Jan 2011

 Weeks 1-5

 10/05094/FUL – Prior Park College, Ralph Allen Drive, Lyncombe, Bath

Erection of a new sports centre; reconfiguration of existing staff car park and implementation of new hard and soft landscaping scheme following demolition of existing CCF Hut.

OBJECTION The Bath Preservation Trust is grateful for the early opportunity to discuss these proposals for a new sports hall and associated facilities at Prior Park College. Since the public exhibition we have had two very helpful meetings with the architects, planning consultant and representatives of the school. Their engagement and consideration of the issues highlighted by the Trust at pre-application stage, and in response to this formal application, has been receptive and forthcoming. We hope that this good working relationship can continue as the application progresses and the technical issues that have effect on the design and the appearances of the new building are resolved.

General comments The Trust is supportive in principle of the intention to build an enduring new building within the grounds of Prior Park College. The significance of the Grade I listed mansion, and its setting dictates the sensitive positioning, design, form and materials of any new building within close proximity. The Trust is generally satisfied with the approximate location of the proposed building.

At pre application stage we recommended that the glazed link section is lightweight in appearance and removed of clutter so that the important historic alignment between the lodge and the mansion can be read more clearly. The applicant has advised us that changes have been made to the internal arrangement of the glazed section which would help to strengthen this axis and improve through views. However the relocation of the lift does not appear to be shown on the submitted plans.

Therefore, it is with regret that we OBJECT to this planning application for the following reasons.

Design We were told that the stated design justification for the leaning walls is both contextual (to the angles of tree branches in the landscape) and functional for ventilation. We perceive this approach as a fashionable gimmick which does not respond to Prior Park’s stated brief of ‘permanence’ and there is a real risk that such a building would date quickly in appearance while also causing potential technical problems covered in the ‘materials’ section below. We are not convinced by the functional justification, for the reasons outlined below, and we are concerned that the proposed approach will increase the financial and energy costs of construction.

These sloping walls would also appear merely cosmetic since the walls appear not to slope inside. If this is the case then they may require tying back to some kind of vertical structure that would have to be designed to take extra horizontal loads. In addition the scale, augmented by the effect of the leaning walls, could be oppressive.

Cooling ‘stack effect’ ventilation requires as much ‘input’ from the air coming in at the bottom as ‘output’ from the air leaving the vents at the top so is not a valid argument for a wedge shaped opening between sloping and vertical walls.

This type of architecture also requires additional materials and structure and therefore has an increased embodied energy and cost.

If the retention of the angled design is of paramount importance to the project then in respect of the smaller pavilion, which has sections with angles to the first floor walk way then nothing below at ground floor, we would recommend that angled sections go all the way to the ground to avoid giving the impression that the upper floors are bolted on.

Materials The application lacks detail about the exact materials and how they are to be used in construction. We consider that the planning application is premature and should not have been submitted until full details of construction and materials are understood and the design developed accordingly. It is likely therefore that much detail would be agreed by condition to any permission. This is a process that does not allow for any further formal public or elected Member engagement. The applicants have indicated that they would be prepared to discuss construction details and materials with us and we would welcome further engagement.

The Trust is strongly in favour of the use of indigenous and locally distinctive materials. Bath stone is preferred to any other manufactured cladding material. Bath stone has a direct historic and architectural association with Prior Park which was developed by Ralph Allen. Ralph Allen’s efforts to build up the local stone mines at Combe Down and Odd Down, release finance for speculative development in the 18th century, and supply all of the stone required, should be respected, and reflected in the construction of any new building. The impact of his entrepreneurialism is recognized as an Outstanding Universal Value of the City of Bath World Heritage Site.

We are not convinced that the ‘clay brick product’ is at all appropriate. The application provides no detail about the texture and colour of this material. We understand that it is to be a bronze-brown-green colour but this is description insufficient to judge if it will be at all suitable. The design and articulation of the building should create texture and relief without any need for a jumble of differing materials. A contrast between Bath stone ashlar, and Bath stone rubble or riven Bath Stone should create a successful contrast.

The precise use of Bath stone in this construction is unclear. We have serious doubts about the effectiveness of the use of Bath stone as a cladding material and the durability of a thin veneer of Bath stone ashlar. We reemphasise the issues we raised in response to the use of the cladding panels used in the construction of the Southgate Shopping Centre which is already showing signs of being ineffective.

