April – May 2011

Weeks 15-18

Amended 11/01022/FUL – John Wood House, 308 St John’s Hospital, Chapel Court, City Centre

Proposal: Replacement of single glazed sash and casement windows with slim profile double glazed sash and casement windows.

AMENDED COMMENT The Trust does not object to this application to replace all existing windows which are of modern construction with new appropriately designed timber sliding sash windows, with double glazed panes.

Whilst this proposal relates to principal facades designed by John Wood, and are very important buildings contributing to the character of the Conservation Area and the value of the world heritage site, the appearance of the windows would be generally unaltered by these proposals, and the work would not result in the loss of any significant historic fabric. It is for this reason that we do not consider that the integrity and significance of the buildings, conservation area or world heritage site would be substantially harmed. We do not consider that the look of the double glazing (glass) will have a negative effect on this part of the Conservation Area and the impact on the setting of the listed buildings would be negligible.

It should be noted that we are looking at the Chapel Court block as a whole and considering any visual impact differently as we would for say a single house within a terrace where such alteration might compromise group value.

Glazing bars should be a wide ovolo profile as appropriate for the building’s age and style. These relatively wide glazing bars would better accommodate slim profile double glazed panes, and should not suffer weakness from the weight of the glass which is a concern when fitting with more slender bars. Any spacer between the bars should be the same colour as the paintwork to the windows.

We support the applicant’s efforts to adapt this building in order to sustain and secure its continued occupation and use as a home for the elderly citizens of Bath. We acknowledge that these proposals fit into a range of other feasible solutions to help improve the energy efficiency and the comfort of the residents, and any permission granted should be subject to all other measures being implemented in parallel. In addition the thermal performance of double glazed windows could be further improved by the addition of shutters, and thermal blinds and curtains.

We would consider this approach less harmful than secondary glazing, as the visual impact of additional frame and double reflection is significantly reduced.

Should this application be refused we would encourage the applicant and the LPA to consider a temporary permission that would seek the approval of a reduced number of slim line double glazed windows located in various prominent locations so that the visual impact can be properly assessed and performance and benefits monitored.

Overall we believe that the public benefits of mitigating climate change, which could be achieved by enhanced energy efficiency, outweigh any concerns about the visual appearance of the glass. The proposal therefore specifically accords with Policies HE1.1, 1.2 and 1.3 of PPS5.

11/01436/FUL & 11/01437/LBA, 8A Cavendish Crescent, Lansdown

Internal and external alterations for the erection of single storey bathroom extension in rear yard and insertion of 2no pairs of French doors in existing rear openings.

OBJECT Basement areas (or light wells) at the front and rear of this terrace, and others throughout Bath, are generally open in character, often with stone steps or staircases and infill beneath bridges. The open ‘voids’ are a key element of the buildings architectural design and significance and contribute to the aesthetic value of its setting. Open basement areas are also an important characteristic of Bath’s townscape and street scene. It is for this reason that we would expect there to be a general presumption against development of any permanent structures within them, which accumulatively would cause much harm to the setting of 18th century terraces, the character of the conservation area and special qualities of the world heritage site.

Whilst the heritage statement provides evidence that a building existed in 1960 there is no conclusive evidence that is/was a historic structure or that it predated the 20th century. We do not therefore consider that this evidence provides sufficient justification for any new building in this area.

In the Trust’s view the removal of the building which existed in 1960 has in fact restored the open character of the basement area. The single storey extension proposed would be intrusive and impinge on the features of the rear facade, particularly the window, and thus detract from the character and setting of the building and cause harm to the architectural and historic significance of the listed building. In addition, cluttering up areas with buildings and structure may also reduce the amount of natural light which is reflected into occupied basements and have a detrimental effect on the amenity of the residents.

We are less concerned about the proposed new openings and French doors as there is evidence that these larger openings have previously existed and the work would not result in the loss of significant historic fabric. However it is important that the glazing bar profiles match those which are historically accurate within the existing building.

We note that works to the listed building which do not have permission have commenced and have been investigated by the LPA. Whilst retrospective applications may seek to remedy this breach, we are very concerned that in the interim further harm may be caused to the building and would request that the situation is monitored.

The Trust objects to the proposed extension which is contrary to Policies D2, D4, BH1, BH6 of the B&NES Local Plan, Policies HE7.5 HE9.5, and HE10 of PPS5, and the Planning (Listed Buildings & Conservation Areas) Act 1990, and should therefore be refused.

11/01618/AR – The Salvation Army, Green Park Road, City Centre

Display of 2no. non-illuminated fascia signs, 1no. internally illuminated projecting box sign, 1no. non-illuminated red shield, 1no. internally illuminated cross and display notice cases.

OBJECT The Trust will continue to object to illuminated signs and adverts within the conservation area and in the World Heritage Site. The internally illuminated wall mounted cross, externally illuminated fascia sign, and illuminated box sign proposed would be visually intrusive and harmful to the townscape and amenity value of the area would neither preserve nor enhance the character and appearance of the conservation area. The proposal is therefore contrary to Policies D2, D4, BH1, BH6 and BH 17 of the B&NES Local Plan, Policies HE7.5 HE9.5, and HE10 of PPS5, and the Planning (Listed Buildings & Conservation Areas) Act 1990 and should be refused.

