July – Aug 2011

Weeks 27-36

11/02458/FUL – Longview, Granville Road, Lansdown

Erection of 3no. detached dwellings following demolition of existing dwelling.

OBJECT The Trust does not object to the principle of development on this site, or the demolition of the existing bungalow, which is not historically significant and is only of neutral aesthetic value to the area. However, the quantity development of this site as proposed we feel constitutes an overdevelopment of the site which is uncharacteristic to the area and would be visually detrimental.

Specifically, the third dwelling (farthest away from the highway) is felt to be objectionable since it encroaches further towards the greenbelt and down the hillside. The site occupies a particularly prominent and sensitive location within the World Heritage Site and Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and is skirted by Greenbelt land. Sitting at the brow of the valley at Lansdown, the site overlooks many key areas of the World Heritage Site and is widely visible. It is therefore regrettable that this application does not assess more fully the potential visual impact that this development might have.

It should also be considered that this area has already seen similar applications, and there is a risk of a cumulative impact of overdevelopment in this area. The Trust has previously commented or objected to those applications for similar reasons, where an existing dwelling is demolished to make way for multiple dwellings. Furthermore with an anticipated redevelopment of the Endsleigh site next door, the quantity of development on this site and the cumulative impact around this location is a critical issue.

The Trust considers that the materials chosen in the design are questionable and that further details and justification for their choice ought to be expressed. Specifically, the choice for a zinc Terne-coated roof is not clearly justified, nor is the choice of red as a colour for it. Given that this is a locally incongruous roofing material for such a prominent location, a robust justification for its use must be expressed. It is also unclear whether the oak boarding is to be left to weather naturally or whether it is to be treated in some way, though the orange hue of the boarding in the elevations seems to imply the latter. We note that it is increasingly common for applications for development near the Greenbelt to be timber-clad, and are concerned that a propensity for such a material does not always respect the local vernacular.

In short, the Trust OBJECTS to this proposal which would introduce unsympathetic materials, fail to enhance local distinctiveness and would result an overdevelopment of the site that would compromise the character and openness of the Greenbelt and adversely affect the AONB. The application is therefore contrary to policies D2, D4, GB2, NE2, BH1 & BH15 of the B&NES Local Plan and should be REFUSED.

11/02554/LBA & 11/02569/AR – The West Gate, 38 Westgate Street, City Centre, Bath, BA1 1EL

External alterations of new replacement signage to exterior.

OBJECT Notwithstanding the approval of the advertisement consent, the Trust objects to this proposal. This application seeks consent for signage comprising of stainless steel and painted acrylic. The building is listed and located within the Bath Conservation Area and World Heritage Site. The proposed materials, whilst matching those existing, are unsympathetic to the character of the listed building and townscape, and fail to harmonise with the traditional palette of material 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 proposal fails to comply with Policy D2, D4, BH1, BH2 and BH6 of the B&NES Local Plan and PPS5, in particular polices HE7.4, HE7.5 HE9.5, and HE10, and the Planning (Listed Buildings & Conservation Areas) Act 1990 and should therefore be refused. The Trust encourages traditional approaches to signage in the Bath Conservation Area and in this instance would consider that a painted sign fascia and hanging sign would be more appropriate.

11/02580/LBA-14 Abbey Churchyard, City Centre, Bath

External alterations for re-roofing with natural slates and renewal of leadwork to roof.

SUPPORT The Trust is fully supportive of these proposals to restore the appropriate traditional materials, and repair damaged fabric. The works will enhance the heritage value of the listed building, and improve the appearance of the property that in turn will enhance the character and appearance of the conservation area. We would advise that scaffolding is sensitively positioned by a reputable company as not to cause any unnecessary damage to the surface of the stone.

11/02769/LBA – Circus House, Bennett Street, City Centre, Bath

Installation of extract ventilation to decontamination room with relocation of surgeries.

OBJECT Circus House forms part of the grade I listed Circus, and plays a prominent role in the street scene linking Alfred and Bennett Street. The metal grille proposed would be an incongruous addition to the traditional palette of materials, and unsympathetic to the integrity of the historic environment. The resultant loss of historic fabric would be regrettable. The Trust therefore objects to this listed building application which in our view would have a harmful impact on the architectural significance of the listed building. We do not consider that the proposal is supported by sufficient evidence to justify such harm, and we would encourage alternative solutions. The proposal fails to comply with Policies, BH1, and BH2 of the B&NES Local Plan and PPS5, in particular polices HE7.4, HE7.5 HE9.5, and HE10, and the Planning (Listed Buildings & Conservation Areas) Act 1990 and should therefore be REFUSED.

11/02660/REG03 – St Saviours Infant School, Spring Lane, Larkhall, Bath

Erection of a temporary Elliott building to be used as a community room.

COMMENT The Trust notes that the colour of the proposed temporary building is not explicitly specified. We have no objection to the building in principle, but colour choice is crucial to consideration of the proposal and its impact on the townscape. This detail should be specified now rather than given retrospective approval.

11/02780/FUL – 87 Fairfield Park Road, Fairfield Park, Bath

Provision of loft conversion to include flat roof rear dormer and new rooflights to front elevation roof slope. (Resubmission)

OBJECT The Bath Preservation Trust considers that large flat roof dormers are not in the interest of good design as they fail to enhance local distinctiveness and are visually intrusive features in the townscape and World Heritage Site. This proposal seeks permission for a large flat roof dormer that would occupy most of the rear roof surface. The building is traditional and characteristic of Bath, the roof extension would dominate the building and would be visually intrusive in the townscape thus degrading the visually amenity value of the area.

The Trust considers that this proposal is contrary to Policies D2 and D4 of the B&NES Local Plan and the Planning (Listed Buildings & Conservation Areas) Act 1990 and should therefore be REFUSED.

11/02824/FUL & 11/02505/LBA – 32 Richmond Place, Beacon Hill

Erection of a single storey rear extension following demolition of existing single storey extension and recently erected timber shed, removal of part of the external wall at lower ground floor level of the original property retaining the dressed and random stone, reinstate traditional styled sash windows where inappropriate styles have been previously installed, provision of iron railings to the front Bath stone boundary walls (Resubmission).

OBJECT This application is inadequately detailed and does not contain sufficient level information to enable the proper assessment of the proposals and the impact on the significance of the listed building. Whilst the intention sounds promising the proposals should be supported by detailed justification for design choices such as the folding French doors which are at odds with the style of the building, and the 6 over 6 glazing bars which appear to be in conflict with the existing sashes.

Overall the Trust does not consider that this application can be determined in its current form. Without further information this application would be contrary to PPS5 (policy HE 6.1) and should be REFUSED.

11/02748/FUL – 27 Lansdown Heights, Lansdown, Bath

Erection of two storey side extension and demolition of conservatory.

OBJECT We consider this application to be invalid because the wrong address is given on the application form, in both sections 3 and 4. We draw this to your attention. We do not consider that the proposals can be determined until the details are corrected and the application is re-advertised.

11/02737/FUL – 6 Hill Avenue, Combe Down

Erection of a two storey dwelling in the rear garden.

OBJECTION – submitted to case officer application withdrawn

Though the Trust welcomes efficient use of urban brownfield land, we consider that development at the scale proposed in this location proposes an overdevelopment of the site, since the size of the proposed dwelling dominates the plot leaving very little amenity space and presents an overbearing addition to Quarry Close. Existing development along the west side of Quarry Close is ancillary to dwellings along Hill Avenue and Hansford Square. The development as proposed is clearly not intended to be ancillary to the existing dwelling at 6 Hill Avenue, and would upset the appearance of a harmonious street-scene. The tapering of the site towards Quarry Close also means that a house of this size and shape sits uncomfortably in the existing townscape pattern. Furthermore, the choice to employ a pitched roof in this location is also contrary to the local character, since hipped roofs are more common in this location. The choice of natural slate roof covering is also a marked difference to tiles which are more common.

We also question that two off-street parking spaces are provided within this development, considering the expressed ambition for an eco-home. The site is located in a relatively central area that is serviced by public transport, and we consider that this undermines the sustainability of the development. A more environmentally friendly use of this land would be preferable.

With the above in mind, we consider that this application would fail to enhance local distinctiveness or positively enhance local townscape character. The proposal is therefore contrary to policies D.2 and D.4 of the B&NES local plan and should therefore be REFUSED.

11/02587/FUL – Greystones, Hayesfield Park, Lyncombe Hill

Provision of new gate piers to match existing.

COMMENT The Trust considers that from a streetscape point of view the visual harmony of the area would be upheld if the gate posts remain in the existing position rather than pushed back. This would be in the best interest of preserving the character of the conservation area.

11/02793/FUL – 11 Abbey Churchyard, City Centre, Bath

External alterations to the shopfront, use of public highway for the siting of 22no tables and 66no chairs and installation of air conditioning units on the roof at 11-12 Abbey Churchyard and 17/18 Cheap Street.

OBJECT The Trust will continue to object to externally illuminated signs on listed buildings, within the conservation area and in the World Heritage Site. In this instance, the Trust is particularly concerned that the proposals for swan-neck lamps and spotlight illumination, the installation of which is likely to cause damage to the historic fabric of this grade II listed building. The proposed light fittings are unsympathetic and inappropriate, for a architecturally and historically significant façade in a highly sensitive location, by virtue of their cumulative impact, position, design and appearance. We consider that with the amount of glazing provided along the facades that the building will be sufficiently illuminated without their inclusion. In addition the proposed hanging sign appears out of scale, the design of the bracket is inappropriate, and the method of fixing will cause damage to the stone.

The proposal also makes provision for 22 tables and 66 chairs outside the building in Abbey Churchyard. This area is particularly important as it forms the setting of the Abbey and the Pump Room building, two of the most characteristic and historically important buildings in the City. The amount of proposed tables seating seems excessive for the area and will encroach gratuitously. Furthermore, we are concerned that some visualisations of the outdoor seating include parasols which are not mentioned elsewhere in the application.

The illumination, light fittings, hanging sign, excessive seating and parasols would neither preserve nor enhance the character and appearance of the conservation area and would have a harmful impact on the listed building and its setting, and detract from the setting of other significant listed buildings. The proposal 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, and fails to comply with the Planning (Listed Buildings & Conservation Areas) Act 1990, andPPS 5 polices HE7, HE9, HE10 and should be REFUSED.

11/02653/FUL-106 High Street, Twerton, Bath

Provision of wood-effect uPVC double glazed windows to replace existing timber-frame single glazed windows (106 A-D, 108 A-D and 110 A-D).

OBJECT Whilst the property is not listed, it is situated within the Conservation Area and as such has a valuable role to play in the overall appearance and character of the townscape, which has a distinctive palette of materials that includes timber windows. For this reason replacing the existing windows with new timber double-glazing is the most appropriate, and will help enhance the appearance of this building. UPVC is a modern plastic material that is unsympathetic to Bath’s historic character and in addition and is damaging to the environment in both its manufacturing and disposal. The UPVC windows proposed fail to enhance local distinctiveness and neither preserves nor enhances the character or appearance of the Conservation Area. The proposal is therefore contrary to policies D.2, D., BH.2 and BH.6 of the B&NES local plan, the Planning (Listed Buildings & Conservation Areas) Act 1990, and PPS 5, polices HE7, HE8, HE9, HE10 and should beREFUSED.

11/02826/FUL -Kiosk Millies Cookies, Dorchester Street, Bath

Installation of a new shopfront and entrance door.

OBJECT Whilst the Trust has previously conceded that the style and character of the new Southgate shopping centre can tolerate a more unconventional design approach compared to the rest of Bath, we will continue to object to externally illuminated signs in the conservation area. The proposed halo illumination of the overly-large lettering for this sign is a completely inappropriate form of advertising anywhere in the World Heritage Site. It is also disappointing to see the poor quality of materials proposed here, principally acrylic – a higher quality of material ought to be expected in the city-centre. The inappropriate and visually intrusive illuminated sign would be harmful to the visual amenity value of the location and would neither preserve nor enhance the character of the conservation area. The proposal is considered contrary to policies D2, D4, BH1, BH6 and BH22 of the B&NES Local Plan and should therefore be REFUSED.

11/02938/LBA & 11/02937/FUL – 21 Macaulay Buildings, Widcombe

Erection of new garage with studio workshop above following demolition of existing garage and rebuilding of existing unstable garden boundary retaining wall

OBJECT The Trust considers that the proposed redevelopment would be an unsympathetic overdevelopment of the site. The site itself falls within the City of Bath Conservation Area, the World Heritage Site and in within the curtilage of a listed building, and thus is of particular significance and sensitivity. The proposed new building would be considerably larger than the existing ancillary garage, being lowered by 600mm to allow a single-storey studio at garden level and also extending the street-facing facade to incorporate the triangle of currently unused land. The development would face onto Prospect Road, to the rear of the Macaulay Buildings properties, the townscape of which is very intimately proportioned. Although there are already a mix of ancillary buildings and dwellings with single and double stories, the scale of the street and its character and topography means that even small-scale development is given greater visual emphasis. As such the Trust considers that the proposed building would constitute an overdevelopment of the site.