We are concerned about the

1. Damage caused by weathering and spalling.

2. The use of visqueen sheets.

3. The effectiveness of vertical expansion joints.

4. The effectiveness of proposed methods for rainwater runoff, particularly if there is no drip detail.

5. The use of stone veneers/cladding at this thickness, and method of fixing which creates a thin layer near the surface of the stone which is vulnerable to damage.

These points may be exacerbated by the proposal to hang the panels at an angle, which may also create an increased health and safety risk with any stone fall through spalling.

For the record, in the late eighteenth century John Wood the younger (1728-1781) observed that some houses built in and around Bath were built of “freestone barely 6” thick” and that he had been an “eye witness of rain driving not only through the joints but even the stone itself.” (J. Wood, Pottages and Habitations of the Labourer, London, 1806, P.4 ft. note b).

The detailing of any stonework should be carefully considered as to prevent water from staining the surfaces. There would be a need for some kind of parapet or cornicing to prevent water running straight down the walls, sloping or not. We are also concerned that any sloping stonework would quickly become soiled.

The Southgate shopping centre has a relatively short life expectancy and we think that this type of approach would be inappropriate in the context of Prior Park and for

the commendable ambitions of the College to create a truly sustainable new building.

Summary If the lift in the glazed link is to be removed in order to enhance through views then amended plans need to be submitted for consideration.

The Trust has serious concerns about the design as proposed and the as yet not fully defined use of materials. For the reasons stated vertical walls are favoured.

The approach seems experimental and this does not give us any confidence in the longevity of the building. Without further details of material and methods of construction the Trust is unable to make a proper assessment of the proposals.

We recognise that these technical issues are the remit of building regulations requirements However, they have a huge effect on the consideration of the design and its impact on the character and setting of Prior Park. This planning application will require extreme technical competence to allow proper consideration of the elements of design and construction and if necessary this should be consulted on externally. We would welcome further details and feedback on the effectiveness of any in situ trial construction panels.

The inappropriate angled walls, unsympathetic ‘clay-brick product’ and undeveloped solutions for the use of Bath stone result in proposals for a building which cannot be judged to make a positive contribution to the significance, character, setting, or local distinctiveness of Prior Park, or and the Outstanding Universal Value of the World Heritage Site of Bath, or better reveal the significance of these heritage assets. The proposal therefore fails to comply with PPS5 policies HE9 and HE10 and B&NESLocal Plan Policies BH1, BH2 and BH6.

NB. We strongly recommend that these issues are resolved during the life of this planning application, prior to its determination. If details that would affect the external appearance of the building are to be determined by Conditions attached to any permission granted we would welcome further discussion with the applicant and notification of any further applications for the discharge of Conditions.

10/04810/LBA – York Place, 4A London Road, Walcot, Bath

Internal alterations and sub-division of first floor accommodation to create two flats.

COMMENT The Trust does not wish to comment on the proposed interior alterations as without a more informed understanding of the interior it is difficult to make a proper assessment of impact. The Trust recommends that the paint applied externally is removed, using appropriate methods as approved by Listed Building Consent. If further protection of the surface of the stone is necessary then a lime wash shelter coat could be applied.

p{color:red}. 10/04868/CA – Kingsmead House , James Street West, City Centre, Bath

Demolition of Kingsmead House.

COMMENT The Kingsmead area provides an opportunity to stitch back together the fragmented street pattern and building form in the part of the City, and better reveal the significance of the historic environment. The Trust regrets that the Council does not yet have a redevelopment brief for Kingsmead which considers the historic context, the layout of new development, the potential mix of uses, and the public realm.

Kinsgmead House is a prominent site within in the World Heritage Site and the Conservation Area. The Trust recognises that this building makes a negative contribution to the character of these heritage assets and we do not oppose demolition provided that there is an acceptable proposal in place for a suitable replacement building. A replacement building must preserve and enhance the character and appearance of the conservation area and the setting of adjacent listed building, protect the Outstanding Universal Value of the World Heritage Site and make a positive contribution to the local distinctiveness of Bath. We do not consider that the current planning application meets this statutory requirement and an objection has been submitted.

10/05297/LBA – Waterstones Booksellers Ltd, 4 – 5 Milsom Street, City Centre

External alterations for the display of 2no. non-illuminated fascia signs and 2no. flags and repainting of fascia and timber surrounds (Regularisation)

OBJECT Advertising for commercial property in the conservation area and World Heritage Site is accommodated traditionally within shop fronts and fascias. The proposed advertisement flags on long poles would be visually intrusive features that would fail to preserve or enhance the character and visual amenity of the conservation area and the World Heritage Site, and detract from the historic setting which comprises of a number of listed buildings. The proposal is therefore contrary to policies D2, D4, BH1, BH2, BH6 of the B&NES Local Plan. Approval would also set an undesirable precedent for further similar adverts in this sensitive location, which would individually and collectively detract from the character of the city centre.

