Feb – Mar 2011

Weeks 6-9

11/00066/REG04 – Street Record, Kingston Parade, City Centre

Use of area as exhibition space to include the erection of 29 triangular structures for the display of 80 images and erection of a temporary structure to house a retail unit associated with the exhibition in Kingston Parade/Abbey Churchyard

OBJECT The cultural value of open air exhibitions is recognised and the Trust is generally supportive of these temporary installations in appropriate parts of the city. These successive exhibitions have been entertaining and instructive and have created vibrancy and interaction within streets and public space which has seen much decline in Bath. However, the Trust is concerned about the permanence of such exhibitions, especially in this location, which are becoming a regular feature in the city. The Trust would welcome a policy in line with both the objectives of the Public Realm and Movement Strategy (PRMS) and cultural strategy, which would ensure a design approach appropriate for Bath and prevent an over dominance of such installations, giving the streetscape breathing space from clutter and allowing for enhanced legibility and therefore a greater experience, understanding and appreciation of the built historic environment.

The proposed exhibition would have a 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. In our view the positioning of a large number of exhibition stands in the location proposed, high level cabling and illumination and the appearance of the stands and materials combined with the store structure would have a harmful effect on the significance of these heritage assets. It is our view that they would detract from the ambience of Abbey Church Yard, and impinge on important townscape vistas and spatial sequences.

The Church Yard is an important and well used urban space within the city and the exhibition would reduce the opportunity for informal sitting and entertainment in this area. The PRMS recognises Abbey Church Yard as a destination space, which it is in its own right. There are other parts of the city, such as Southgate, which have yet to be recognised as such and could benefit from the cultural stimulus and animation that the exhibition would provide. There are also several vacant shops on Union Street and Stall Street that could be used to accommodate the store and enhance the vitality of a primary shopping frontage and have more positive impact on the character and appearance of the conservation area.

The planning application fails to take account of any of the requirements of national planning policy statement PPS5 (planning for the historic environment). It contains none of the basic information requirements as set out in policy HE6. At the very least an acknowledgement of the context and heritage assets effected should be provided, along with and impact assessment, and justification in accordance with policy HE10.

It is with regret that the Trust objects to this planning application which for the reasons stated fails to accord with Policies D2, D4, BH, BH2, and BH6 of the B&NES Local Plan and national planning policy PPS5 and should therefore be refused.

11/00082/FUL & 11/00083/AR – Giraffe, Dorchester Street, Southgate

Provision of a new shop front and use of walkway for the siting of 18no. tables, 42no. chairs and 2no. Benches – (Display of 3no. non-illuminated fascia signs, 3no. non-illuminated projecting signs and 2no. illuminated internal signs)

OBJECT The Trust welcomes the colourful and lively signage which will help to animate the space and improve the vibrancy of this part of the Southgate shopping centre. Whist this design approach may be acceptable in Southgate it is not an acceptable precedent for historic parts of the conservation area. In addition we are concerned that thin Bath stone veneer may not have sufficient strength to hold the fixings for the giraffe head sign which is perhaps too large. Our objection is in respect of the excessive amount of tables and chairs proposed. Whilst we do not object to tables and chairs in this area in principle the application seeks permission for too many. The colonnade is for pedestrians as well as cafe users and the space should allow for the flow of pedestrians. This could be improved by reducing the tables from doubles, to single tables. The proposal in its current form would be intrusive into the pavement and would have a harmful effect on the character and appearance of the conservation area, and thus contrary to the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 and B&NES Local Plan Polices D2, D4 and BH6.

10/05151/FUL – Monkton Combe School, Church Lane, Monkton Combe, Bath BA2 7HG

Proposal: Provision of access road, parking and drop-off area including new pedestrian route and landscaping on land off Church Lane

OBJECT The application site is located within the Green Belt, the Cotswold Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and landscape setting of the City of Bath World Heritage site which is of Outstanding Universal Value.

There is a presumption that permission for development in the green belt would not be given except in very special circumstances. We do not consider that the application effectively or clearly demonstrates ‘very special circumstances, as required by PPG2 and the B&NES Local Plan, nor has the case been adequately made for any overriding public benefit as to outweigh harm. Other less prominent locations may exist and arrival at any ‘only solution’ should be fully supported by evidence.