Though the applicant has made an attempt to consider the context the heritage statement is far from conclusive and this undermines the justification for this development.

Furthermore, some of the materials selected are also inappropriate for use within the curtilage of a listed building. In particular the aluminium window frames are particularly uncharacteristic of this area, and ought to be timber instead.

With the above in mind, we consider that this proposal, by virtue of the siting, size, design, scale and materials, would fail to enhance local distinctiveness; it would neither preserve nor enhance the character or appearance of the City of Bath Conservation Area; and, it would fail to reflect the Outstanding Universal Value of the World Heritage Site. The proposal is therefore contrary to policies D.2, D.4, BH.1, BH.2, BH.3 and BH.6 of the B&NES local plan and PPS5, and the Planning (Listed Buildings & Conservation Areas) Act 1990, and should therefore beREFUSED.

11/02414/LBA – 12 St Mark’s Road, Widcombe, Bath

External alterations for the replacement of existing asbestos roof slates, roof timber and gutter repairs and provision of 2no. velux windows to replace existing dormer window.

SUPPORT The Trust is supportive of these proposals to restore and repair this listed building. The dormer windows are clearly in a very poor condition and could potentially allow further damage to the building to occur. The decision to install the velux windows in the hidden pitches is also to be welcomed for restoring and respecting the original roofline of the building. Similarly, the use of natural slate on the visible roof pitches is also welcomed, although natural slate should be used on all roof slopes, as to respect the character and integrity of the listed building.

11/02486/FUL – 80 Brookfield Park, Upper Weston, Bath

Erection of a two storey side and rear extension and conversion to 4no. flats.

COMMENT The Trust regrets that proposals to extend this property include a large area of flat roof. Flat roofs are not in the interest of good design, they fail to enhance local distinctiveness and the strong horizontal emphasis they present are visually intrusive features in the townscape and World Heritage Site. Additionally the Trust is concerned about the use of timber cladding in the urban environment. A propensity for the use of timber as a cladding material does not always respect the local vernacular and townscape character.

11/02821/LBA – Waterstones Booksellers Ltd, 4 – 5 Milsom Street, City Centre, Bath

External alterations for the display of 2no. fascia signs (regularisation).

OBJECT The Trust welcomes the omission of the flags from this application. However we retain the view that traditionally painted fascia signs would be more appropriate for this traditionally modelled shop front and listed building located within the heart of the historic conservation area and World Heritage Site. The retention of the existing signs, and synthetic materials would be contrary to policies D2, D4, BH1, BH2, BH6 of the B&NES Local Plan and the Planning (Listed Buildings & Conservation Areas) Act 1990 and should therefore be refused. Approval would set an undesirable precedent for further similar adverts and inappropriate materials in this sensitive location, which would individually and collectively detract from the character of the city centre.

11/02618/FUL – Park Farm, Colliers Lane, Newton St. Loe

Erection of agricultural buildings in connection with a new beef and arable unit at an existing farmstead.

COMMENT The Trust considers that the principle of development upon this site and the expansion of the farming operations here is acceptable, provided that any negative impact upon the landscape can be sufficiently negated. We appreciate the concern which has been taken in this application to conceal the farm buildings proposed, particularly to the east of the site. Nonetheless, we are concerned about whether the landscaping proposed is sufficient and appropriate to achieve this.

The present proposal includes landscaping and planting skirting the site to the east, south and west. We are concerned that the depth of the planting may not be sufficient to conceal the buildings, and furthermore that manner in which the planting skirts the site has a stark wall-like appearance which does not cohere with the landscape particularly well. We suggest that deeper planting arranged in an organic manner that responds to the site’s topography would be more effective at concealing the buildings from key views, and would ensure that the planting does not appear as a conspicuous addition to the landscape.

Furthermore, there is no detail on the type of planting which is to be proposed in this application. This important details should not be be agreed by a Condition of any permission. We suggest that detail is submitted and considered prior to determination, with a view to ensuring that only indigenous species are used in the landscaping.

11/02740/AR & 11/02846/LBA – Britannia Building Society, 30 Milsom Street, City Centre, Bath

Display of 1no non-illuminated fascia sign.

OBJECT There is a discrepancy in the detail s submitted in this application. The application form refers to “sign written fascia” however the detail in the application specifies vinyl lettering.

It is the Trust’s view that traditionally painted fascia signage would be more appropriate for this listed building located within the heart of the historic conservation area and World Heritage Site. The use of inappropriate synthetic materials would be contrary to policies D2, D4, BH1, BH2, BH6 of the B&NESLocal Plan and the Planning (Listed Buildings & Conservation Areas) Act 1990 and should therefore be refused. Approval would set an undesirable precedent for further similar adverts and inappropriate materials in this sensitive location, which would individually and collectively detract from the character of the city centre.

11/02717/FUL & 11/02782/FUL – Monkton Combe Junior School, Church Road, Combe Down, Bath

Erection of new building to accommodate the relocation of the existing pre-prep school, including the relocation of existing car parking, landscaping and the creation of outdoor play areas. / Development of access road, parking and drop-off area including revised pedestrian route and landscaping.

COMMENT The Trust recognises the requirement to expand the school and improve vehicle access to the site. However, we wish to comment on the choice of materials within the application for the new school building, specifically the cedar cladding used prominently upon the southern facade of this building. There is some confusion as to whether the cladding is to be treated or not, which ought to be clarified, since the Design & Access Statement expresses that the cedar will have a ‘natural finish’ and the elevations state it will be ‘unfinished’. The Trust strongly feels that cedar ought to be left to weather naturally, and that attempts to treat or finish cedar undermine its aesthetic quality. We also question the appropriateness of employing horizontal cedar cladding where there is articulation in the form of the building, such as a curved wall face. Here the detailing at junctions may result in a fussy and relatively poor finish appearance.

In relation to this application, the Trust notes that it is increasingly common for applications for development near the Greenbelt to be timber-clad, and we are concerned that a propensity for such a material does not always respect the local vernacular.

11/02864/FUL & 11/02865/LBA – Bluecoat House, Sawclose, City Centre, Bath

Change of use from mixed use within classes B8/D1 to a use within class A3 (Ground Floor and Basement) and class C3 (5 no. flats (comprising 4 no. 1 bed and 1 no. 2 bed) on first and second floors, erection of single storey rear extension to replace existing and associated internal and external alterations and repairs.

SUPPORT The Trust is supportive of these proposals to bring this currently disused listed building back into an active use, its use and occupation is key to maintenance, upkeep and long term survival. Whilst there is some regret that this building cannot continue to have a community use, the Trust does not object to the proposed use of this building for a restaurant and apartments and will at least in part be accessible to the public.

We are particularly pleased to see proposals for sensitive repairs and cleaning to the exterior of the building, and we are satisfied that the proposed internal and external changes will not harm the historic fabric of the building or its special character.

There are, however, two issues we would like to highlight: – We consider that the loading of supplies for the restaurant would be better taken place via Bridewell Lane rather than Upper Borough Walls. – It also ought to be considered at this stage whether there are any requirements for external advertising for the restaurant, and if so, where they might be appropriately placed. Detailed proposals should form part of separate listed building and advertisement consent applications. We would welcome the opportunity to engage with the applicants in the development of a suitable scheme.

11/02813/FUL – 1 Raby Place, Bathwick, Bath

Erection of a two bedroom terrace house following demolition of existing garage.

OBJECT No objection is raised regarding the proposal to demolish the existing garage. The Trust is broadly satisfied with the amount and style of development which is proposed on the site. However on balance we minded to object, principally to the proposed use of render on the gable end of the property facing St. Mary Church. The existing terrace of mews buildings along the road ends with a bath stone ashlar gable. The proposed development extending this terrace will conceal this ashlar wall, so it is felt that to appropriately extend this terrace whilst maintaining its character, the gable end of the new property ought also to be bath stone ashlar. The Trust therefore objects to this application, UNLESS the gable-end is to be faced in ashlar bath stone. The proposal in its current form would have a detrimental impact on the architectural significance of the adjacent listed buildings and neither preserve or enhance the character of the conservation area and therefore fails to comply with Policy D2, D4, BH1, BH2 and BH6 of the B&NES Local Plan and PPS5, in particular polices HE7.4, HE7.5 HE9.5, and HE10, and the Planning (Listed Buildings & Conservation Areas) Act 1990 and should be REFUSED.

11/02570/LBA-2 Kingsmead Street City Centre

Internal and external alterations for the refurbishment of the third floor maisonette and refurbishment and conversion of the first and second floor maisonette to 2no. Dwellings.

OBJECT The Trust considers that this application contains insufficient information to allow it to be appropriately assessed. Despite this proposal being a listed building application for a grade I listed building, no heritage statement has been submitted, and elsewhere there appears to have been minimal consideration of the impact of the proposed development upon the character and significance of this building. In particular the Design & Access Statement does not back up its assertion that the “first floor proposals will not affect the building’s listing”. Further to these shortcomings, the application has not been submitted with a site location plan, and no ‘proposed’ plans have been provided for the second and third floors. Such a standard of application for a building of obvious historic significance should not be accepted. The proposal fails to comply with Policies, BH1, and BH2 of the B&NESLocal Plan and PPS5, in particular polices HE6, HE7, HE9, and HE10, and the Planning (Listed Buildings & Conservation Areas) Act 1990 and should therefore beREFUSED.

11/02926/FUL – 49 Southgate Street Bath

Change of use of part of the ground floor of 49 Southgate Street and all of unit 1, 50/53 Southgate Street from A1 Retail use to A2 Financial and Professional Services use and change of use of the first and second floor of 49 Southgate Street from B1 Office use to A2 Financial and Professional Services use.

COMMENT At this central location, the Trust considers that banking and financial services would be an appropriate land-use, but is concerned that an unchecked or uncontrolled change of use may open the avenue for a predominance of unsuitable or undesirable businesses in this central location, such as Betting Offices and Estate Agencies. The Trust therefore suggests that this application be conditioned with permission attached only to this use and occupier, so as to prevent an inappropriate occupant from taking control of the building in future without prior planning permission.

11/02481/FUL – Waggon & Horses, 150 London Road West, Lower Swainswick, Bath

Erection of 4no dwellings on land to the rear of 148A/150 London Road West (Resubmission)

COMMENT This application fails to include a design and access statement which is necessary for the consideration of the proposal. Without this statement there is no justification for the design and materials, particularly the use of timber cladding. Trust notes that it is increasingly common for applications for development near the river or the Greenbelt to be timber-clad, and we are concerned that a propensity for such a material does not always respect the local vernacular. It is not clear as to whether the timber cladding is to have a stained finish or not, or the exact type of timber to be used, which ought to be clarified. The Trust strongly feels that cedar and oak ought to be left to weather naturally, and that attempts to treat or finish these timbers undermines its aesthetic quality.

11/02805/CA& 11/02803/FUL – Victoria Garage, Nelson Lane, Kingsmead, Bath

Demolition of the existing garage workshop, erection of 2no. 1 bed units and 5no. studio flats following demolition of the existing garage workshop with associated parking and a separate external area for bin and bicycle storage.

OBJECT The Trust does not object to the demolition of the garage, which presently has a negative impact upon the character of the area. However, Conservation Area consent for demolition must be subject to planning approval for a suitable development replacing it. We strongly feel that the development proposed within this application does not meet this stipulation. The principle of development of dwellings at this location is an entirely acceptable proposal; however, the design of the building proposed is in our view substandard in quality and will arguably have a negative impact upon the character of the location. Given the sensitivity of the site, in the World Heritage Site, the City of Bath Conservation Area and its proximity to listed buildings and other heritage assets of merit, design which takes little reference from its context is unacceptable.

The massing of the building and extent of flat roof is particularly inappropriate and unresponsive to the location, appearing block-like and obtusely angular. Given that this development follows much the same foot print as the existing garage, and the addition of a second storey of development increases the volume of the building considerably. This bulky form will have a marked impact upon the local townscape, and the building will dominate the street-scene along Nelson Lane and to the rear of the neighbouring terraces, more so than the existing garage. The elevational treatment and fenestration in particular is at odds with the character of Bath. The Trust suggests that dwellings of a more traditional appearance with a form that is more ancillary or deferential to the neighbouring terraces would be more successful in this location.