10/05195/FUL – 64 Walcot Street, Bath

Change of use of retail kiosk from Use Class A1 to office use (Use Class B1)*

OBJECT The proposed change of use is not supported by the Trust and the favours the retention of a kiosk. A1 or A2 uses would be more suitable than B2. These uses with active frontages will help to retain the vitality of the street scene the character of this part of the Bath Conservation Area. The proposed change of use would neither preserve nor enhance the character of the conservation area, and fails to comply with the Planning (Listed Building and Conservation Areas) Act 1990, and Local Plan Policy BH6 and should therefore be refused.

10/05325/LBA – 21 – 22 High Street, City Centre

Internal alterations for the provision of a street lantern to the ceiling of the passageway which runs through the building from the high street to Northumberland Place.

OBJECT 20-22 High Street are listed buildings. If there is to be a light here, it needs far more careful consideration, and justification in terms of the impact on the significance of the listed building, conservation area and World Heritage Site. This application provides is no justification in terms of the impact on these heritage assets. The fittings proposed are utilitarian, fine in a underpass, but and completely inappropriate for use in this sensitive historic setting. Neither the impact of light fitting attachment nor the quality of light and its energy consumption have been considered. A proper historic statement, a better case for the need for a light, and research into a suitable light fitting in design, luminosity and environmental impact is necessary before any decision can be made. The inappropriate light fittings would neither preserve nor enhance the character, appearance of the Conservation area, and have a harmful impact on the setting of listed buildings the Outstanding Universal Value of the World Heritage Site. The application is therefore contrary to Local Plan Policies BH1, BH2, BH6, D2, and fails to comply with PSS5 and the Planning (Listed Building and Conservation Areas) Act 1990.

10/04893/LBA – Flat 1, 1 Belvedere, Lansdown, Bath

External alterations for the provision of an external 6 panel door to replace existing door

COMMENT Whist the proposal is a definite improvement many Bath doors have butt beaded lower panels. This type of door, or a planked door might be more suitable in this location.

10/04893/LBA – 25 Upper Camden Place, Walcot, Bath

Internal and external alterations to create first floor bathroom, roof repairs and repairs to external rendering

*OBJECT * This looks like a building which has been very badly treated. Unfortunately the the inadequate plans and Design and Access Statement which are provided don’t give much hope for its future. Vague references to “suitable render” and “materials…carefully selected to create a sensitive design” are simply not specific enough. From the photographs it looks like a classic case of severe damp problems stemming from the position against the hillside and the surrounding vegetation, greatly exacerbated by impermeable cement render to interior and exterior. Patching the render will do nothing to help – it probably all needs to be removed; paying lip service to conservation guidelines is going to be no substitute for a properly informed survey in order to secure the long term future of the building. The application in its current form does not satisfy the requirements of PP5, and does not contain adequate information to demonstrate compliance with Local Plan Policies BH1, BH2 and BH6.

10/04990/FUL – King Georges Road and Priddy Close, Twerton

Replacement of 100mm timber shiplap cladding with kestrel or swish 100mm open v joint white pvc-u cladding and installation of integral rigid insulation at 6,8,10,15,18,19,20, 25, 27, 29, 33, 34, 43, 44, 47, 48, 52, 53, 55, 61, 62, 67 and 68 King George’s Road.

OBJECT The Trust is supportive of measures to improve the energy efficiency of Bath’s existing building stock and decrease the carbon footprint of Bath as a whole. Every effort should be made to upgrade buildings without causing harm to the character, visual amenity, local distinctiveness and special qualities of the World Heritage City. Although not particularly distinguished these late 20th century house look as though they have been designed with some care; the timber cladding is an integral element of this design which together with the warm coloured brick, gives the small houses some distinction, and attractiveness associated with the use of natural materials. To replace the timber with uPVC cladding, in white, will destroy the modest but definite period element of design; the uneven weathering of the timber, regarded as a detraction to appearance by Somer, gives the buildings some natural charm which will be completely lost by the artificial uniformity of plastic. The inherent environmental problems associated with the manufacture and longevity of uPVC will completely devalue the benefits provided by the proposed thermal insulation board. The Trust cannot support these proposals and considers that the appearance of the uPVC material would be harmful to the local character and street scene and fails to make a positive contribution to the local distinctiveness of Twerton and wider area. The proposal is therefore contrary to policies D2, D2 and BH1 of the Bath Local Plan and should be refused. We would recommend that replacement timber cladding which is similar in appearance is used.