The proposed car park and associated access route is in a prominent position and would introduce inappropriate hard landscaping materials and lighting. In our view the development would be visually detrimental and have an adverse impact on the rural character and openness of the green belt. The development would neither preserve of enhance the natural beauty of the AONB, and harm the landscape setting of the World Heritage Site.

The Trust therefore objects to this application. The development would be inappropriate and contrary to PPG2 and Local Plan Polices D2, D4, BH1, NE2, GB1 and GB2 and should therefore be refused.

11/00110/AR – Argos, Upper Bristol Road, Lower Weston, Bath BA1 3AT

Proposal: Display of 4no. internally illuminated fascia signs and 2no. non-illuminated wall mounted signs.

OBJECT The Trust will continue to object to illuminated signs within the conservation area and in the World Heritage Site. The illuminated adverts, by virtue of the amount and position would be visually intrusive into the local street scene and have an adverse effect on the wider townscape character. The adverts would be harmful to the visual amenity value of the locality and would neither preserve nor enhance the character and appearance of the City wide conservation area. The proposal fails to comply with the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 and is contrary to Policies, D2, D4, BH1, BH6 and BH 17 of the B&NESLocal Plan and should therefore be refused.

p{color:red}. 11/00124/FUL, 25 Northend, Batheaston, Bath BA1 7EG

Erection of a replacement dwelling and garage

COMMENT The site is located partially in the Green Belt, and whilst a dwelling already exists this application seeks permission for a larger replacement, and garage outbuildings which are located in the green belt. Green belt policy states a presumption against any new residential building in the green belt unless very special circumstances can be demonstrated. Therefore, it is important that any permission granted is subject to strict condition which limits the use of these buildings for anything other than ancillary uses to the dwelling house.

11/00245/LBA & 11/00253/FUL – 16 Great Pulteney Street, Bathwick BA2 4BR

Removal of conservatory to rear elevation and return of property to a single dwelling from 5no flats, refurbishment of basement and return to habitable condition.

COMMENT The Trust welcomes the proposed conversion of this building back to a single residential building as it were originally designed. In principle the associated alterations will restore the character and integrity to the interior and historic plan form, and thus better reveal the significance of the building. However, we are not convinced that certain elements of the proposed interior joinery are appropriate and we are looking at this in more detail, with reference to the Trust’s Interiors Survey, and any further comments will be reported to the case officer separately. We are concerned about the visual impact of the glass balustrade and object to this element of the proposals. The use of glass presents an incongruous modern and somewhat commercial aesthetic that would not relate as well to the historic context as say a metal balustrade, which would be far more in keeping with the traditional Bath palette.

11/00166/LBA – 28 New King Street

Alterations for the reinstatement of traditional box sash windows to replace existing double glazed units on front elevation

COMMENT The Trust welcomes this proposal to reinstate timber sliding sash windows, which will improve the architectural interest of the listed building and enhance the character and appearance of the listed building and the conservation area.

11/00137/FUL – 9 Sion Hill Place, Lansdown, Bath

Erection of a studio suite between garden walls.

COMMENT If this application is approved it should be subject to a strict Condition to ensure that the additional residential accommodation it provides is ancillary to the house and is not sold off a separate dwelling. The Trust is concerned that the development of rear mews, garages and stables would result in overdevelopment and increased activity, disturbance and displaced parking that would detract from the setting of listed buildings and ambience and character of the conservation area.

11/00349/FUL – Lansdown Court, Lansdown Road, Bath

Erection of leisure building following demolition of existing building structure (Resubmission)

OBJECT The site is located in the AONB and the Green Belt which plays an important role in maintaining the setting of the World Heritage Site. It is therefore important that new development does not compromise the appearance, openness and special qualities of the landscape. The plot is essentially ‘brownfield’ and the immediate setting is enclosed by a residential property and park & ride facility to the north, and curtilage building to the south. The existing barn building provides opportunity for a limited extension. However in order to retain the character and openness of the landscape it is our view that any new building on this footprint should not exceed the volume (from ground level) or exceed the ridge height of the existing barn. In order to reduce the visual impact it is preferable for the height of any new building to not exceed the height of the existing hedgerow.