We also consider the selection of materials to be particularly insensitive to the context with little justification to support it. The mix of bath stone, white render and zinc cladding will lack coherence, and we consider the zinc cladding to be especially incongruous to the location. The Design & Access Statement unfortunately does not elaborate on why these materials have been selected.

With the above in mind, and notwithstanding the extant permission to redevelop this site, we consider that this application would fail to enhance local distinctiveness; it would neither preserve nor enhance the character or appearance of the City of Bath Conservation Area; and, it would fail to reflect the Outstanding Universal Value of the World Heritage Site. The proposal is therefore contrary to policies D.2, D.4, BH.1 and BH.6 of the B&NES local plan, PPS5, and the Planning (Listed Buildings & Conservation Areas) Act 1990, and should therefore be REFUSED.

11/02735/FUL – 35 Garrick Road, Whiteway, Bath, Bath And North East Somerset

Provision of vehicle access and hardstanding to the front of the dwelling.

OBJECT The Trust is concerned that this development would have a harmful impact on the local townscape and street scene. The central proposal of this application is to create off-street parking space to the front of the property, demolishing the boundary wall to the front of the property and resurfacing much of the garden. Some raised planters are proposed to border the right of the parking area, using stone retaining wall.

Whilst the site is not particularly historic in character, it is located within the City of Bath Conservation Area, within the ‘Twerton, Whiteway, Southdown and Moorlands’ character area. The Character Appraisal for this area specifically highlights that ‘front boundaries are a key characteristic’ of the area (6.7.15.32). In the Bath Conservation Are front boundary walls, pedestrian gates and front gardens are attractive and important features that provide cohesiveness and unity in a street and contribute to an important part of the city environment. The Trust considers that the removal of the front boundary wall and pedestrian gate would result in the loss of positive features in the street scene which, along with the creation of a parking space, would detract from the character and appearance of the conservation area. A further concern is the potential accumulative effect upon the character of the area and the street-scene. Many of the neighbouring properties have already demolished boundary walls to the front to create off-street parking.

Bath Preservation Trust has a strong preference for the retention of front gardens not only because they are positive visual features, front gardens contribute to green spaces in the city which are vital for a low carbon environment and sustainable future. This application is therefore contrary to Policies D2, D4, BH1 and BH6 of the B&NES Local Plan, policies HE1, HE7, HE9 & HE10 of PPS5, and the Planning (Listed Buildings & Conservation Areas) Act 1990, and should therefore beREFUSED.

11/03034/FUL – Bidstone, 29 Church Street, Bathford, Bath

Erection of two storey house (with a third storey accommodated in roof space) and detached 2 bay garage to replace the existing dwelling (Revised proposal).

COMMENT The amendments to this proposal have not altered the Trust’s position and our position remains the same, as follows;

The site occupies a sensitive position in the Bathford Conservation Area, immediately opposite the church. The existing building is of little architectural merit and no historic interest and its demolition is not opposed. We recognise that the proposed building will be a substantial new dwelling in the green belt and would have an impact on the setting of the church, other listed buildings nearby and the character and appearance of the Bathford conservation area. It is considered that the plot size is capable of accommodating a building of this scale, and that the site layout reflects the pattern or grain of village which, in part, is characterised by large detached buildings within large plots. As the brown-field site is located in the built up area of the village the proposed larger dwelling is not considered to have any adverse impact on the character and openness of the green belt.

The proposed replacement building by virtue of its design and materials would positively enhance the streetscape and setting and will be of a style and appearance which will harmonise with the historic context. However, it will be important to ensure that the materials used in construction are traditional; Bath stone, natural slate, timber doors and windows, and cast iron or metal rainwater goods must be used in its construction.

11/02942/AR – Frank Knight, 4 Wood Street, City Centre, Bath

Display of 18no internally illuminated A3 advertisements within existing shopfront to replace existing.

OBJECT The Trust continues to object to illuminated signs and displays in the Conservation Area. The inappropriate and visually intrusive lighting proposed in this application would be harmful to the visual amenity value of the location and would neither preserve nor enhance the character of the conservation area. Furthermore, it ought to be considered that illuminated signs are wholly unnecessary for a business which operates during daytime hours. These issues are only compounded by the quantity of proposed display cases, which we consider to be in excessive and overbearing concentration. Whilst the reorientation of the displays from landscape to a portrait better respects the proportions and rhythm of the windows and terrace, the overall impact of this proposal will negatively impact this grade I listed terrace. The proposal is considered contrary to policies D2, D4, BH1, BH2, BH6, and BH17 of the B&NES Local Plan, PPS5, in particular polices HE6, HE7, HE9, and HE10, and the Planning (Listed Buildings & Conservation Areas) Act 1990 and should therefore be REFUSED.

11/02732/FUL – Walcot Rugby Club, Lansdown Road, Charlcombe, Bath

Installation of solar photovoltaic panels on the roofs of rugby club building at the southern corner of the site.

COMMENT The Trust feels that all applications which propose development of this nature would benefit from having a succinct Design and Access Statement being drafted and submitted for consideration. This will ensure that the design process and factors influencing the consideration of the application can be assessed and understood.

The Trust feels that the installation of solar PVs at this particular site, as proposed, are acceptable and will not have any adverse impact on the character and openness of the green belt or World Heritage Site setting.

11/02570/LBA-2 Kingsmead Street, City Centre, Bath

Internal and external alterations for the refurbishment of the third floor maisonette and refurbishment and conversion of the first and second floor maisonette to 2no. dwellings.

OBJECT The Trust considers that this application contains insufficient information to allow it to be appropriately assessed. Despite this proposal being a listed building application for a grade I listed building, no heritage statement has been submitted, and elsewhere there appears to have been minimal consideration of the impact of the proposed development upon the character and significance of this building. In particular the Design & Access Statement does not back up its assertion that the “first floor proposals will not affect the building’s listing”. Further to these shortcomings, the application has not been submitted with a site location plan, and no ‘proposed’ plans have been provided for the second and third floors. Such a standard of application for a building of obvious historic significance should not be accepted. The proposal fails to comply with Policies, BH1, and BH2 of the B&NESLocal Plan and PPS5, in particular polices HE6, HE7, HE9, and HE10, and the Planning (Listed Buildings & Conservation Areas) Act 1990 and should therefore beREFUSED.

11/02926/FUL – 49 Southgate Street, Bath

Change of use of part of the ground floor of 49 Southgate Street and all of unit 1, 50/53 Southgate Street from A1 Retail use to A2 Financial and Professional Services use and change of use of the first and second floor of 49 Southgate Street from B1 Office use to A2 Financial and Professional Services use.

COMMENT At this central location, the Trust considers that banking and financial services would be an appropriate land-use, but is concerned that an unchecked or uncontrolled change of use may open the avenue for a predominance of unsuitable or undesirable businesses in this central location, such as Betting Offices and Estate Agencies. The Trust therefore suggests that this application be conditioned with permission attached only to this use and occupier, so as to prevent an inappropriate occupant from taking control of the building in future without prior planning permission.

p{color:red}. 11/02823/FUL – 4 New Street, City Centre, Bath

Use of highway for the siting of 2no tables and 4no chairs

COMMENT The Trust regrets the choice of aluminium and PVC as materials for street furniture in the World Heritage Site and Conservation Area. Traditional materials, such as timber or natural wicker would be preferable and would make a positive contribution to the setting and street-scene at this location. We also feel that the revised location plan supplied with this application is unacceptable since it does not include any labels or indication of street-names.

11/02651/FUL – 8 Hensley Road, Moorlands, Bath

Erection of a two storey side extension and single storey rear extension following removal of existing garage and provision of rear decking.

COMMENT The Trust feels that the materials chosen in the design are questionable and that further details and justification for their choice ought to be expressed. Specifically, the use of reconstituted Bath Stone and cedar cladding used prominently are considered unsympathetic choices. Preference ought to be for real Bath Stone, (if this is used in the construction of the house) which will be more coherent with the existing building, and a traditional choice of timber, such as oak. If cedar is to be used then the Trust strongly feels that it ought to be left to weather naturally, and that any attempt to stain, treat or finish cedar undermines its aesthetic quality.

11/02686/FUL – Prior Park Garden Centre, Prior Park Road, Widcombe, Bath

Installation of external air cooled condensers and timber screen (Retrospective).

COMMENT The Trust is mindful that the proposal site within this application falls within the green belt, and so extension of the original buildings should be considered carefully. The Trust regrets that an application for planning permission in a sensitive location has been lodged retrospectively, and though the character of the area may be relatively urban, this does not negate this protection and does not present a justification for unsympathetic additions. The Local Planning Authority makes clear in the Supplementary Planning Document ‘Existing Dwellings in the Green Belt’ that where an existing properties are proposed to be extended, ‘the cumulative increase in volume of all extensions’ and the impact upon the property’s character and surroundings will be considered, and where such extensions are disproportionate they will not be permitted. Whilst the Trust does not object to the development as proposed here, further development upon this site should consider its cumulative impact on the character and openness of the green belt.

11/02552/TEL – Street Record, Lansdown Road

Provision of a new cabinet shell to replace existing at junction of Lansdown Road and Alfred Street.

OBJECT This application contains inadequate information to make proper assessment. The box proposed in larger than the existing. We consider that the size and siting would detract from the character and setting of the conservation area and listed buildings. As such the proposal is contrary to Policies, BH1, and BH2 of the B&NES Local Plan and PPS5, in particular polices HE6, HE7, HE9, and HE10, and the Planning (Listed Buildings & Conservation Areas) Act 1990 and should therefore be refused. BPT accepts that electronic and telephonic communication are facts of modern life and that above ground installations, such as these, are required to support them. The Trust is, however, concerned at the multiplicity of applications registered over the past fortnight for replacement telephone equipment cabinets, so soon after the multiplicity of applications for broad-band communications boxes, and at both the utilitarian nature of the boxes and the general lack of consideration for their setting. As all the boxes are within the World Heritage Site and many are within the Conservation Area, care is needed in their siting, in order to uphold the purposes of both designations.

Furthermore, there are important omissions in the information provided for all applications. Thus:

• The boxes, rather larger than previously, will be of unspecified material & an unspecified shade of green; quality & colour are important in Bath & the LPA should demand compatibility with the Bath palette.

• It is impossible to tell from the drawings exactly where they will be sited, as the site/block plans are inaccurate/inadequate and cabinets are rarely sited as indicated on plans which are contradicted by photos [when decipherable].

These inadequacies in the applications should preclude any decision before receipt of clearer plans & satisfactory specification of colour/material.

11/00722/LBA – REVISED PLANS – Horseshoe House, 51 Sydney Buildings, Bath

Internal and external alterations for the erection of two storey side extension (garage with bedroom over) following demolition of single storey side extension (garage), provision of single storey protruding bay following demolition of single storey protruding bay window (1901) to rear, works to repair roof, remove concrete tiles and provide additional accommodation in attic space, removal of paint to stonework to external elevations, stone repairs, repointing and removal of soiling and internal refurbishment, decorations and upgrading building services

OBJECT BPT acknowledges the applicants have made an effort to address the objections raised in response to the original submission. The removal of the roof extension is a welcome improvement to the roofscape, and proposed materials, such as timber window are better. However, we continue to OBJECT. The overall design is still not taking its cue from the existing building and terrace, and rather superimposes its own proportions and plan. The size and vertical divisions of the window and garage door to the front elevation are somewhat alien to the proportions of the other openings, therefore visually jarring. The appearance of the asymmetrical box shape, and “wraparound” corner of the extension on the garden front fights with the pattern of the bays on the other houses. The proposal remains in conflict with Policies, D2, D4, BH1, BH2 and BH6 of the B&NES Local Plan and PPS5, in particular polices HE7.4, HE7.5 HE9.5, and HE10, and the Planning (Listed Buildings & Conservation Areas) Act 1990 and should therefore be REFUSED.

11/03142/LBA-Flat 3, 12 Grove Street, Bathwick, Bath

Internal and external alterations for the installation of a gas combination boiler, replacement of gas fire and emersion tank to full central heating and provision of flue

OBJECT The Trust considers that without Heritage Statement having been supplied, this application does not contain sufficient information to allow the proper assessment of the impact of the proposal to be made. As it is, it is not clear what regard has been given to ensuring the proposed development does not compromise the historic and aesthetic character of this grade II listed building, and that any damage or loss of historic fabric of significance is mitigated. Such practice fails to comply with local and national policy for heritage applications, in particular PPS5 policy HE7. Unless this can be rectified then this application must be REFUSED.

11/02928/FUL – Summerfield School Lime Grove Site, Lime Grove Gardens, Bathwick

Erection of 18no dwellings with associated parking and landscaping following demolition of existing school buildings.