10/05330/FUL – St Swithins Church, The Paragon, Bath

Alterations and repairs to boundary wall.

COMMENT The Bath Preservation Trust recognises the need to undertake the alterations proposed. However, we question the suitability of a stepped wall which is not a characteristic profile in Bath.

If this application is approved we recommend that a condition is attached to ensure that the existing materials are reused, and to ensure that if any damage is caused to the stone a suitable like material which is similar in appearance, colour and texture is used.

10/05242/AR – Dreams, 3 – 4 Manvers Street, Bath

Display of 1no. part illuminated fascia sign

OBJECT This application seeks consent for an illuminated logo within a fascia sign. The Trust will continue to object to internally illuminated signs in the Bath City-Wide Conservation Area.

The proposed illuminated sign would detract from the setting of nearby historic listed buildings, and would neither preserve nor enhance the character and appearance of the conservation area. The sign by virtue of its illumination and position, and siting in close proximity to the existing ‘Dreams’ signage, will cause harm to the visual amenity value of the area and character of the street scene. The proposal is contrary to Policies, D2, D4, BH1, BH2, BH6 and BH 17 of the B&NESLocal Plan and should therefore be refused. Paragraph C3.79 of the B&NES Local Plan states that in Conservation Areas illuminated signs will only be permitted where such signs do not detract from the visual amenities.

10/05305/AR – Former Hayesfield School Playing Field, Frome Road, Odd Down

Display of 3no internally illuminated fascia signs, 4no non-illuminated wall panel signs, 1no projecting sign, 1no non-illuminated 5m totem and 2no non-illuminated 2.2m totems

OBJECT The Trust objects to this application. The signs proposed are too many, too big and too bright. The lettering of the three illuminated fascia signs appears cramped and we suggest that un illuminated letters of 1000mm & 1200mm [instead of 1200mm & 1500mm] would be more appropriate; on this well lit road there is no need for bright orange signs to be illuminated. If the fascia signs are permitted [in non-illuminated form], there is no need for any totems, which, in any case, would impede pedestrian flow, especially B which is in wrong place, and C which is unnecessary. Of the four proposed wall panels, sign G on rear is unnecessary and sign D, on north front, is ambiguously sited, so also unnecessary. It is accepted that a single informative wall sign E by main entrance is necessary for content & hours. It is not necessary to also provide this information on a 5m high slab at the roadside [totem A], which would pose a safety hazard if drivers attempted to read it.

The Trust still objects to the alteration which has unbalanced the glazing on Frome Road.

In short, Sainsbury’s proposed advertising is too assertive, and visually intrusive, and would harm the amenity and character of the locality, which is non-commercial. The totem sign would be a hazard to highway safety. The proposals conflict with all relevant parts of policy BH 17, and policies D2 and D4 of the B&NES local plan and should therefore be refused.

10/04867/FUL – Kingsmead House, Kingsmead, Bath

Erection of a 190 bed hotel incorporating conference facilities, restaurant, cafe bar and associated facilities, servicing and works following the demolition of Kingsmead House.

OBJECT The Trust regrets that there has not been a more proactive approach to pre application consultation in the development of proposals for the site. The Trust has attempted on numerous occasions to meet with the planning consultants to discuss the developing plans and received little notice of the public exhibitions.

Kinsgmead House is a prominent site within in the World Heritage Site and the Conservation Area. The Trust recognises that this building makes a negative contribution to the character of these heritage assets and we do not oppose demolition provided that there is an acceptable proposal in place for a suitable replacement building. A replacement building must preserve and enhance the character and appearance of the conservation area and the setting of adjacent listed building, protect the Outstanding Universal Value of the World Heritage Site and make a positive contribution to the local distinctiveness of Bath.

The Kingsmead area provides an opportunity to stitch back together the fragmented historic street pattern and building form in the part of the City, and better reveal the significance of the historic environment. The Trust regrets that the Council does not yet have a redevelopment brief for Kingsmead which considers the historic context, the layout of new development, the potential mix of uses, and the public realm. The extent of poor and mediocre quality 20th century architecture in the immediate vicinity (not counting the Odeon) should not be the influence used for new work, but rather the historic buildings which the existing ugly monolith replaced. Green Park Station should be taken as the focus and benchmark for the area, with the proportions and massing of Charles Street and Green Park as reference points.