11/01156/FUL – The Beacon, Mount Beacon, Beacon Hill, Bath

Erection of new dwelling within existing domestic curtilage with replacement of existing garage building

OBJECT Whilst we do not object to the development of a contemporary building the Trust objects to this planning application. The inappropriate design, massing, long windows and excessive amount of glass proposed would be incongruous and visually intrusive and harmful to the coherence and integrity of Bath’s townscape, which in this location follows the contours of the hillsides, is broadly traditional and domestic in form. The excessive amount of glass and elevated siting would emit light and reflection from the building which would be glimpsed. This would impact on views across the city and have a harmful impact on the low lit eighteenth century townscape and the special qualities of the World Heritage Site

The proposed building would fail to preserve or enhance the character and appearance of the Bath Conservation Area or make a positive contribution to Bath’s townscape and local distinctiveness, and would have a harmful impact on the special qualities of the Bath World Heritage site. The proposal therefore fails to comply with Policy D2, D4, BH1 and BH6 of the B&NES Local Plan and PPS5 polices HE7.4, HE7.5 HE9.5, and HE10 and the Planning (Listed Buildings & Conservation Areas) Act 1990 and should be refused.

11/01333/FUL – Westwood, Fonthill Road, Lansdown

Replacement of metal framed windows

OBJECT The Trust regrets the approval of the previous application for UPVC. We appreciate the need to improve the performance and energy efficiency of the school buildings by replacing defective windows, however UPVC is wholly inappropriate material that fails to harmonise with the traditional palette of materials in Bath. Not only is it incongruous aesthetically in Bath, it is damaging to the environment in both its manufacture and disposal. If UPVC is permitted then at the very least it should be green, recycled UPVC.

Whilst the property is not listed, it is situated within the curtilage of Kingswood School and the Bath Citywide Conservation Area and as such has a valuable role to play in the overall appearance and character of this group of historic buildings and the wider city of Bath.

In the Trust’s view the proposed UPVC windows will neither preserve nor enhance the character and appearance of the conservation area and will detract from the setting of nearby listed building. The proposal is contrary to Bath Local Plan Policies D2, D4, BH1, BH2, BH6, PPS5 polices HE7.4, HE7.5 HE9.5, and HE10 and the Planning (Listed Buildings & Conservation Areas) Act 1990 and should therefore be refused. Alternative sensitive materials which include timber or metal should be promoted.

11/01597/LBA – Street Record, Caroline Buildings, Widcombe

Alterations to the raised pavement in front of Caroline Buildings for the construction of a new surface water sewer.

OBJECT This listed building application provides no justification in terms of the impact on this significant heritage asset. This application therefore fails to comply with Policy HE6.1 of PPS5 and should not be determined without a heritage impact assessment. This proposal should also be supported by a detailed specification of works which would justify the approach and aim to protect the character of the pavement. The reinstatement of the paving should be undertaken by a skilled craftsperson to a specification which has been agreed by the conservation officer.

11/01724/FUL – Chestnut Cottage, Packhorse Lane, South Stoke

Erection of single storey side and single storey rear extension and raising of ridge to main roof and provision of 4no dormer windows (Resubmission)

OBJECT Chestnut Cottage is a humble building and its vernacular character, proportion and scale fit comfortably in the village scene. The cottage has a visually coherent relationship with its setting, and contributes to the group value of this collection of former farmstead buildings. The modest building contributes to the local distinctiveness and charm of the village and makes a positive contribution to the local scene, the character of the conservation area, and the rural character of the Green Belt and AONB within which it is located.

The Trust considers that the accumulative impact of the alterations and extension proposed would amount to a disproportionate addition to the cottage which would be out of proportion with the character of the existing built form and would be unacceptable. We have calculated the increase in volume that this application would allow, using the Government’s Planning Portal tool. This makes the proposed increase 69%, well in excess of the 30% which is cited as being the acceptable maximum in the adopted, Existing Dwellings in the Green Belt SPD.

The cottage would be increased to a height and size which would be visually detrimental to the rural character of the village, and the Green Belt.

We do not consider that the applicant demonstrates any very special circumstances which justify this inappropriate development, and the harm to the character and openness of the green belt that would be caused by the visual impact of the overextended building.

This planning application fails to comply with B&NES Local Plan Policy D1, D2, B6, GB1, GB2, and HG15, the Existing Dwellings in the Green Belt SPD, and the Planning (Listed Buildings & Conservation Areas) Act 1990, and should therefore be refused.

Whilst the building is not recognised as having features of very special architectural or historic interest; the traditional form, construction, vernacular characteristics, and local building materials are considered to be of local historic and architectural interest. The Trust considers that this building is of local importance and regrets that B&NES Council has not drawn up a list of buildings of local importance to underpin policy, nor does it have any policy or SPD in place to help protect such buildings from harmful alterations.

11/01356/FUL – 28 Calton Gardens, Lyncombe

Erection of a rear glass extension on the first floor

OBJECT The excessive amount of glass proposed at high level would be incongruous and visually intrusive and harmful to the coherence and integrity of Bath’s townscape, which in this location follows the contours of the hillsides, is broadly traditional and domestic in form. The use of glass and elevated siting would emit light and reflection from the building. This would impact on views across the city and have a harmful impact on the lowly lit eighteenth century townscape and the special qualities of the World Heritage Site.

The glass extension would fail to preserve or enhance the character and appearance of the Bath Conservation Area or make a positive contribution to Bath’s townscape and local distinctiveness, and would have a harmful impact on the special qualities of the Bath World Heritage site. The proposal therefore fails to comply with Policy D2, D4, BH1 and BH6 of the B&NES Local Plan and PPS5 polices HE7.4, HE7.5 HE9.5, and HE10 and the Planning (Listed Buildings & Conservation Areas) Act 1990 and should be refused.

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