OBJECT The Trust does not object to the demolition of the existing school building, which makes a neutral contribution to the character of the location, and is of neither historic interest nor aesthetic value. In principle we welcome the redevelopment of the site to provide housing.

However, it is with regret that we consider that combination of the built forms proposed lack form and quality that would enhance the character and local distinctiveness of the area, or connect with the grain of the surrounding townscape. As such we consider that the scheme proposed fails to sufficiently reflect the Bath context. Consequently the opportunities presented by this site would not fully be taken advantage of. We therefore object on the following grounds:

Site Layout & Urban Design In our view the site layout does not make best us of the available land on the site. As presented here, the proposals to extend Lime Grove Gardens into the site have a meandering feel, which might be more successful if a strong visual sequence were established. The proposal here, however, would almost certainly feel inconsistent and deflated as one progresses to the end of the cul-de-sac, with no visual or aesthetic focus and a sense of space leakage where the proposed open space is. The site would benefit from a greater sense of intimacy, as is a common characteristic in smaller pockets of development in Bath.

Additionally, the size and massing of the building on plots 14 & 15 also appears to be excessive for this part of the site and feels uncomfortably wedged between the railway and the allotments.

When viewed in plan, the development appears as piecemeal collection of buildings juxtaposed in such a way as to appear randomly placed. The layout has an awkward respond to the topography of the site. The houses on plots 1 – 5 are stepped to allow it to descend the hill, whilst plots 6 – 13 appear to respond slightly to the position of the railway running parallel. Neither does it seem that the design responds to the grain of neighbouring Lime Grove and Lime Grove Gardens.

The landscaping plan for the land adjacent to the allotments is also rather uninspiring, and vacant in character, which will engender a feeling of space leakage in practice. This rather seems a case of SLOAP which in practice will be left unused and unappreciated by residents and passers-by (of which there will likely be few since there would be little reason for casual traffic through that part of the site – such a space might be better employed closer to the footpath).

Furthermore, considering this application highlights the canal-railway footpath as one of the strengths of the site, it is disappointing to see that the application does not suggest further improvement than outlined here. The affordable housing provisions, as presented with the hedges and planting blocking natural surveillance, seem like seem like a missed opportunity to create a better public space here.

Design The development chooses to employ an eclectic range of architectural styles and housing forms, ranging through town houses, terraces and semi-detached villas. The Trust feels that such a variety does not foster a cohesive urban fabric and does not help to enhance the setting and character of the local area sufficiently. The rationale behind the mix is not clear, but, again, a sense of randomness pervades the design choices. There is little to suggest that these have been chosen to respond to local character. The shallow gabled ends on the rear of plots 6-13 do not seem particularly characteristic to Bath, and the fenestrations on all facades seem unusually mixed.

Materials The choice of materials in this application is questionable. The Trust feels that the mix of render, Bath Stone ashlar and Cotswold rubble stone is a discordant mix, particularly given the relative anonymity of the architecture. We take particular issue with the choice to employ Cotswold Stone in plots 1 – 5, and any proposal to mix Cotswold stone with Bath Stone, since we consider this material to be incongruous to the local vernacular. The suggestion of mixing roof tiles between slate and clay-pan-tiles (for plots 1 – 5) will further undermine the cohesion of the design. We would also suggest that Solar Slates rather than standard PV panels would be a more sympathetic choice, particularly given the visual prominence the rooflines will have.

Surroundings & Views The Design & Access Statement does make some consideration of the impact the development will have upon its surroundings and the conservation area visually, but by this assessment is limited only to three views (one approaching from Lime Grove Gardens; two looking from either approach from the footpath), and gives little consideration of the wider views from the canal, railway. The proposed buildings will represent an increased height of the proposed buildings (the existing buildings are single storey, and the proposed buildings will have three storeys) a wider assessment of visual impact is necessary.

Recommendation For the reasons stated above the Trust considers that this development fails to respond to the local context, and would neither preserve nor enhance the character of the City of Bath Conservation Area. The development may have a detrimental impact upon the setting of listed terraces and harm the Outstanding Universal Value of the World Heritage Site. The proposal is therefore contrary to policies D2, D4, BH1, BH2 and BH6 of the B&NES Local Plan and PPS5, in particular polices HE7.4, HE7.5 HE9.5, and HE10, and the Planning (Listed Buildings & Conservation Areas) Act 1990 and should therefore be REFUSED.

11/02090/FUL – REVISED PLANS – Wych Elm House, Packhorse Lane, South Stoke

Erection of a replacement dwelling and associated works.

OBJECT The Trust has considered the revised proposals for a replacement dwelling at Wych Elm House, and despite the efforts which have been taken to amend the design we feel the issues which we objected to in the original application have not been addressed.

The Trust does not consider that the very special circumstances for this development within the Greenbelt have not been sufficiently justified in documents provided in support of this application. The Design and Access Statement describes the below-ground volume as a “modest volume increase” upon the existing property (including notional PD rights), and the proposed car-port still does not appear to be included when considering the amount of proposed development. The B&NES SPDon Existing Dwellings in the Green Belt makes it clear that when calculating the size and volume of dwellings that this is to include basements. As such, suppositions that below ground volume is negligible is untenable and this dwelling must be considered to be ‘materially larger’ than the dwelling it seeks to replace. Further, whilst the applicant is correct in saying that the SPD also states that ‘sustainability issues will be taken into consideration’, there has not been enough detailed supplied by the applicant to allow for sufficient consideration of these issues. For these reasons, we do not believe there is sufficient justification in permitting the proposed replacement dwelling in this sensitive location.

The application and its supporting documents purport that the proposed development, by virtue of reducing the effective height of the building, is reducing visual impact upon the landscape; however, the value of this design feature is undermined and arguably negated by the increased visual impact that the property will have when viewed from the south. Since the site is located within the landscape setting of the Bath World Heritage City and within the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the Greenbelt, the impact of the dwelling upon the visual amenity of the landscape is of critical concern.

Though the revised design has shifted portions of the development to the north-side of the dwelling, the impact of the glazed south elevation continues to be an issue which is not sufficiently addressed. Though the proposed development would be concealed from some views, from others its hilltop location would increase its prominence in the locale, particularly when viewed from the south. The prominence of the building’s southern elevation, which makes considerable use of glazing, raises further concerns about the proposed development’s impact upon the green-belt.

The Trust suggests that, if approved, these windows ought to be tinted on the exterior to reduce glare and reflections, which would draw further attention to the property in the landscape, and that a full landscaping plan needs to be submitted with demonstration of sympathetic and indigenous planting that will help conceal the southern facade from wider views. We also suggest that, should the planners be minded to approve this application, that all permitted development rights should be removed from the replacement dwelling, particularly given that the applicant has already used the notional rights of the existing property in their calculations.

The Trust does not object to the demolition of the existing building, but suggests that a new building of high quality design and construction should replace it, and that the development be of an appropriate size and scale. The application for the proposed development does not provide enough information to demonstrate that the proposed development will be achieve this whilst supporting adopted local planning policy. The Trust also believes strongly that details upon the design should not be left to condition, and the absence of firm information about the materials and construction of the proposed development continues to be a cause for concern here. Further and specific information regarding the proposed materials, particularly the glazing, external walls and roofing must be provided prior to permission being granted.

The Trust considers that the proposed new house by virtue of its design, massing and size would have detrimental visual impact the landscape character of the AONB, harm the openness, rural character visual amenity value of the Green belt, and detract from the landscape setting of the City of Bath World Heritage Site.

In particular the Trust feels that this application is in conflict with policies HG14 GB1, GB2, NE1, NE2 and BH1 of the B&NES Local Plan of the B&NES Local Plan, and the adopted SPD ‘Existing Dwellings in the Green Belt’, and contrary to advice contained in PPS7 and PPG2 and should therefore be refused.

11/02811/CA – Gammon Plant Hire, Rock Hall Lane, Combe Down, Bath

Demolition of all existing properties with the exception of a portion of historic stone wall to Rock Hall Lane.

OBJECT The Trust recognises that the existing structures on the site have direct association to the historical development of Combe Down, and some elements of the construction make a positive contribution to the character of the townscape. In accordance with PPS 5 HE7.3 the importance of these structures to the Combe Down community should be fully understood. We would encourage the LPA to consult further with local people about the value (to the community) of the buildings it is proposed to demolish.

The Trust, in principle, supports development on this site to provide housing and interpretation centre, provided that new architecture respects the local context and character, retains the best preserved historic fabric and maintains the character of the street scene along Rock Hall Lane.

The Trust does not consider that the scheme proposed in the full planning application is appropriate; the amount is excessive, and design, bulk, massing and fenestration is incongruous and would fail to preserve or enhance the conservation area. The Trust will be objecting to the full planning application. Consent for demolition should not be granted unless there are acceptable plans for the redevelopment of the site. It is the Trust’s view that in the absence of an appropriate proposal the proposed demolition is contrary BH.6 of the B&NES local plan and the Planning (Listed Buildings & Conservation Areas) Act 1990, and should therefore beREFUSED.

11/02810/FUL – REVISED PLANS – Gammon Plant Hire, Rock Hall Lane, Combe Down

Erection of 1no. Mining Interpretation Centre (rated BREEAM Excellent), 8no. Eco-Homes (rated Code 5 zero carbon), 1no. Apartment (rated Code 5 zero carbon) and all associated hard and soft landscaping following demolition of all existing properties, with the exception of a portion of historic stone wall to Rock Hall Lane.

OBJECT The Trust has already submitted an objection to application 11/02811/CA, in which concern was expressed about the demolition of the structures at Ralph Allen Yard. The issues raised in those comments remain outstanding.

The Trust, in principle, would support low carbon development on this site to accommodate housing and interpretation centre, provided the new architecture respected the local context and character, retained the best preserved historic fabric and maintained the character of the street scene along Rock Hall Lane. However, we consider that the style of the architecture proposed is unsympathetic to the location, and is certainly not reflective of the character of its surroundings, the pattern of development or the locally important building it proposes to demolish.

Architecture & Style The principle of a contemporary design is not objectionable at this location, but the design as expressed within this application does not adequately reflect or respect the character of Combe Down’s townscape. The Trust feels that the architectural style which is employed here is too incongruous and inapt to be considered either sympathetic or deferential. The townhouses in particular are objectionable, due to their broad, angular and blocky facades and flat roofs, which would present a strong horizontal emphasis in the townscape. This style sits uneasily upon a hillside within the setting of a historically significant village, where the local townscape is constituted by articulated rooflines. We are also concerned about the visual impact of the raised apartment on the street-scene along Rock Hall Lane, particularly given that it reflects the angular and unarticulated nature of the townhouses. The retention of the historic wall of the existing building is welcomed, though as we have explained, we regret that the proposed design does not retain more of the existing fabric of Ralph Allen Yard.

If timber cladding is to be included within the design of any development here it should be left to weather naturally and should not be stained.

Massing & Visual Impact The massing of the townhouse buildings does not adequately respect the character of Combe Down. The dwellings, particularly the town-houses but also the apartment, are proposed to be constructed in deep blocks. Combe Down is characterised by traditional cottages and terraces of a much narrower nature, which also respond directly to the topography. Furthermore, the roofline of the area is articulated with a range of pitched and hipped roofs. Regretfully, this is not achieved within the application site particularly with the southern block. This is also particularly noticeable from the aerial visualisations provided. As currently presented, the blocks of housing do nothing to reflect the local character, and as such cannot be considered sympathetic to the environs of Rock Hall Lane or Combe Down.

The proposed revisions to this scheme have been made in response to concerns about the amenity impact upon Byfield Place and are intended to ensure that the development does not have an adverse impact upon the residents in these buildings. The applicant attempts to achieve this by reducing the height of the end-dwelling of the lower block and altering the material treatment of the end-wall facing Byfield Place from render to rubble Bath Stone.

Though the Trust maintains that the original design is inappropriate to the location, we also feel that this amendment compromises the integrity of the development’s design. It is encouraging to see, at least, consideration to the effect the development will have upon its surroundings, though the change makes an already inappropriate design solution unattractive in itself. The Trust supports neither the original design nor the revised design (with the reduced height of the end-dwelling), and strongly suggests that the design scheme of the entire site ought to be reviewed. Specifically, we suggested that the density of the development and the number of dwellings proposed might be reduced in order to reduce the volume and footprint of the townhouse buildings.

Further to these issues, though the visualisations assist in assessing the impact upon local views, little consideration seems to have been given regarding the potential impact upon wider views in the area, and long views of Combe Down. The Area Character Assessment supplied with this application highlights two key views across the site out of Combe Down. The application, unfortunately, does not otherwise consider how these views will be impacted by the development, or whether views toward the site will be negatively impacted. The concentration and quantity of south-facing glazing and the site’s proximity to the countryside, whilst contributing to green credentials, may have a negative impact on the rural setting by virtue of glare and light emission.