Whist the Trust is supportive in principle of proposals to redevelop the site, the proportions and relationship of storey heights, fenestration, and large roof dormers proposed are all entirely wrong. Whilst there is no need to create a Georgian pastiche this design could easily conform to the familiar lines of Bath, and thus sit more comfortably in the city’s context. The height ought to be reduced by a storey and the elevation to Charles Street needs a more regular rhythm, particularly to the ground floor, to reduce the monolithic effect produced by the lack of EITHER a centrally emphasized entrance OR a series of doors to make sense of the number of windows on this facade. The top floor is heavy with a standard rhythm which does not align at all comfortably with the random fenestration below. The form of the box dormer window, which is shown with a dark grey material, would be visually intrusive and incongruous both in the immediate and wider context.

The elevation to James Street West is better, with its emphasis on the main entrance to the building. The idea of a colonnade is to be welcomed, and the arrangement of wide steps which accommodates rather gracefully the change in pavement level. The step down of the upper storey to the east also reduces the monolithic effect. The return of the building to the original, larger footprint of the site whilst reducing the height, to maximise available accommodation within the roof line, is sensible. However, the number of storeys crammed in to this height is unacceptable since it neither conforms to the Georgian proportions to which the eye is so accustomed in Bath, nor produces a new set of harmonising proportions.

Clarification of the method of construction and all materials is vital. The use of real Bath stone is essential in the conservation area. We have serious doubts about the effectiveness of the use of Bath stone as a cladding material and the durability of a thin veneer of Bath stone ashlar. We reemphasise the issues (below) we raised in response to the use of the cladding panels used in the construction of the Southgate Shopping Centre which is already showing signs of being ineffective.

We are particularly concerned about the potential damage caused by weathering and spalling, the effectiveness of vertical expansion joints, the effectiveness of rainwater runoff, particularly if there is no drip detail, the use of stone veneers/cladding at this thickness, and method of fixing which creates a thin layer near the surface of the stone which is vulnerable to damage.

It should be noted that in the late eighteenth century John Wood the younger (1728-1781) observed that some houses built in and around Bath were built of “freestone barely 6” thick” and that he had been an “eye witness of rain driving not only through the joints but even the stone itself.” (J. Wood, Pottages and Habitations of the Labourer, London, 1806, P.4 ft. note b).

The detailing of any stonework should be carefully considered as to prevent water from staining the surfaces. The use of reconstituted stone will result in a differing, and poorer quality appearance which is unacceptable in this central location in the World Heritage Site. Important details, such as method of construction and materials, which will impact on the buildings appearance should form part of the planning application and should not be dealt with by Conditions.

The design of new buildings proposed at Western Riverside is cited in the design and access statement as a contextual reference and justification for the design approach. These buildings do not actually exist, their architectural standard cannot be judged and they should not therefore be used as a spill out model across the city.

The proposed redevelopment is not acceptable in its current form. The inappropriate design (fenestration, proportions, rhythm), and height would have a detrimental impact on the character, appearance and setting of the Conservation Area and adjacent listed buildings, and would compromise the authenticity and integrity and Outstanding Universal Value of the World Heritage Site.

Lack of detail for the use of Bath stone in construction result in proposals for a building which cannot be judged to make a positive contribution to the significance, character, setting, or local distinctiveness of the Conservation Area, or and the Outstanding Universal value of the World Heritage Site of Bath.

The proposal therefore fails to comply with PPS5 policies HE9 and HE10 and B&NES Local Plan Policies BH1, BH2, BH6, BH7, D2, and D4.

10/05375/FUL – 9 Mount View Rd

Provision of uPVC double glazed doors and windows to replace existing timber doors and aluminium windows (9-19 Mount View)

OBJECT The houses are located in the Bath City-Wide Conservation Area and it is therefore particularly important to maintain the character and appearance of the area. uPVC is an inappropriate synthetic modern material which fails to preserve or enhance the historic character of the city. Timber is an appropriate traditional material which respects the Bath palette. The Trust will continue to object to the use of uPVC both for reasons of character retention and the adverse impact on the environment both in the manufacture and disposal of uPVC. The Trust asks that the applicant considers installing painted pressure treated, timber windows which, in the long term, have been proven to be more cost effective than uPVC equivalents. It is also possible to make minor repairs to a timber window, something that is impractical on uPVC. Many national and local manufacturers now produce timber double glazed windows with a pressure treated timber frame that has similar maintenance requirements as uPVC.

