Fairfield View, Ragland Lane, Fairfield Park, Bath, BA1 6HX

Provision of a loft conversion to include the installation of 1no. rear flat dormer and front rooflights.

OBJECT The Bath Preservation Trust considers that overly large flat roof dormer windows are not in the interest of good design and fail to reinforce the local distinctiveness of the Bath World Heritage Site. The strong horizontal emphasis the box form presents is a visually intrusive feature in the Bath townscape. Velux windows to the front and rear could be a more sympathetic arrangement. The Trust considers that this part of the proposal is contrary to policies BH1, D2 and D4 of the B&NES Local Plan and section 7 of the NPPF.

12/02365/LBA – Ask Pizza And Pasta Restaurant 1 York Buildings, George Street, City Centre, Bath, BA1 2EB

External alterations for the display of 1no. non-illuminated projecting sign.

OBJECT This application appears to be identical to the last. The Trust continues to object and our reasons are repeated.

The proposed materials remain unsympathetic to the character of the listed building and townscape, and fail to harmonise with the traditional palette of materials in Bath. The proposal therefore would have a harmful impact on the architectural significance of the listed building and neither preserve or enhance the character of the conservation area.

The Trust continues to encourage traditional approaches to signage in the Conservation Area. In this instance, we recommend that a painted fascia sign and hanging sign would be more appropriate.

The proposal fails to comply with policies D2, D4, BH1, BH2 and BH6 of the B&NES Local Plan, the NPPF and the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 and should therefore be refused.

12/02009/FUL & 12/02010/LBA – 8 Richmond Hill, Beacon Hill, Bath, BA1 5QT

External alterations to dormer window

OBJECT We would like to OBJECT to these applications on grounds of contrary to policies BH1, BH6, D2 and D4 of the B&NES local plan and the NPPF.

We normally only comment on the exteriors of buildings, and our main objection here relates to the inappropriate dormer. The Bath Preservation Trust considers that overly large flat roof dormer windows are not in the interest of good design and fail to reinforce the local distinctiveness of the Bath World Heritage Site. The strong horizontal emphasis the box form presents is a visually intrusive feature in the Bath townscape. Alternatively, velux windows in the existing roof space could be provided. The D&A statement fails to address the visual impact that the window will have on the Grade II listed building.

We are however also concerned that many of the significant works to the interiors seem to be inadequately addressed in the LBAs and also seem to be proceeding prior to determination of the application. We note that BPT information has been used as an evidence base for some of the work but this does not indicate any BPT support for the work as proposed or being carried out.

If work is indeed proceeding without permission we hope and anticipate that enforcement proceedings will be undertaken with some haste.

12/01198/AR – 6 New Bond Street Place, City Centre, Bath, BA1 1BH

Display of 3no. fascia signs and 1no. projecting sign

COMMENT While The Trust welcomes traditional timber painted signs and non-illumination, we do not consider that vinyl is a sensitive or appropriate quality of material of use upon this shop frontage. This building is listed and is in a prominent city-centre location at the heart of the Conservation Area. Signage should therefore respect the architectural qualities and character of Bath, and be of a traditional construction and appearance rather than vinyl lettering. Similarly, the Trust queries whether the amount of signage proposed is necessary and we are concerned that the hanging sign is excessive in size; a smaller sign would be more appropriate.

12/02285/FUL & 12/02286/LBA – Duck Son & Pinker, 12 Northgate Street, City Centre, Bath, BA1 5AS

Internal and external alterations for the retention of retail use (Use Class A1) at ground and basement levels, change of use at rear to provide new restaurant (Use Class A3) and change of use to upper floors of 9-10 Bridge Street to provide Offices (Use Class B1) (At 12 Northgate Street and 9-10 Bridge Street).

SUPPORT The Trust fully supports the proposed alterations and uses. This site holds fascinating, rare and really wonderful examples of how urban domestic 17th century buildings (and probably even earlier) have been built upon, adapted and re-used over centuries. Slippery Lane has to be one of the most interesting places in Bath, and we are grateful to the applicants for giving us the opportunity to undertake a site visit.

We are reassured that the historic stone and timber windows and surviving fire surrounds will be kept intact. It is amazing to find fireplaces and windows where you least expected them!