The proposed building is excessive in size and would be inappropriate development in the green belt, and would have a harmful impact on the character and openness of the green belt. The proposal fails to comply with national planning policy PPG2 and PPS7, and policies BH1, GB1, and GB2 of the B&NES Local Plan and should therefore be refused.

The Trust remains concerned about the accumulative impact of dwelling extensions which individually and collectively could harm the openness, rural character and purposes of the Green Belt.

11/00152/AR – Roundabout, Box Road, Bathford

Display of 1no. free standing pole sign.

OBJECT The proposed pole sign would contribute to visual clutter in the rural scene and detract from the appearance, rural character and visual amenity value of the green belt. The proposed advertisements by virtue of their position material and colours, would detract from the setting of the World Heritage Site. The proposal is contrary to Polices GB1, GB2, BH1, and NE1 of the B&NES Local Plan and should therefore be refused.

11/00264/FUL – Former Hayesfield School Playing Field, Frome Road, Odd Down

Installation of biomass boiler and associated works

OBJECT The Bath Preservation Trust considers that this application is insufficiently detailed to allow a proper assessment to be made:

• in the absence of data about the source of the biomass fuel (e.g. whether the crop replaces food, how many miles it must be transported & the frequency of deliveries), the sustainability of the boiler is not demonstrated, nor can its traffic implications be judged;

• in the absence of an air quality assessment, concerns about the resultant air quality cannot be calmed, and

• the drawings, particularly the elevations PL306B, are inconsistent/incomplete, and require correction. It seems certain that the installation will be visually intrusive, with the stainless steel chimney projecting above the roof of the store & the projecting plant (previously hidden behind the fascia – drwg 306); the ‘metal clad’ boiler building, also, will project above the timber fence to the car park (& that to the footpath & school). This intrusiveness is regrettable.

Unless these matters can be resolved satisfactorily, the Trust must object to the proposal for a biomass boiler & associated works.

We much regret that the ‘afterthought’ doorway which cuts into the restaurant glazing under the canopy on the Frome Rd frontage, unbalancing the whole elevation, was granted planning permission on 17 January 2011.

11/00468/OUT – St Gregory’s Catholic College, Combe Hay Lane, Odd Down, Bath

Outline application for the erection of a sixth form building linked to St Gregory’s Catholic College and associated works (Resubmission).

OBJECT/COMMENT The Trust has requested an extension to the deadline for the submission of responses. This is a holding objection, which subject to further assessment may be superseded.

Policy GB1 of the B&NES Local Plan states that new buildings in the green belt will only be allowed in very special circumstances. At this stage we do not consider that any very special circumstances have been demonstrated. The application fails to demonstrate that any alternative sites have been considered and discounted for valid reasons.

We recognise that this application is outline, and that a full planning application will be required for the detailed design of the building. The Trust is concerned about siting and appearance of the building, and visual impact it will have on the character of the green belt and the landscape setting of the World Heritage Site.

We would welcome meeting with the architects, and or panning consultants to discuss the proposals.

11/00854/FUL – Parcel 2866 Woolley Lane, Charlcombe

Siting of a temporary timber-clad mobile home for an agricultural worker and alteration to access (revised proposal)

OBJECT A charitable objective of the Bath Preservation Trust is to ‘encourage and support the conservation, evolution and enhancement of Bath and its environs within a framework appropriate to Bath its historic setting and its sustainable future’.

Previous applications for this proposal have been refused in succession. This is the fourth application and the circumstances and planning considerations have not changed. Therefore we see no reason why this application should not be refused on exactly the same grounds. The Swainswick Valley is located in the Green Belt and in the Cotswold AONB and is of high landscape value which also makes an important contribution to the wider landscape setting of the City of Bath World Heritage Site. An Article 4 Direction has been placed on land in the Valley in order to prevent certain agricultural works from being undertaken that would normally be permitted development, and to manage development and changes of land use in this sensitive area. We consider that the purposes of the Article 4 Direction must be upheld.

The Trust continues to OBJECT to these proposals for the following reasons:

• Policy GB1 of the B&NES Local Plan states that new buildings in the green belt will only be allowed in very special circumstances. We do not consider that any very special circumstances have been demonstrated, despite the applicants’ assertions.