The appearance of the uPVC material would be harmful to the local character and street scene and fails to make a positive contribution to the local distinctiveness of Bath. The proposal would detract from the character, appearance of the Conservation area, the Outstanding Universal Value of the WHS and setting of listed buildings, the application is therefore contrary to Local Plan Policies BH1, BH2, BH6, D2, and fails to comply with PSS5 and the Planning (Listed Building and Conservation Areas) Act 1990.

11/00142/FUL – 3 Caroline Place, Bath

Erection of new garden wall to south-west boundary

COMMENT The gradual erosion of the historic and visual integrity of the mews areas is of concern. The inspectors report of 2001 states that although the impact on the Conservation Area is slight, repeated minor erosions are cumulatively damaging. If a precedent is to be set for such development then quality in construction, materials and finish must be the highest. Although the applicant is re-instating a wall and removing the existing timber panel fence, it would be ideal if the new wall was wholly rubble-stone in order to help maintain the integrity of the surrounding garden walls.

11/00212/FUL – 20 Wellsway, Bath

Replacement windows to flat and 2no shops at 20/22 Wellsway, Bear Flat

OBJECT These prominent frontages are located in the Bath City-Wide Conservation Area and contribute to the character of the area and local street scene. uPVC is an inappropriate synthetic modern material which fails to preserve or enhance the historic character of the city. Timber is an appropriate traditional material which respects the Bath palette. The Trust will continue to object to the use of uPVC both for reasons of character retention and the adverse impact on the environment both in the manufacture and disposal of uPVC.

The colour of the proposed replacement windows to the front of the shop is inappropriate, and it is felt that a deeper colour would be more suitable.

The appearance of the uPVC material and the colour proposed would be harmful to character of the street scene and fails to make a positive contribution to the local distinctiveness of Bath. The proposal would therefore detract from the character, appearance of the Conservation area, the Outstanding Universal Value of the WHSand setting of listed buildings. The application is contrary to Local Plan Policies BH1, BH2, BH6, D2, and fails to comply with PSS5 and the Planning (Listed Building and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 and should therefore be refused.

10/05276/FUL & 10/05277/AR – Martin McColls, 33 Bathwick Street

Installation of ATM and Display of 1no internally-illuminated fascia sign.

OBJECT The Trust will continue to object to externally illuminated signs on listed buildings and within the Conservation Area and in the World Heritage Site. The sign by virtue of its materials, colour, illumination and position would cause harm to the visual amenity value of the area, would neither preserve nor enhance the character, appearance of the Conservation area, and would have a harmful effect on the Outstanding Universal Value of the World Heritage Site and the setting of listed buildings. The application therefore and fails to comply with PSS5 and the Planning (Listed Building and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 and is contrary to Policies, D2, D4, BH1, BH2, BH6 and BH 17 of the B&NES Local Plan, which states that illuminated signs on listed buildings will not normally be permitted.

11/00085/CA – Cedar Tops, Weston Lane, Lower Weston, Bath

Demolition of existing dwelling

COMMENT The site is within in the World Heritage Site and the Bath Conservation Area. The Trust recognises that the existing bungalow makes a negative contribution to the character of these heritage assets and we do not oppose demolition provided that there is an acceptable proposal in place for a suitable replacement building. A replacement building must preserve and enhance the character and appearance of the conservation area, protect the Outstanding Universal Value of the World Heritage Site and make a positive contribution to the local distinctiveness of Bath. The Trust may submit separate comments in response to any planning application for a replacement building.

10/05227/REG03 – Lewis House, Manvers Street

Provision of new metal guard rail at roof level around roof mechanical plants

OBJECT We recognise that a guard rail is necessary, although a simpler design is preferable. The Manvers Street elevation appears unbalanced, and it is unclear how the railings will look because of the set back in plan. It would much better if they extended up to the chimney, masking the small block and balancing the building.

10/05228/REG03 – Abbey Chambers, Kingston Parade, City Centre

Erection of a Bath stone obelisk sited on a York stone plinth to the front of the tourist information centre on Kingston Parade.

COMMENT The proposed way marker is engaging and informative and we have high regard for the work of the stone mason, Laurence Tyndall. The Trust was concerned with the previous siting of the obelisk closer to the Abbey as it may not have allowed for adequate circulation by the public and it encroached on the setting of this highly significant buildings. The proposed position, away from the Abbey walls is preferred. We recommend that a pennant stone plinth is used, not York stone which is not a material traditionally used in Bath. Damage to the pennant flag stones beneath the plinth should be avoided. We are also concerned about the fragility of the top of the obelisk, where if the ornament appears very delicate, as it may be vulnerable to vandalism and damage.