The Trust also feels that the question of parking for visitors to the Mining Interpretation Centre has been inadequately addressed and that the single kerb-side space proposed will prove insufficient. Since all parking provided in the development is for use by the residences, visitors travelling to the centre by car would need to park off-site. How this will impact the highways and the nearby public house ought also to be considered.

Conclusion

The Trust does not consider that the proposed scheme is at all appropriate. The amount is excessive, and design, bulk, massing is incongruous and would fail to preserve or enhance the conservation area. The proposed development therefore fails to accord with the Planning (Listed Buildings & Conservation Areas) Act 1990, and PPS5, and is contrary to policies D2, D4, BH1 and BH6 of the B&NES Local Plan and should be REFUSED.

Planning Apps July-August 2011

 

July – August 2011

11/02458/FUL – Longview, Granville Road, Lansdown

Erection of 3no. detached dwellings following demolition of existing dwelling.

OBJECT The Trust does not object to the principle of development on this site, or the demolition of the existing bungalow, which is not historically significant and is only of neutral aesthetic value to the area. However, the quantity development of this site as proposed we feel constitutes an overdevelopment of the site which is uncharacteristic to the area and would be visually detrimental.

Specifically, the third dwelling (farthest away from the highway) is felt to be objectionable since it encroaches further towards the greenbelt and down the hillside. The site occupies a particularly prominent and sensitive location within the World Heritage Site and Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and is skirted by Greenbelt land. Sitting at the brow of the valley at Lansdown, the site overlooks many key areas of the World Heritage Site and is widely visible. It is therefore regrettable that this application does not assess more fully the potential visual impact that this development might have.

It should also be considered that this area has already seen similar applications, and there is a risk of a cumulative impact of overdevelopment in this area. The Trust has previously commented or objected to those applications for similar reasons, where an existing dwelling is demolished to make way for multiple dwellings. Furthermore with an anticipated redevelopment of the Endsleigh site next door, the quantity of development on this site and the cumulative impact around this location is a critical issue.

The Trust considers that the materials chosen in the design are questionable and that further details and justification for their choice ought to be expressed. Specifically, the choice for a zinc Terne-coated roof is not clearly justified, nor is the choice of red as a colour for it. Given that this is a locally incongruous roofing material for such a prominent location, a robust justification for its use must be expressed. It is also unclear whether the oak boarding is to be left to weather naturally or whether it is to be treated in some way, though the orange hue of the boarding in the elevations seems to imply the latter. We note that it is increasingly common for applications for development near the Greenbelt to be timber-clad, and are concerned that a propensity for such a material does not always respect the local vernacular.

In short, the Trust OBJECTS to this proposal which would introduce unsympathetic materials, fail to enhance local distinctiveness and would result an overdevelopment of the site that would compromise the character and openness of the Greenbelt and adversely affect the AONB. The application is therefore contrary to policies D2, D4, GB2, NE2, BH1 & BH15 of the B&NES Local Plan and should be REFUSED.

11/02554/LBA & 11/02569/AR – The West Gate, 38 Westgate Street, City Centre, Bath, BA1 1EL

External alterations of new replacement signage to exterior.

OBJECT Notwithstanding the approval of the advertisement consent, the Trust objects to this proposal. This application seeks consent for signage comprising of stainless steel and painted acrylic. The building is listed and located within the Bath Conservation Area and World Heritage Site. The proposed materials, whilst matching those existing, are unsympathetic to the character of the listed building and townscape, and fail to harmonise with the traditional palette of material 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 proposal fails to comply with Policy D2, D4, BH1, BH2 and BH6 of the B&NES Local Plan and PPS5, in particular polices HE7.4, HE7.5 HE9.5, and HE10, and the Planning (Listed Buildings & Conservation Areas) Act 1990 and should therefore be refused. The Trust encourages traditional approaches to signage in the Bath Conservation Area and in this instance would consider that a painted sign fascia and hanging sign would be more appropriate.

11/02580/LBA-14 Abbey Churchyard, City Centre, Bath

External alterations for re-roofing with natural slates and renewal of leadwork to roof.

SUPPORT The Trust is fully supportive of these proposals to restore the appropriate traditional materials, and repair damaged fabric. The works will enhance the heritage value of the listed building, and improve the appearance of the property that in turn will enhance the character and appearance of the conservation area. We would advise that scaffolding is sensitively positioned by a reputable company as not to cause any unnecessary damage to the surface of the stone.

11/02769/LBA – Circus House, Bennett Street, City Centre, Bath

Installation of extract ventilation to decontamination room with relocation of surgeries.

OBJECT Circus House forms part of the grade I listed Circus, and plays a prominent role in the street scene linking Alfred and Bennett Street. The metal grille proposed would be an incongruous addition to the traditional palette of materials, and unsympathetic to the integrity of the historic environment. The resultant loss of historic fabric would be regrettable. The Trust therefore objects to this listed building application which in our view would have a harmful impact on the architectural significance of the listed building. We do not consider that the proposal is supported by sufficient evidence to justify such harm, and we would encourage alternative solutions. The proposal fails to comply with Policies, BH1, and BH2 of the B&NES Local Plan and PPS5, in particular polices HE7.4, HE7.5 HE9.5, and HE10, and the Planning (Listed Buildings & Conservation Areas) Act 1990 and should therefore be REFUSED.

11/02660/REG03 – St Saviours Infant School, Spring Lane, Larkhall, Bath

Erection of a temporary Elliott building to be used as a community room.

COMMENT The Trust notes that the colour of the proposed temporary building is not explicitly specified. We have no objection to the building in principle, but colour choice is crucial to consideration of the proposal and its impact on the townscape. This detail should be specified now rather than given retrospective approval.

11/02780/FUL – 87 Fairfield Park Road, Fairfield Park, Bath

Provision of loft conversion to include flat roof rear dormer and new rooflights to front elevation roof slope. (Resubmission)

OBJECT The Bath Preservation Trust considers that large flat roof dormers are not in the interest of good design as they fail to enhance local distinctiveness and are visually intrusive features in the townscape and World Heritage Site. This proposal seeks permission for a large flat roof dormer that would occupy most of the rear roof surface. The building is traditional and characteristic of Bath, the roof extension would dominate the building and would be visually intrusive in the townscape thus degrading the visually amenity value of the area.

The Trust considers that this proposal is contrary to Policies D2 and D4 of the B&NES Local Plan and the Planning (Listed Buildings & Conservation Areas) Act 1990 and should therefore be REFUSED.

11/02824/FUL & 11/02505/LBA – 32 Richmond Place, Beacon Hill

Erection of a single storey rear extension following demolition of existing single storey extension and recently erected timber shed, removal of part of the external wall at lower ground floor level of the original property retaining the dressed and random stone, reinstate traditional styled sash windows where inappropriate styles have been previously installed, provision of iron railings to the front Bath stone boundary walls (Resubmission).

OBJECT This application is inadequately detailed and does not contain sufficient level information to enable the proper assessment of the proposals and the impact on the significance of the listed building. Whilst the intention sounds promising the proposals should be supported by detailed justification for design choices such as the folding French doors which are at odds with the style of the building, and the 6 over 6 glazing bars which appear to be in conflict with the existing sashes.

Overall the Trust does not consider that this application can be determined in its current form. Without further information this application would be contrary to PPS5 (policy HE 6.1) and should be REFUSED.

11/02748/FUL – 27 Lansdown Heights, Lansdown, Bath

Erection of two storey side extension and demolition of conservatory.

OBJECT We consider this application to be invalid because the wrong address is given on the application form, in both sections 3 and 4. We draw this to your attention. We do not consider that the proposals can be determined until the details are corrected and the application is re-advertised.

11/02737/FUL – 6 Hill Avenue, Combe Down

Erection of a two storey dwelling in the rear garden.

OBJECTION – submitted to case officer application withdrawn

Though the Trust welcomes efficient use of urban brownfield land, we consider that development at the scale proposed in this location proposes an overdevelopment of the site, since the size of the proposed dwelling dominates the plot leaving very little amenity space and presents an overbearing addition to Quarry Close. Existing development along the west side of Quarry Close is ancillary to dwellings along Hill Avenue and Hansford Square. The development as proposed is clearly not intended to be ancillary to the existing dwelling at 6 Hill Avenue, and would upset the appearance of a harmonious street-scene. The tapering of the site towards Quarry Close also means that a house of this size and shape sits uncomfortably in the existing townscape pattern. Furthermore, the choice to employ a pitched roof in this location is also contrary to the local character, since hipped roofs are more common in this location. The choice of natural slate roof covering is also a marked difference to tiles which are more common.

We also question that two off-street parking spaces are provided within this development, considering the expressed ambition for an eco-home. The site is located in a relatively central area that is serviced by public transport, and we consider that this undermines the sustainability of the development. A more environmentally friendly use of this land would be preferable.

With the above in mind, we consider that this application would fail to enhance local distinctiveness or positively enhance local townscape character. The proposal is therefore contrary to policies D.2 and D.4 of the B&NES local plan and should therefore be REFUSED.

11/02587/FUL – Greystones, Hayesfield Park, Lyncombe Hill

Provision of new gate piers to match existing.

COMMENT The Trust considers that from a streetscape point of view the visual harmony of the area would be upheld if the gate posts remain in the existing position rather than pushed back. This would be in the best interest of preserving the character of the conservation area.

11/02793/FUL – 11 Abbey Churchyard, City Centre, Bath

External alterations to the shopfront, use of public highway for the siting of 22no tables and 66no chairs and installation of air conditioning units on the roof at 11-12 Abbey Churchyard and 17/18 Cheap Street.

OBJECT The Trust will continue to object to externally illuminated signs on listed buildings, within the conservation area and in the World Heritage Site. In this instance, the Trust is particularly concerned that the proposals for swan-neck lamps and spotlight illumination, the installation of which is likely to cause damage to the historic fabric of this grade II listed building. The proposed light fittings are unsympathetic and inappropriate, for a architecturally and historically significant façade in a highly sensitive location, by virtue of their cumulative impact, position, design and appearance. We consider that with the amount of glazing provided along the facades that the building will be sufficiently illuminated without their inclusion. In addition the proposed hanging sign appears out of scale, the design of the bracket is inappropriate, and the method of fixing will cause damage to the stone.

The proposal also makes provision for 22 tables and 66 chairs outside the building in Abbey Churchyard. This area is particularly important as it forms the setting of the Abbey and the Pump Room building, two of the most characteristic and historically important buildings in the City. The amount of proposed tables seating seems excessive for the area and will encroach gratuitously. Furthermore, we are concerned that some visualisations of the outdoor seating include parasols which are not mentioned elsewhere in the application.

The illumination, light fittings, hanging sign, excessive seating and parasols would neither preserve nor enhance the character and appearance of the conservation area and would have a harmful impact on the listed building and its setting, and detract from the setting of other significant listed buildings. The proposal 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, and fails to comply with the Planning (Listed Buildings & Conservation Areas) Act 1990, andPPS 5 polices HE7, HE9, HE10 and should be REFUSED.

11/02653/FUL-106 High Street, Twerton, Bath

Provision of wood-effect uPVC double glazed windows to replace existing timber-frame single glazed windows (106 A-D, 108 A-D and 110 A-D).

OBJECT Whilst the property is not listed, it is situated within the Conservation Area and as such has a valuable role to play in the overall appearance and character of the townscape, which has a distinctive palette of materials that includes timber windows. For this reason replacing the existing windows with new timber double-glazing is the most appropriate, and will help enhance the appearance of this building. UPVC is a modern plastic material that is unsympathetic to Bath’s historic character and in addition and is damaging to the environment in both its manufacturing and disposal. The UPVC windows proposed fail to enhance local distinctiveness and neither preserves nor enhances the character or appearance of the Conservation Area. The proposal is therefore contrary to policies D.2, D., BH.2 and BH.6 of the B&NES local plan, the Planning (Listed Buildings & Conservation Areas) Act 1990, and PPS 5, polices HE7, HE8, HE9, HE10 and should beREFUSED.

11/02826/FUL -Kiosk Millies Cookies, Dorchester Street, Bath

Installation of a new shopfront and entrance door.