• The need for an on-site agricultural worker’s home is unproven. That it is not essential to alpaca farming is supported by the recent appeal decision within B&NES(Chew Magna Ref APP/F0114/A/09/2105632 dated 1 Oct 09). The Inspector there noted that continuous on-site supervision of alpaca stock, as claimed to be necessary in this application, is unrealistic. The present application fails to demonstrate why appropriate accommodation for the worker could not be provided elsewhere within the locality, the site being 0.75 miles from the centre of Larkhall. The application therefore fails to satisfy the requirement of PPS7 Annex A that the functional need could not be fulfilled by another existing dwelling in the area.

• PPS7 (Annex A para13) states that temporary permission should not be granted for the siting of a mobile home in a location where permission for a permanent dwelling would not be given; we refer to the previously cited Inspector’s refusal of an application to site a mobile home associated with alpaca farming (appeal ref APP/F0114/A/09/2105632 dated 1 Oct 09) where this was given weight. The Swainswick Valley attracts even more weight by virtue of its WHS setting & the Article 4 direction.

• The siting, design and visual impact of the proposed mobile home and access will detract from the appearance of Woolley Lane and openness of the green belt and adversely affect the natural beauty and rural character of the AONB and the landscape setting of the World Heritage Site. The Trust considers that the proposed mobile home, the new gates & internal track and the alteration to create access from the Lane are inappropriate developments in this location in the green belt and that no temporary or permanent permissions should be granted.

The proposal is therefore contrary to Policies NE2, GB1, GB2, and BH1 of the B&NES Local Plan and guidance contained within PPG2 and PPS7 and should beREFUSED.

The Trust regards as perverse the applicants’ attempts to introduce innovative types of agriculture, said to demand constant attendance and consequent new buildings, into this highly protected landscape.

The Trust is outraged by the applicants’ total disregard for planning processes in place to protect the Swainswick Valley and strongly urges the Planning Authority to refuse this application and to take necessary enforcement action to remove the unauthorised mobile home which is currently on site, as recommended in its Enforcement Report, and to instigate enforcement action against the unauthorised gates, fencing, and access ramp.

11/00370/LBA – Rockhall House, Rock Hall Lane, Combe Down, Bath, BA2 5JF

Internal and external alterations for the overhaul and repair of existing sash windows and provision of new internal secondary glazing to all existing single glazed sash window units

SUPPORT The Trust is generally supportive of measures to improve the energy efficiency of historic buildings provided that there is no harm to their special interest. We consider that the installation of fully reversible secondary glazing in this building would be acceptable and would result in little permanent harm to the architectural and historic interest of the building. The secondary window units appear sensitively designed to respect the glazing bar pattern of the existing window.

The Trust recommends that the applicant demonstrates that other less intrusive measures to improve the energy performance of the building have been applied, such as insulation, lighting, heavy curtains and/or thermal blinds, and efficient heating systems as to support the benefits of secondary glazing.

11/00178/LBA – Francis Hotel, 6 – 11 Queen Square, City Centre, Bath, BA1 2HH

Internal and external alterations for the refurbishment of ground floor and lower ground floor public areas with associated external plant and duct work, creation of an independent restaurant and provision of a new restaurant entrance on Barton Street

OBJECT The proposed entrance canopy on Barton Street, by virtue of its position, design and materials would be visually intrusive and detract from the appearance of the street scene. It would be better if the entrance porch was contained within the existing recess without the stretched out awning projecting into the street view. This element of the proposal 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. The applicants should be encouraged to amend the proposal further to reach an acceptable solution.

11/00017/LBA – 6 Lower Borough Walls, City Centre, Bath, BA1 1QR

External works for provision new shopfront signage, replacement hanging sign and handrails (regularisation)

OBJECT This application is wholly inadequate with insufficient information to justify the proposal and to allow a proper assessment of the impact on the significance of the listed building. Being retrospective, damage has already been done – especially by the fixing of hand rails and duplicate bracket for the new hanging sign. In addition the fascia sign over entrance is too large and visually intrusive and has a detrimental effect on the character and appearance of the street scene. The Trust deplores the unauthorised work which has caused harm to the aesthetic and architectural value of the listed building. The proposal is contrary to PPS5 and Local Plan policies D2, D4, BH1, BH2 and BH6, we therefore encourage B&NES to refuse this application and take action to remedy this breach of planning control.

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