Given the archaeological significance of the site a watching brief and historic building recording Conditions should be attached to any planning consents.

Whilst it is not specified the mosaic and tiled entrances to each building should be retained and restored.

12/02203/FUL – Automate Bath Limited, Gloucester Road, Swainswick, Bath, BA1 8BJ

Erection of a single dwelling, including domestic garage and front boundary wall for the adjacent dwelling (Greenacres) and alteration of existing vehicular access following demolition of existing buildings.

OBJECT The Trust does not object in principle to a residential building on this site. However, we have some concerns about the height of the proposed building. We are not convinced the height is appropriate in the streetscape context and breaking the level of the existing height would be visually detrimental to the character and views from the surrounding landscape. We feel a lower building would be more compatible; a 1.5 storey would be appropriate. We suggest that the building should mirror the existing dwelling because a two storey dwelling would compromise the openness and setting of the Green belt and AONB. This proposal in its current form is contrary to policies D2, D4, NE2, GB1 and GB2 of B&NES Local Plan, and theNPPF and should be refused.

12/01702/FUL – The Coach House, 195 Ringswell Gardens, Lambridge, Bath, BA1 6BP

Installation of a 9 panel instagen 2.205kw photovoltaic on south facing roof.

COMMENT The Bath Preservation Trust is supportive in principle of measures to increase the energy efficiency of Bath’s existing historic building stock, conserve energy and reduce the carbon foot print of the city as a whole. The Trust is in support of solar panels provided they are fixed in concealed locations with restricted visibility. The visibility of the roof should be considered not only in the immediate location but also in the wider context taking into account views onto the site from other parts of the city.

The Trust considers that these solar panels, proposed to be mounted on the front elevation, would be highly visible, and would have a detrimental impact on the character and appearance of the Conservation Area and World Heritage Site. In addition, the design and access statement is totally inadequate, and generally there is not enough information in the application, e.g. a survey of sightlines and views is needed to establish how the panels would look.

Furthermore, we expect applicants to demonstrate that a range of alternative and less invasive measures have been explored to reduce energy use; there is no evidence to say this has been done.

12/02154/AR & 12/02240/FUL – 86 Lower Bristol Road, Westmoreland, Bath, BA2 3BQ

Provision of a new shopfront and displays of 1no internally-illuminated fascia sign and 1no internally-illuminated projecting sign.

OBJECT The Trust will continue to object to illuminated signs within the World Heritage Site. The light is harmful to the visual amenity value of the area and the light fittings neither preserve nor enhance the character and appearance of the conservation area. The proposal is contrary to policies D2, D4, BH1, BH6 and BH 17 of the B&NES Local Plan. Therefore, this application should be refused.

12/02495/LBA – The Garden Flat, 8 Johnstone Street, Bathwick, Bath, BA2 4DH

Internal and external alterations for the relocation of boiler flue.

COMMENT The Trust is supportive in principle of measures to improve the energy efficiency of historic buildings. 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, or painted to match the colour of Bath stone.

12/02308/FUL & 12/02309/LBA – St Andrew’s C Of E Va Primary School, Northampton Street, Lansdown, Bath, BA1 2SN

Extension and improvement to hard paved areas, stabilisation and rebuilding works to existing boundary wall, erection of new ball-stop fencing, erection of vehicular access gate following removal of existing, landscape and access improvement works including new planting, and erection of temporary (max 5-years) hoarding of Julian Road.

COMMENT The Trust supports this proposal in principle and making the best use of the limited space available is welcomed. However, we have a few points to note with regard to detail.

In relation to landscaping, this planning application is short on details. There are no details on the type of climbers proposed, nor of any need to agree them with B&NES (as per trees). We emphasise the need for a specification and on-going management plan which are a vital part of landscaping. Similarly, it is a shame that a tree species with fruit or all year interest, e.g. Malus or Prunus which have fastigiated forms, have not been used. Furthermore, the Heritage Statement fails to stress the historic significance of the building, in particular the St. James Square walls. Therefore, more information is required in order to make a proper assessment of the impact of the proposals on the character of the conservation area and setting of listed buildings.

12/02347/FUL & 12/02348/LBA – Park Tavern, 3 Park Lane, Lower Weston, Bath, BA1 2XG

Alterations and extensions to form 3no additional flats, Letting Agency offices and renovation of existing flat.