OBJECT Whilst the Trust has previously conceded that the style and character of the new Southgate shopping centre can tolerate a more unconventional design approach compared to the rest of Bath, we will continue to object to externally illuminated signs in the conservation area. The proposed halo illumination of the overly-large lettering for this sign is a completely inappropriate form of advertising anywhere in the World Heritage Site. It is also disappointing to see the poor quality of materials proposed here, principally acrylic – a higher quality of material ought to be expected in the city-centre. The inappropriate and visually intrusive illuminated sign would be harmful to the visual amenity value of the location and would neither preserve nor enhance the character of the conservation area. The proposal is considered contrary to policies D2, D4, BH1, BH6 and BH22 of the B&NES Local Plan and should therefore be REFUSED.

11/02938/LBA & 11/02937/FUL – 21 Macaulay Buildings, Widcombe

Erection of new garage with studio workshop above following demolition of existing garage and rebuilding of existing unstable garden boundary retaining wall

OBJECT The Trust considers that the proposed redevelopment would be an unsympathetic overdevelopment of the site. The site itself falls within the City of Bath Conservation Area, the World Heritage Site and in within the curtilage of a listed building, and thus is of particular significance and sensitivity. The proposed new building would be considerably larger than the existing ancillary garage, being lowered by 600mm to allow a single-storey studio at garden level and also extending the street-facing facade to incorporate the triangle of currently unused land. The development would face onto Prospect Road, to the rear of the Macaulay Buildings properties, the townscape of which is very intimately proportioned. Although there are already a mix of ancillary buildings and dwellings with single and double stories, the scale of the street and its character and topography means that even small-scale development is given greater visual emphasis. As such the Trust considers that the proposed building would constitute an overdevelopment of the site.

Though the applicant has made an attempt to consider the context the heritage statement is far from conclusive and this undermines the justification for this development.

Furthermore, some of the materials selected are also inappropriate for use within the curtilage of a listed building. In particular the aluminium window frames are particularly uncharacteristic of this area, and ought to be timber instead.

With the above in mind, we consider that this proposal, by virtue of the siting, size, design, scale and materials, would fail to enhance local distinctiveness; it would neither preserve nor enhance the character or appearance of the City of Bath Conservation Area; and, it would fail to reflect the Outstanding Universal Value of the World Heritage Site. The proposal is therefore contrary to policies D.2, D.4, BH.1, BH.2, BH.3 and BH.6 of the B&NES local plan and PPS5, and the Planning (Listed Buildings & Conservation Areas) Act 1990, and should therefore beREFUSED.

11/02414/LBA – 12 St Mark’s Road, Widcombe, Bath

External alterations for the replacement of existing asbestos roof slates, roof timber and gutter repairs and provision of 2no. velux windows to replace existing dormer window.

SUPPORT The Trust is supportive of these proposals to restore and repair this listed building. The dormer windows are clearly in a very poor condition and could potentially allow further damage to the building to occur. The decision to install the velux windows in the hidden pitches is also to be welcomed for restoring and respecting the original roofline of the building. Similarly, the use of natural slate on the visible roof pitches is also welcomed, although natural slate should be used on all roof slopes, as to respect the character and integrity of the listed building.

11/02486/FUL – 80 Brookfield Park, Upper Weston, Bath

Erection of a two storey side and rear extension and conversion to 4no. flats.

COMMENT The Trust regrets that proposals to extend this property include a large area of flat roof. Flat roofs are not in the interest of good design, they fail to enhance local distinctiveness and the strong horizontal emphasis they present are visually intrusive features in the townscape and World Heritage Site. Additionally the Trust is concerned about the use of timber cladding in the urban environment. A propensity for the use of timber as a cladding material does not always respect the local vernacular and townscape character.

11/02821/LBA – Waterstones Booksellers Ltd, 4 – 5 Milsom Street, City Centre, Bath

External alterations for the display of 2no. fascia signs (regularisation).

OBJECT The Trust welcomes the omission of the flags from this application. However we retain the view that traditionally painted fascia signs would be more appropriate for this traditionally modelled shop front and listed building located within the heart of the historic conservation area and World Heritage Site. The retention of the existing signs, and synthetic materials would be contrary to policies D2, D4, BH1, BH2, BH6 of the B&NES Local Plan and the Planning (Listed Buildings & Conservation Areas) Act 1990 and should therefore be refused. Approval would set an undesirable precedent for further similar adverts and inappropriate materials in this sensitive location, which would individually and collectively detract from the character of the city centre.

11/02618/FUL – Park Farm, Colliers Lane, Newton St. Loe

Erection of agricultural buildings in connection with a new beef and arable unit at an existing farmstead.

COMMENT The Trust considers that the principle of development upon this site and the expansion of the farming operations here is acceptable, provided that any negative impact upon the landscape can be sufficiently negated. We appreciate the concern which has been taken in this application to conceal the farm buildings proposed, particularly to the east of the site. Nonetheless, we are concerned about whether the landscaping proposed is sufficient and appropriate to achieve this.

The present proposal includes landscaping and planting skirting the site to the east, south and west. We are concerned that the depth of the planting may not be sufficient to conceal the buildings, and furthermore that manner in which the planting skirts the site has a stark wall-like appearance which does not cohere with the landscape particularly well. We suggest that deeper planting arranged in an organic manner that responds to the site’s topography would be more effective at concealing the buildings from key views, and would ensure that the planting does not appear as a conspicuous addition to the landscape.

Furthermore, there is no detail on the type of planting which is to be proposed in this application. This important details should not be be agreed by a Condition of any permission. We suggest that detail is submitted and considered prior to determination, with a view to ensuring that only indigenous species are used in the landscaping.

11/02740/AR & 11/02846/LBA – Britannia Building Society, 30 Milsom Street, City Centre, Bath

Display of 1no non-illuminated fascia sign.

OBJECT There is a discrepancy in the detail s submitted in this application. The application form refers to “sign written fascia” however the detail in the application specifies vinyl lettering.

It is the Trust’s view that traditionally painted fascia signage would be more appropriate for this listed building located within the heart of the historic conservation area and World Heritage Site. The use of inappropriate synthetic materials would be contrary to policies D2, D4, BH1, BH2, BH6 of the B&NESLocal Plan and the Planning (Listed Buildings & Conservation Areas) Act 1990 and should therefore be refused. Approval would set an undesirable precedent for further similar adverts and inappropriate materials in this sensitive location, which would individually and collectively detract from the character of the city centre.

11/02717/FUL & 11/02782/FUL – Monkton Combe Junior School, Church Road, Combe Down, Bath

Erection of new building to accommodate the relocation of the existing pre-prep school, including the relocation of existing car parking, landscaping and the creation of outdoor play areas. / Development of access road, parking and drop-off area including revised pedestrian route and landscaping.

COMMENT The Trust recognises the requirement to expand the school and improve vehicle access to the site. However, we wish to comment on the choice of materials within the application for the new school building, specifically the cedar cladding used prominently upon the southern facade of this building. There is some confusion as to whether the cladding is to be treated or not, which ought to be clarified, since the Design & Access Statement expresses that the cedar will have a ‘natural finish’ and the elevations state it will be ‘unfinished’. The Trust strongly feels that cedar ought to be left to weather naturally, and that attempts to treat or finish cedar undermine its aesthetic quality. We also question the appropriateness of employing horizontal cedar cladding where there is articulation in the form of the building, such as a curved wall face. Here the detailing at junctions may result in a fussy and relatively poor finish appearance.

In relation to this application, the Trust notes that it is increasingly common for applications for development near the Greenbelt to be timber-clad, and we are concerned that a propensity for such a material does not always respect the local vernacular.

11/02864/FUL & 11/02865/LBA – Bluecoat House, Sawclose, City Centre, Bath

Change of use from mixed use within classes B8/D1 to a use within class A3 (Ground Floor and Basement) and class C3 (5 no. flats (comprising 4 no. 1 bed and 1 no. 2 bed) on first and second floors, erection of single storey rear extension to replace existing and associated internal and external alterations and repairs.

SUPPORT The Trust is supportive of these proposals to bring this currently disused listed building back into an active use, its use and occupation is key to maintenance, upkeep and long term survival. Whilst there is some regret that this building cannot continue to have a community use, the Trust does not object to the proposed use of this building for a restaurant and apartments and will at least in part be accessible to the public.

We are particularly pleased to see proposals for sensitive repairs and cleaning to the exterior of the building, and we are satisfied that the proposed internal and external changes will not harm the historic fabric of the building or its special character.

There are, however, two issues we would like to highlight: – We consider that the loading of supplies for the restaurant would be better taken place via Bridewell Lane rather than Upper Borough Walls. – It also ought to be considered at this stage whether there are any requirements for external advertising for the restaurant, and if so, where they might be appropriately placed. Detailed proposals should form part of separate listed building and advertisement consent applications. We would welcome the opportunity to engage with the applicants in the development of a suitable scheme.

11/02813/FUL – 1 Raby Place, Bathwick, Bath

Erection of a two bedroom terrace house following demolition of existing garage.

OBJECT No objection is raised regarding the proposal to demolish the existing garage. The Trust is broadly satisfied with the amount and style of development which is proposed on the site. However on balance we minded to object, principally to the proposed use of render on the gable end of the property facing St. Mary Church. The existing terrace of mews buildings along the road ends with a bath stone ashlar gable. The proposed development extending this terrace will conceal this ashlar wall, so it is felt that to appropriately extend this terrace whilst maintaining its character, the gable end of the new property ought also to be bath stone ashlar. The Trust therefore objects to this application, UNLESS the gable-end is to be faced in ashlar bath stone. The proposal in its current form would have a detrimental impact on the architectural significance of the adjacent listed buildings and neither preserve or enhance the character of the conservation area and therefore fails to comply with Policy D2, D4, BH1, BH2 and BH6 of the B&NES Local Plan and PPS5, in particular polices HE7.4, HE7.5 HE9.5, and HE10, and the Planning (Listed Buildings & Conservation Areas) Act 1990 and should be REFUSED.

11/02570/LBA-2 Kingsmead Street City Centre

Internal and external alterations for the refurbishment of the third floor maisonette and refurbishment and conversion of the first and second floor maisonette to 2no. Dwellings.

OBJECT The Trust considers that this application contains insufficient information to allow it to be appropriately assessed. Despite this proposal being a listed building application for a grade I listed building, no heritage statement has been submitted, and elsewhere there appears to have been minimal consideration of the impact of the proposed development upon the character and significance of this building. In particular the Design & Access Statement does not back up its assertion that the “first floor proposals will not affect the building’s listing”. Further to these shortcomings, the application has not been submitted with a site location plan, and no ‘proposed’ plans have been provided for the second and third floors. Such a standard of application for a building of obvious historic significance should not be accepted. The proposal fails to comply with Policies, BH1, and BH2 of the B&NESLocal Plan and PPS5, in particular polices HE6, HE7, HE9, and HE10, and the Planning (Listed Buildings & Conservation Areas) Act 1990 and should therefore beREFUSED.

11/02926/FUL – 49 Southgate Street Bath

Change of use of part of the ground floor of 49 Southgate Street and all of unit 1, 50/53 Southgate Street from A1 Retail use to A2 Financial and Professional Services use and change of use of the first and second floor of 49 Southgate Street from B1 Office use to A2 Financial and Professional Services use.

COMMENT At this central location, the Trust considers that banking and financial services would be an appropriate land-use, but is concerned that an unchecked or uncontrolled change of use may open the avenue for a predominance of unsuitable or undesirable businesses in this central location, such as Betting Offices and Estate Agencies. The Trust therefore suggests that this application be conditioned with permission attached only to this use and occupier, so as to prevent an inappropriate occupant from taking control of the building in future without prior planning permission.

11/02481/FUL – Waggon & Horses, 150 London Road West, Lower Swainswick, Bath

Erection of 4no dwellings on land to the rear of 148A/150 London Road West (Resubmission)

COMMENT This application fails to include a design and access statement which is necessary for the consideration of the proposal. Without this statement there is no justification for the design and materials, particularly the use of timber cladding. Trust notes that it is increasingly common for applications for development near the river or the Greenbelt to be timber-clad, and we are concerned that a propensity for such a material does not always respect the local vernacular. It is not clear as to whether the timber cladding is to have a stained finish or not, or the exact type of timber to be used, which ought to be clarified. The Trust strongly feels that cedar and oak ought to be left to weather naturally, and that attempts to treat or finish these timbers undermines its aesthetic quality.

11/02805/CA& 11/02803/FUL – Victoria Garage, Nelson Lane, Kingsmead, Bath

Demolition of the existing garage workshop, erection of 2no. 1 bed units and 5no. studio flats following demolition of the existing garage workshop with associated parking and a separate external area for bin and bicycle storage.