10/05344/FUL – 2 Hermitage Road, Lansdown

Erection of house following demolition of existing bungalow.

OBJECTION The existing bungalow is located within the World Heritage Site and the Conservation Area. The Trust recognises that the existing building makes little positive contribution to the character of these heritage assets. We do not oppose demolition (though we note that we have not yet seen a conservation area application for demolition) provided that there is an acceptable proposal in place for a suitable replacement . Any replacement building should be responsive to the local context and well connected to its surroundings, a building that would preserve and enhance the character and appearance of the conservation area and public realm, and make a positive contribution to the local distinctiveness of Bath. We do not consider that this proposed new building achieves any of these statutory requirements.

This planning application seeks permission for a building which is ‘individual in character’, and whilst there is certainly scope for a contemporary design on this site, the character of any new building should have due regard for the special qualities of the City of Bath World Heritage Site and the character and appearance of the conservation area. No attempt has been made to justify the proposed new building in terms of the effect on the significance of these designated heritage assets in accordance with national planning policy PPS5 (Planning for the Historic Environment) . The absence of any proper justification or heritage impact statement is sufficient reason for refusal alone.

Planning legislation and local plan policies exists to safeguard conservation areas and only encourage development which complements and enhances existing character. The character of any new building must be informed by the character of the context and sit happily alongside the pattern of existing development. Stand alone approaches to architecture are not appropriate for new domestic buildings in Bath which is widely characterised by uniformity in design features such as building form and roof profiles, scale, materials, and street pattern. Even on Hermitage Road the modern buildings harmonize in massing, materials, and detail and maintain important consistency in character with the wider conservation area. The approximation to a ‘Huf Haus’ style proposed seems purposefully dismissive of local vernacular style and important characteristics which have been afforded special protection.

The proposed building is disproportionate to the size of the plot, and incongruous with the existing pattern of development. The size, height, scale and massing are inappropriate. The building would dominate the plot resulting in over-development, and have an overbearing impact on the street scene. The proposed ridge and eaves lines are at levels that do not relate well to neighbouring properties and would sit uncomfortably in the street scene. The proposed building presents jumbled features, fenestration and details, which would fail to make a positive contribution to the character and distinctiveness of the locality. In addition, the multiple ensuites and staff accommodation seem more appropriate to a commercial (eg B&B) use, while the application implies family use. Even for family usage, this scale of accommodation might cause a significant increase in traffic movements.

The distinct palette of materials that exists in Bath are important considerations, whether building in a traditional or contemporary style. Imitation materials, such as reconstituted stone and artificial slate have inferior qualities that stand out against the palette of traditional natural materials and fail to complement historic settings. The treatment of the timber frame is unspecified . Typical black and white ‘Huf Haus’ finish would be completely out of keeping.

It is therefore considered that the proposed house fails to respond in any way to the local context or contribute positively to the local distinctiveness of Bath. The inappropriate design, massing, size, scale, ridge heights and levels, and materials would cause harm to the visual amenity value of the street scene, would neither preserve nor enhance the character and appearance of the Conservation area, and would have a harmful effect on the Outstanding Universal Value of the World Heritage Site. The application therefore fails to comply with PSS5 and the Planning (Listed Building and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 and is contrary to Policies, D2, D4, BH1, BH2, BH6 of the B&NES Local Plan and should be refused.

We have not yet seen an application for conservation area consent for the demolition of the bungalow. This demolition should not be granted permission until a planning application for an appropriate replacement building is submitted and approved.

11/00187/LBA – Henrietta House Residential Home, 33 Henrietta Street, Bathwick, BA2 6LR

Internal and external alterations to incorporate the rear enclosed 1970’s escape stairwell with the rear righthand room, adjacent to the lift, to also include the removal of non period partitions and the reinstatement of period style doors and joinery details

COMMENT These comments relate to external alterations only. The proposed interior alterations cannot be properly assessed without a site visit. The removal of the fixed glazed lights and replacement with natural slate will greatly improve the character and appearance of the listed building. Re-rendering the exterior of the stairwell with lime render will also improve the appearance of the building and may also improve the performance of the building. These external alterations proposed are supported by the Trust.