OBJECT The Trust objects strongly to this proposal, which we feel embodies a particularly poor attempt at meeting an acceptable standard of architectural and urban design quality. In this case, virtually no information has been provided about the heritage assets and the impact this proposal will have on their significance. Without any sufficient detail or historic background provided, this does not give us any confidence in the competency of the applicants to respect the requirement of a listed building. A heritage statement or historic building assessment is needed to allow for a proper assessment of the impact upon the historic character and significance of the listed building.

The Trust is concerned about the lack of detail in general too. For example, the application provides insufficient detail for the roofs and the information on the external appearance is sketchy, e.g. the materials for the Letting’s Agency roof are unspecified (natural slate should be used for all pitched roof surfaces). Similarly, there are inconsistencies between the drawings; the east elevation is missing and detail drawings have not been submitted. The use of UPVC, cement render and the existence of a painted finish, with no cleaning proposal, further indicate the lack a lack of understanding of the needs of the building. The Trust feels that these important details should not be negotiated by Condition – much detail affecting the external appearance is required here. This requires greater clarification and detailing within the application.

In regards to the change of use, there has been no formal mention within the application. No marketing material has been made available or presented to verify this statement. The Planning Authority needs to be satisfied before this can be allowed.

In our view, the proposals in their current form would be detrimental to the special interest of the listed building and would neither preserve nor enhance the conservation area. Therefore, this application is contrary to policies D2, B2 and BH6 of the B&NES Local Plan, the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 and the NPPF, and should be refused.

12/02570/FUL – 3 Triangle East, Oldfield Park, Bath, BA2 3HY

Provision of a loft conversion with a rear flat dormer.

OBJECT The Bath Preservation Trust considers that overly large flat roof dormer windows are not in the interest of good design, and will detract from the visual amenity value of the area and fails to preserve or enhance the character and appearance of the conservation area. The strong horizontal emphasis the box form presents is a visually intrusive feature in the Bath townscape The Trust considers that this part of the proposal is contrary to policies BH1, D2 and D4 of the B&NESLocal Plan and section 7 of the NPPF.

12/02589/LBA – 26 Daniel Street, Bathwick, Bath, BA2 6ND

External alterations for the cleaning of stone on rear elevation using nebulous spray.

COMMENT The Trust supports this proposal to remove soiling from the rear elevation, since it is clear there are damaging deposits which would be better removed for the health of the stone and for aesthetic merit. However, the Trust objects to the use of Nebulous Spray; this may cause further damage. A pre-cleaning survey to identify the nature of the soiling and justification for the method of cleaning is required too. We suggest that the cleaning ought to be localised and selective. A gentler method as outlined in the Cleaning Bath Stone technical guidance, published by B&NES and BPT, would be more desirable.

12/02480/AR – The Trinity Inn, 49 James Street West, City Centre, Bath, BA1 2DA

Display of 2no externally-illuminated fascia signs, 1no externally-illuminated projecting sign, 1no externally-illuminated shaped top gable sign, 2no amenity boards and 1no internally-illuminated poster box.

OBJECT The proposed externally illuminated projecting, hanging sign and gable sign, by virtue of the siting, materials and lighting, will detract from the visual amenity value of the area and neither preserve nor enhance the historic character of the conservation area and will detract from the special qualities of the World Heritage Site. The proposal is contrary to policies D2, D4, BH1, BH2, BH6 and BH 17 of the B&NES Local Plan and should be refused.

12/02466/LBA – 15 Lambridge Place, Lambridge, Bath, BA1 6RU

External alterations for the re-painting of the ground floor (front and back) and extension of the painted area to first, second and third floors (front and back).

OBJECT This application fails to provide enough information on which to make a proper assessment of the impact of the proposals on the architectural and historic significance of the building. There is no heritage statement or justification for the proposal. In any case, the Trust would object to extending the painted area to the whole of the building; it would be detrimental to the special historic interest and character of the listed building.

Paint is extremely damaging to Bath Stone; the existing paint to the ground floor is blistering and peeling, and becoming detrimental to the aesthetics of the building and the health of the stonework. We strongly urge the applicants to remove the existing paint to enable the stone to be returned to its original appearance, and enable the fabric to breath and moisture to pass through. If it is considered necessary, a lime wash, or appropriately matched shelter coat, could be used.