OBJECT The Trust does not object to the demolition of the garage, which presently has a negative impact upon the character of the area. However, Conservation Area consent for demolition must be subject to planning approval for a suitable development replacing it. We strongly feel that the development proposed within this application does not meet this stipulation. The principle of development of dwellings at this location is an entirely acceptable proposal; however, the design of the building proposed is in our view substandard in quality and will arguably have a negative impact upon the character of the location. Given the sensitivity of the site, in the World Heritage Site, the City of Bath Conservation Area and its proximity to listed buildings and other heritage assets of merit, design which takes little reference from its context is unacceptable.

The massing of the building and extent of flat roof is particularly inappropriate and unresponsive to the location, appearing block-like and obtusely angular. Given that this development follows much the same foot print as the existing garage, and the addition of a second storey of development increases the volume of the building considerably. This bulky form will have a marked impact upon the local townscape, and the building will dominate the street-scene along Nelson Lane and to the rear of the neighbouring terraces, more so than the existing garage. The elevational treatment and fenestration in particular is at odds with the character of Bath. The Trust suggests that dwellings of a more traditional appearance with a form that is more ancillary or deferential to the neighbouring terraces would be more successful in this location.

We also consider the selection of materials to be particularly insensitive to the context with little justification to support it. The mix of bath stone, white render and zinc cladding will lack coherence, and we consider the zinc cladding to be especially incongruous to the location. The Design & Access Statement unfortunately does not elaborate on why these materials have been selected.

With the above in mind, and notwithstanding the extant permission to redevelop this site, we consider that this application would fail to enhance local distinctiveness; it would neither preserve nor enhance the character or appearance of the City of Bath Conservation Area; and, it would fail to reflect the Outstanding Universal Value of the World Heritage Site. The proposal is therefore contrary to policies D.2, D.4, BH.1 and BH.6 of the B&NES local plan, PPS5, and the Planning (Listed Buildings & Conservation Areas) Act 1990, and should therefore be REFUSED.

11/02735/FUL – 35 Garrick Road, Whiteway, Bath, Bath And North East Somerset

Provision of vehicle access and hardstanding to the front of the dwelling.

OBJECT The Trust is concerned that this development would have a harmful impact on the local townscape and street scene. The central proposal of this application is to create off-street parking space to the front of the property, demolishing the boundary wall to the front of the property and resurfacing much of the garden. Some raised planters are proposed to border the right of the parking area, using stone retaining wall.

Whilst the site is not particularly historic in character, it is located within the City of Bath Conservation Area, within the ‘Twerton, Whiteway, Southdown and Moorlands’ character area. The Character Appraisal for this area specifically highlights that ‘front boundaries are a key characteristic’ of the area (6.7.15.32). In the Bath Conservation Are front boundary walls, pedestrian gates and front gardens are attractive and important features that provide cohesiveness and unity in a street and contribute to an important part of the city environment. The Trust considers that the removal of the front boundary wall and pedestrian gate would result in the loss of positive features in the street scene which, along with the creation of a parking space, would detract from the character and appearance of the conservation area. A further concern is the potential accumulative effect upon the character of the area and the street-scene. Many of the neighbouring properties have already demolished boundary walls to the front to create off-street parking.

Bath Preservation Trust has a strong preference for the retention of front gardens not only because they are positive visual features, front gardens contribute to green spaces in the city which are vital for a low carbon environment and sustainable future. This application is therefore contrary to Policies D2, D4, BH1 and BH6 of the B&NES Local Plan, policies HE1, HE7, HE9 & HE10 of PPS5, and the Planning (Listed Buildings & Conservation Areas) Act 1990, and should therefore beREFUSED.

11/03034/FUL – Bidstone, 29 Church Street, Bathford, Bath

Erection of two storey house (with a third storey accommodated in roof space) and detached 2 bay garage to replace the existing dwelling (Revised proposal).

COMMENT The amendments to this proposal have not altered the Trust’s position and our position remains the same, as follows;

The site occupies a sensitive position in the Bathford Conservation Area, immediately opposite the church. The existing building is of little architectural merit and no historic interest and its demolition is not opposed. We recognise that the proposed building will be a substantial new dwelling in the green belt and would have an impact on the setting of the church, other listed buildings nearby and the character and appearance of the Bathford conservation area. It is considered that the plot size is capable of accommodating a building of this scale, and that the site layout reflects the pattern or grain of village which, in part, is characterised by large detached buildings within large plots. As the brown-field site is located in the built up area of the village the proposed larger dwelling is not considered to have any adverse impact on the character and openness of the green belt.

The proposed replacement building by virtue of its design and materials would positively enhance the streetscape and setting and will be of a style and appearance which will harmonise with the historic context. However, it will be important to ensure that the materials used in construction are traditional; Bath stone, natural slate, timber doors and windows, and cast iron or metal rainwater goods must be used in its construction.

11/02942/AR – Frank Knight, 4 Wood Street, City Centre, Bath

Display of 18no internally illuminated A3 advertisements within existing shopfront to replace existing.

OBJECT The Trust continues to object to illuminated signs and displays in the Conservation Area. The inappropriate and visually intrusive lighting proposed in this application would be harmful to the visual amenity value of the location and would neither preserve nor enhance the character of the conservation area. Furthermore, it ought to be considered that illuminated signs are wholly unnecessary for a business which operates during daytime hours. These issues are only compounded by the quantity of proposed display cases, which we consider to be in excessive and overbearing concentration. Whilst the reorientation of the displays from landscape to a portrait better respects the proportions and rhythm of the windows and terrace, the overall impact of this proposal will negatively impact this grade I listed terrace. The proposal is considered contrary to policies D2, D4, BH1, BH2, BH6, and BH17 of the B&NES Local Plan, PPS5, in particular polices HE6, HE7, HE9, and HE10, and the Planning (Listed Buildings & Conservation Areas) Act 1990 and should therefore be REFUSED.

11/02732/FUL – Walcot Rugby Club, Lansdown Road, Charlcombe, Bath

Installation of solar photovoltaic panels on the roofs of rugby club building at the southern corner of the site.

COMMENT The Trust feels that all applications which propose development of this nature would benefit from having a succinct Design and Access Statement being drafted and submitted for consideration. This will ensure that the design process and factors influencing the consideration of the application can be assessed and understood.

The Trust feels that the installation of solar PVs at this particular site, as proposed, are acceptable and will not have any adverse impact on the character and openness of the green belt or World Heritage Site setting.

11/02570/LBA-2 Kingsmead Street, City Centre, Bath

Internal and external alterations for the refurbishment of the third floor maisonette and refurbishment and conversion of the first and second floor maisonette to 2no. dwellings.

OBJECT The Trust considers that this application contains insufficient information to allow it to be appropriately assessed. Despite this proposal being a listed building application for a grade I listed building, no heritage statement has been submitted, and elsewhere there appears to have been minimal consideration of the impact of the proposed development upon the character and significance of this building. In particular the Design & Access Statement does not back up its assertion that the “first floor proposals will not affect the building’s listing”. Further to these shortcomings, the application has not been submitted with a site location plan, and no ‘proposed’ plans have been provided for the second and third floors. Such a standard of application for a building of obvious historic significance should not be accepted. The proposal fails to comply with Policies, BH1, and BH2 of the B&NESLocal Plan and PPS5, in particular polices HE6, HE7, HE9, and HE10, and the Planning (Listed Buildings & Conservation Areas) Act 1990 and should therefore beREFUSED.

11/02926/FUL – 49 Southgate Street, Bath

Change of use of part of the ground floor of 49 Southgate Street and all of unit 1, 50/53 Southgate Street from A1 Retail use to A2 Financial and Professional Services use and change of use of the first and second floor of 49 Southgate Street from B1 Office use to A2 Financial and Professional Services use.

COMMENT At this central location, the Trust considers that banking and financial services would be an appropriate land-use, but is concerned that an unchecked or uncontrolled change of use may open the avenue for a predominance of unsuitable or undesirable businesses in this central location, such as Betting Offices and Estate Agencies. The Trust therefore suggests that this application be conditioned with permission attached only to this use and occupier, so as to prevent an inappropriate occupant from taking control of the building in future without prior planning permission.

p{color:red}. 11/02823/FUL – 4 New Street, City Centre, Bath

Use of highway for the siting of 2no tables and 4no chairs

COMMENT The Trust regrets the choice of aluminium and PVC as materials for street furniture in the World Heritage Site and Conservation Area. Traditional materials, such as timber or natural wicker would be preferable and would make a positive contribution to the setting and street-scene at this location. We also feel that the revised location plan supplied with this application is unacceptable since it does not include any labels or indication of street-names.

11/02651/FUL – 8 Hensley Road, Moorlands, Bath

Erection of a two storey side extension and single storey rear extension following removal of existing garage and provision of rear decking.

COMMENT The Trust feels that the materials chosen in the design are questionable and that further details and justification for their choice ought to be expressed. Specifically, the use of reconstituted Bath Stone and cedar cladding used prominently are considered unsympathetic choices. Preference ought to be for real Bath Stone, (if this is used in the construction of the house) which will be more coherent with the existing building, and a traditional choice of timber, such as oak. If cedar is to be used then the Trust strongly feels that it ought to be left to weather naturally, and that any attempt to stain, treat or finish cedar undermines its aesthetic quality.

11/02686/FUL – Prior Park Garden Centre, Prior Park Road, Widcombe, Bath

Installation of external air cooled condensers and timber screen (Retrospective).

COMMENT The Trust is mindful that the proposal site within this application falls within the green belt, and so extension of the original buildings should be considered carefully. The Trust regrets that an application for planning permission in a sensitive location has been lodged retrospectively, and though the character of the area may be relatively urban, this does not negate this protection and does not present a justification for unsympathetic additions. The Local Planning Authority makes clear in the Supplementary Planning Document ‘Existing Dwellings in the Green Belt’ that where an existing properties are proposed to be extended, ‘the cumulative increase in volume of all extensions’ and the impact upon the property’s character and surroundings will be considered, and where such extensions are disproportionate they will not be permitted. Whilst the Trust does not object to the development as proposed here, further development upon this site should consider its cumulative impact on the character and openness of the green belt.

11/02552/TEL – Street Record, Lansdown Road

Provision of a new cabinet shell to replace existing at junction of Lansdown Road and Alfred Street.

OBJECT This application contains inadequate information to make proper assessment. The box proposed in larger than the existing. We consider that the size and siting would detract from the character and setting of the conservation area and listed buildings. As such the proposal is contrary to Policies, BH1, and BH2 of the B&NES Local Plan and PPS5, in particular polices HE6, HE7, HE9, and HE10, and the Planning (Listed Buildings & Conservation Areas) Act 1990 and should therefore be refused. BPT accepts that electronic and telephonic communication are facts of modern life and that above ground installations, such as these, are required to support them. The Trust is, however, concerned at the multiplicity of applications registered over the past fortnight for replacement telephone equipment cabinets, so soon after the multiplicity of applications for broad-band communications boxes, and at both the utilitarian nature of the boxes and the general lack of consideration for their setting. As all the boxes are within the World Heritage Site and many are within the Conservation Area, care is needed in their siting, in order to uphold the purposes of both designations.

Furthermore, there are important omissions in the information provided for all applications. Thus:

• The boxes, rather larger than previously, will be of unspecified material & an unspecified shade of green; quality & colour are important in Bath & the LPA should demand compatibility with the Bath palette.

• It is impossible to tell from the drawings exactly where they will be sited, as the site/block plans are inaccurate/inadequate and cabinets are rarely sited as indicated on plans which are contradicted by photos [when decipherable].

These inadequacies in the applications should preclude any decision before receipt of clearer plans & satisfactory specification of colour/material.

11/00722/LBA – REVISED PLANS – Horseshoe House, 51 Sydney Buildings, Bath

Internal and external alterations for the erection of two storey side extension (garage with bedroom over) following demolition of single storey side extension (garage), provision of single storey protruding bay following demolition of single storey protruding bay window (1901) to rear, works to repair roof, remove concrete tiles and provide additional accommodation in attic space, removal of paint to stonework to external elevations, stone repairs, repointing and removal of soiling and internal refurbishment, decorations and upgrading building services

OBJECT BPT acknowledges the applicants have made an effort to address the objections raised in response to the original submission. The removal of the roof extension is a welcome improvement to the roofscape, and proposed materials, such as timber window are better. However, we continue to OBJECT. The overall design is still not taking its cue from the existing building and terrace, and rather superimposes its own proportions and plan. The size and vertical divisions of the window and garage door to the front elevation are somewhat alien to the proportions of the other openings, therefore visually jarring. The appearance of the asymmetrical box shape, and “wraparound” corner of the extension on the garden front fights with the pattern of the bays on the other houses. The proposal remains in conflict with Policies, D2, D4, BH1, BH2 and BH6 of the B&NES Local Plan and PPS5, in particular polices HE7.4, HE7.5 HE9.5, and HE10, and the Planning (Listed Buildings & Conservation Areas) Act 1990 and should therefore be REFUSED.