10/05197/FUL – St Bede, Pulteney Road, Bathwick

Re-instating of iron railings and new gates to front garden

OBJECT This is an attractive 1920’s house with good stone gate piers is located in the Bath Conservation Area and World Heritage Site. The proposals to reinstate railings using the existing low wall and piers are supported in principle. However, the gates and railings proposed appear to be ‘off the peg’ and rather utilitarian. The application claims that the design is based on others in the area but no evidence is provided. The proposal lacks necessary justification and detail. The design proposed is considered to have a detrimental effect on the visual amenity value of the street scene, and is not considered to preserve or enhance the character and appearance of the conservation area, or make a positive contribution to the significance of this heritage asset. The application therefore fails to comply with PSS5 and the Planning (Listed Building and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 and is contrary to Policies, D2, D4, BH1, and BH6 of the B&NES Local Plan and should be refused.

11/00077/LBA – Springfield Stables Upper Lansdown Mews, Lansdown, Bath

Removal of existing garages and replacement with single storey annex and one garage

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.

11/00010/LBA – The Pump Shed Lock 11, Tow Path Kennett and Avon Canal, Bathwick

Dismantle approx 1/2 of chimney numbering and saving all sections of stone, remove corroded iron cramps and accurately rebuild using new stainless steel cramps, with repairs and replacements to masonry where necessary.

SUPPORT The Trust is fully supportive of this listed building application to repair this precarious chimney which is a distinctive feature of the local canal scene, and townscape. Necessary surveys have been undertaken and the significance of the listed chimney has been properly assessed. The method statement, the repairs specification and impact assessment are exemplary. Repairing the chimney will ensure its long term survival and will preserve and enhance the character of the conservation area. The application fully complies with national and local planning policy and should be approved.

11/00020/FUL – Jazz Cafe, 1 Kingsmead Street, City Centre

Provision of an awning to cover external designated seating area.

OBJECT The proposed canopy would be visually intrusive and detract from the overall appearance of the ornate facade. The blind mechanism and blind would interrupt the composition of this remarkable building making it unreadable. The building dates from 1735 and whist shop fronts are in place date from the 20th century adding a contemporary awning would do nothing to enhance or better reveal the historic or architectural significance of the grade I listed building. The design and access statement refers to awnings dating from the early 19th and 20th centuries. We do not consider this historic reference appropriate justification or the provision of a blind at all suitable for the age and style of this building. This proposal would neither preserve nor enhance the character, appearance of the Conservation area, and would fail to positively contribute to, or better reveal the significance of, the World Heritage Site. The application is therefore contrary to Local Plan Policies BH1, BH2, BH6, D2, and fails to comply with PSS5 and the Planning (Listed Building and Conservation Areas) Act 1990.

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.

11/00005/FUL & 11/00006/LBA- Ivy Cottages, Shaft Road, Monkton Combe, Bath, Bath And North East Somerset

Internal and external alterations to include the erection of rear extensions and alterations to layout.

OBJECT Ivy Cottage, formerly a 17th century farmhouse, is a listed building, of simple vernacular character. The cottage has already been extended to the west in 1990. We acknowledge that the applicants have attempted to address some of the issues raised by the previous proposals. The justification for the alterations is still based on a perceived need to improve the internal layout and access. It should be noted that the historic plan and the unconventional layout contribute to the historic character and significance of the property and should be retained. Our comments relate only to the external alterations, as proper assessment of the impact of the internal alterations cannot be made without a site visit.

The extensions and alterations proposed appear too extreme, and excessively intrusive. The cumulative impact of further extensions and alterations, and the associated loss of historic fabric would be damaging to the simple character of this modest cottage and detract from the buildings architectural and historic significance. As a general rule new work and extensions to listed buildings should be subservient as to retain the prominence of historic character. This proposal would result in extensions that are disproportionate to the host building and would collectively over dominate the original cottage. The Trust considers that the proposals are contrary to Policy BH2 of the B&NES Local Plan and polices contained within PPS5 and therefore be refused.

11/00044/LBA – Site of 3 Northampton Street, Lansdown, Bath And North East Somerset

External alterations to number 4 Northampton Street for the erection of an attached five storey building to provide 5no. flats.

COMMENT The Trust is generally supportive of this proposal for a residential building on a brownfield gap site, 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. We applaud the level of detail contained within this submission which ought to ensure quality and craftsmanship in construction. This type of urban repair is welcomed. Our concern relates to the appearance of the gable end and would encourage some different treatment to provide visual interest in a very large blank wall. Perhaps a rubble band course or blind windows would provide this interest

Designed by Ice House Design