In its current form, this proposal is contrary to policies B2 and BH6 of the B&NESLocal Plan, the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 and theNPPF, and should be refused.

12/02548/REG04 – St Gregory’s Catholic College, Combe Hay Lane, Odd Down, Bath

Erection of a sixth form building linked to St Gregory’s Catholic College with associated highway works and landscaping at Combe Hay Lane.

COMMENT It is our view that the proposed development on this site would have a considerable visual impact on the landscape, topographical, visual and historical setting of the City of Bath World Heritage Site. The Fosse Way entering Bath from the south along the A367 is key Roman road, and a route that is identified in the B&NES World Heritage Site Setting Study as a key characteristic of importance to the historic setting of Bath as a WHS. Development on this ‘gateway’ site must be of the highest quality. The green landscape should retain prominence and any building should respect and reflect the values of the World Heritage Site.

Whilst we remain concerned about the rectangular form, fenestration and external finishes, we welcome an efficient building with a low carbon footprint. Furthermore the proposed building and access now has a layout which is integrated more successfully with the site.

We welcome the removal of the proposed new access road from the current scheme which helps retain more openness to the Green Belt. This combined with sufficient retained open landscape around the west and southern elevations and additional planting will help reduce the impact on the surrounding landscape and enable better integration with the rural context.

We would encourage a greater use of Bath stone coloured lime render on the external outward facing elevations of the building to enhance the local distinctiveness of this gateway location. We strongly recommend that external finishes are submitted for approval rather than agreed by Condition of any permission granted.

12/02501/FUL & 12/02503/LBA – 6 Caroline Buildings, Widcombe, Bath, BA2 4JH

Erection of new garden room at far end of garden with double garage above, to be accessed from the canal towpath.

OBJECT The Trust raised no objection to the previous application for a single garage to the rear (03/00328/FUL). However, the Trust does not consider that there is sufficient justification for a double garage. While traffic and parking issues are not strictly in the remit of the Trust, we are concerned that additional traffic would have a detrimental impact upon the character and appearance of the towpath and Conservation Area, and setting of the neighbouring listed buildings. In terms of the garden room, we query the inclusion of cooking facilities and domestic windows at garage level. We think that this could lead to a garage conversion, creating a detached property. If permission is granted, it should be subject to the Condition that permitted development rights are removed and that the use in ancillary to the existing dwelling. In our view the proposal is contrary to policies BH1, BH2, BH6 and BH22 of the B&NES Local Plan, the Planning (Listed Building and Conservation Area) Act 1990, and the NPPF, and should be refused.

12/02021/FUL – Field Parcel 6823 Adjacent To Kennet And Avon Canal, Warminster Road, Claverton, Bath, BA2 7BJ

Erection of an agricultural building for drying and storage of hops produced on the holding.

OBJECT Bath Preservation Trust do not believe there is a demonstrable (or demonstrated) agricultural case for this barn as a ‘Viable Agricultural Enterprise’ and therefore we do not believe paragraph 89 of the NPPF applies in this case. The only way that an agricultural building could be allowed here, within the Green belt andAONB, is if its need were to be supported by a full professional Agricultural Appraisal. There is no such supporting evidence. It is difficult access the proposed growing area, which would surely have a serious effect on the economic viability of such a project.

Bath Preservation Trust therefore objects to this application on the grounds that it is inappropriate development in the Green Belt and would fail to preserve or enhance the character and local distinctiveness of the landscape. It would constitute overdevelopment of this site which would be highly visible both close to and in long view across the valley, and would be harmful to the visual amenity of the Kennet and Avon Canal, an important part of the setting of the World Heritage Site.

We agree with the wider analysis of the planning situation by Claverton Parish Council. Our conclusion however, is that there is a very significant detriment to visual amenity of the Green Belt and no proven agricultural case. The proposal therefore fails to comply with B&NES Local Plan policies BH1, GB1, GB2, NE1, NE2, and chapter 9 of the NPPF, and should be REFUSED.

If the LPA were minded to approve this application, there should be a Condition attached to any approval that requires the removal of the building and restoration of the site as soon as it’s intended use ceases. This would prevent any future owner seeking a change of use in the future e.g. to B1 light industrial/office/storage.

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