11/03142/LBA-Flat 3, 12 Grove Street, Bathwick, Bath

Internal and external alterations for the installation of a gas combination boiler, replacement of gas fire and emersion tank to full central heating and provision of flue

OBJECT The Trust considers that without Heritage Statement having been supplied, this application does not contain sufficient information to allow the proper assessment of the impact of the proposal to be made. As it is, it is not clear what regard has been given to ensuring the proposed development does not compromise the historic and aesthetic character of this grade II listed building, and that any damage or loss of historic fabric of significance is mitigated. Such practice fails to comply with local and national policy for heritage applications, in particular PPS5 policy HE7. Unless this can be rectified then this application must be REFUSED.

11/02928/FUL – Summerfield School Lime Grove Site, Lime Grove Gardens, Bathwick

Erection of 18no dwellings with associated parking and landscaping following demolition of existing school buildings.

OBJECT The Trust does not object to the demolition of the existing school building, which makes a neutral contribution to the character of the location, and is of neither historic interest nor aesthetic value. In principle we welcome the redevelopment of the site to provide housing.

However, it is with regret that we consider that combination of the built forms proposed lack form and quality that would enhance the character and local distinctiveness of the area, or connect with the grain of the surrounding townscape. As such we consider that the scheme proposed fails to sufficiently reflect the Bath context. Consequently the opportunities presented by this site would not fully be taken advantage of. We therefore object on the following grounds:

Site Layout & Urban Design In our view the site layout does not make best us of the available land on the site. As presented here, the proposals to extend Lime Grove Gardens into the site have a meandering feel, which might be more successful if a strong visual sequence were established. The proposal here, however, would almost certainly feel inconsistent and deflated as one progresses to the end of the cul-de-sac, with no visual or aesthetic focus and a sense of space leakage where the proposed open space is. The site would benefit from a greater sense of intimacy, as is a common characteristic in smaller pockets of development in Bath.

Additionally, the size and massing of the building on plots 14 & 15 also appears to be excessive for this part of the site and feels uncomfortably wedged between the railway and the allotments.

When viewed in plan, the development appears as piecemeal collection of buildings juxtaposed in such a way as to appear randomly placed. The layout has an awkward respond to the topography of the site. The houses on plots 1 – 5 are stepped to allow it to descend the hill, whilst plots 6 – 13 appear to respond slightly to the position of the railway running parallel. Neither does it seem that the design responds to the grain of neighbouring Lime Grove and Lime Grove Gardens.

The landscaping plan for the land adjacent to the allotments is also rather uninspiring, and vacant in character, which will engender a feeling of space leakage in practice. This rather seems a case of SLOAP which in practice will be left unused and unappreciated by residents and passers-by (of which there will likely be few since there would be little reason for casual traffic through that part of the site – such a space might be better employed closer to the footpath).

Furthermore, considering this application highlights the canal-railway footpath as one of the strengths of the site, it is disappointing to see that the application does not suggest further improvement than outlined here. The affordable housing provisions, as presented with the hedges and planting blocking natural surveillance, seem like seem like a missed opportunity to create a better public space here.

Design The development chooses to employ an eclectic range of architectural styles and housing forms, ranging through town houses, terraces and semi-detached villas. The Trust feels that such a variety does not foster a cohesive urban fabric and does not help to enhance the setting and character of the local area sufficiently. The rationale behind the mix is not clear, but, again, a sense of randomness pervades the design choices. There is little to suggest that these have been chosen to respond to local character. The shallow gabled ends on the rear of plots 6-13 do not seem particularly characteristic to Bath, and the fenestrations on all facades seem unusually mixed.

Materials The choice of materials in this application is questionable. The Trust feels that the mix of render, Bath Stone ashlar and Cotswold rubble stone is a discordant mix, particularly given the relative anonymity of the architecture. We take particular issue with the choice to employ Cotswold Stone in plots 1 – 5, and any proposal to mix Cotswold stone with Bath Stone, since we consider this material to be incongruous to the local vernacular. The suggestion of mixing roof tiles between slate and clay-pan-tiles (for plots 1 – 5) will further undermine the cohesion of the design. We would also suggest that Solar Slates rather than standard PV panels would be a more sympathetic choice, particularly given the visual prominence the rooflines will have.

Surroundings & Views The Design & Access Statement does make some consideration of the impact the development will have upon its surroundings and the conservation area visually, but by this assessment is limited only to three views (one approaching from Lime Grove Gardens; two looking from either approach from the footpath), and gives little consideration of the wider views from the canal, railway. The proposed buildings will represent an increased height of the proposed buildings (the existing buildings are single storey, and the proposed buildings will have three storeys) a wider assessment of visual impact is necessary.

Recommendation For the reasons stated above the Trust considers that this development fails to respond to the local context, and would neither preserve nor enhance the character of the City of Bath Conservation Area. The development may have a detrimental impact upon the setting of listed terraces and harm the Outstanding Universal Value of the World Heritage Site. The proposal is therefore contrary to policies D2, D4, BH1, BH2 and BH6 of the B&NES Local Plan and PPS5, in particular polices HE7.4, HE7.5 HE9.5, and HE10, and the Planning (Listed Buildings & Conservation Areas) Act 1990 and should therefore be REFUSED.

11/02090/FUL – REVISED PLANS – Wych Elm House, Packhorse Lane, South Stoke

Erection of a replacement dwelling and associated works.

OBJECT The Trust has considered the revised proposals for a replacement dwelling at Wych Elm House, and despite the efforts which have been taken to amend the design we feel the issues which we objected to in the original application have not been addressed.

The Trust does not consider that the very special circumstances for this development within the Greenbelt have not been sufficiently justified in documents provided in support of this application. The Design and Access Statement describes the below-ground volume as a “modest volume increase” upon the existing property (including notional PD rights), and the proposed car-port still does not appear to be included when considering the amount of proposed development. The B&NES SPDon Existing Dwellings in the Green Belt makes it clear that when calculating the size and volume of dwellings that this is to include basements. As such, suppositions that below ground volume is negligible is untenable and this dwelling must be considered to be ‘materially larger’ than the dwelling it seeks to replace. Further, whilst the applicant is correct in saying that the SPD also states that ‘sustainability issues will be taken into consideration’, there has not been enough detailed supplied by the applicant to allow for sufficient consideration of these issues. For these reasons, we do not believe there is sufficient justification in permitting the proposed replacement dwelling in this sensitive location.

The application and its supporting documents purport that the proposed development, by virtue of reducing the effective height of the building, is reducing visual impact upon the landscape; however, the value of this design feature is undermined and arguably negated by the increased visual impact that the property will have when viewed from the south. Since the site is located within the landscape setting of the Bath World Heritage City and within the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the Greenbelt, the impact of the dwelling upon the visual amenity of the landscape is of critical concern.

Though the revised design has shifted portions of the development to the north-side of the dwelling, the impact of the glazed south elevation continues to be an issue which is not sufficiently addressed. Though the proposed development would be concealed from some views, from others its hilltop location would increase its prominence in the locale, particularly when viewed from the south. The prominence of the building’s southern elevation, which makes considerable use of glazing, raises further concerns about the proposed development’s impact upon the green-belt.

The Trust suggests that, if approved, these windows ought to be tinted on the exterior to reduce glare and reflections, which would draw further attention to the property in the landscape, and that a full landscaping plan needs to be submitted with demonstration of sympathetic and indigenous planting that will help conceal the southern facade from wider views. We also suggest that, should the planners be minded to approve this application, that all permitted development rights should be removed from the replacement dwelling, particularly given that the applicant has already used the notional rights of the existing property in their calculations.

The Trust does not object to the demolition of the existing building, but suggests that a new building of high quality design and construction should replace it, and that the development be of an appropriate size and scale. The application for the proposed development does not provide enough information to demonstrate that the proposed development will be achieve this whilst supporting adopted local planning policy. The Trust also believes strongly that details upon the design should not be left to condition, and the absence of firm information about the materials and construction of the proposed development continues to be a cause for concern here. Further and specific information regarding the proposed materials, particularly the glazing, external walls and roofing must be provided prior to permission being granted.

The Trust considers that the proposed new house by virtue of its design, massing and size would have detrimental visual impact the landscape character of the AONB, harm the openness, rural character visual amenity value of the Green belt, and detract from the landscape setting of the City of Bath World Heritage Site.

In particular the Trust feels that this application is in conflict with policies HG14 GB1, GB2, NE1, NE2 and BH1 of the B&NES Local Plan of the B&NES Local Plan, and the adopted SPD ‘Existing Dwellings in the Green Belt’, and contrary to advice contained in PPS7 and PPG2 and should therefore be refused.

11/02811/CA – Gammon Plant Hire, Rock Hall Lane, Combe Down, Bath

Demolition of all existing properties with the exception of a portion of historic stone wall to Rock Hall Lane.

OBJECT The Trust recognises that the existing structures on the site have direct association to the historical development of Combe Down, and some elements of the construction make a positive contribution to the character of the townscape. In accordance with PPS 5 HE7.3 the importance of these structures to the Combe Down community should be fully understood. We would encourage the LPA to consult further with local people about the value (to the community) of the buildings it is proposed to demolish.

The Trust, in principle, supports development on this site to provide housing and interpretation centre, provided that new architecture respects the local context and character, retains the best preserved historic fabric and maintains the character of the street scene along Rock Hall Lane.

The Trust does not consider that the scheme proposed in the full planning application is appropriate; the amount is excessive, and design, bulk, massing and fenestration is incongruous and would fail to preserve or enhance the conservation area. The Trust will be objecting to the full planning application. Consent for demolition should not be granted unless there are acceptable plans for the redevelopment of the site. It is the Trust’s view that in the absence of an appropriate proposal the proposed demolition is contrary BH.6 of the B&NES local plan and the Planning (Listed Buildings & Conservation Areas) Act 1990, and should therefore beREFUSED.

11/02810/FUL – REVISED PLANS – Gammon Plant Hire, Rock Hall Lane, Combe Down

Erection of 1no. Mining Interpretation Centre (rated BREEAM Excellent), 8no. Eco-Homes (rated Code 5 zero carbon), 1no. Apartment (rated Code 5 zero carbon) and all associated hard and soft landscaping following demolition of all existing properties, with the exception of a portion of historic stone wall to Rock Hall Lane.

OBJECT The Trust has already submitted an objection to application 11/02811/CA, in which concern was expressed about the demolition of the structures at Ralph Allen Yard. The issues raised in those comments remain outstanding.

The Trust, in principle, would support low carbon development on this site to accommodate housing and interpretation centre, provided the new architecture respected the local context and character, retained the best preserved historic fabric and maintained the character of the street scene along Rock Hall Lane. However, we consider that the style of the architecture proposed is unsympathetic to the location, and is certainly not reflective of the character of its surroundings, the pattern of development or the locally important building it proposes to demolish.

Architecture & Style The principle of a contemporary design is not objectionable at this location, but the design as expressed within this application does not adequately reflect or respect the character of Combe Down’s townscape. The Trust feels that the architectural style which is employed here is too incongruous and inapt to be considered either sympathetic or deferential. The townhouses in particular are objectionable, due to their broad, angular and blocky facades and flat roofs, which would present a strong horizontal emphasis in the townscape. This style sits uneasily upon a hillside within the setting of a historically significant village, where the local townscape is constituted by articulated rooflines. We are also concerned about the visual impact of the raised apartment on the street-scene along Rock Hall Lane, particularly given that it reflects the angular and unarticulated nature of the townhouses. The retention of the historic wall of the existing building is welcomed, though as we have explained, we regret that the proposed design does not retain more of the existing fabric of Ralph Allen Yard.

If timber cladding is to be included within the design of any development here it should be left to weather naturally and should not be stained.

Massing & Visual Impact The massing of the townhouse buildings does not adequately respect the character of Combe Down. The dwellings, particularly the town-houses but also the apartment, are proposed to be constructed in deep blocks. Combe Down is characterised by traditional cottages and terraces of a much narrower nature, which also respond directly to the topography. Furthermore, the roofline of the area is articulated with a range of pitched and hipped roofs. Regretfully, this is not achieved within the application site particularly with the southern block. This is also particularly noticeable from the aerial visualisations provided. As currently presented, the blocks of housing do nothing to reflect the local character, and as such cannot be considered sympathetic to the environs of Rock Hall Lane or Combe Down.

The proposed revisions to this scheme have been made in response to concerns about the amenity impact upon Byfield Place and are intended to ensure that the development does not have an adverse impact upon the residents in these buildings. The applicant attempts to achieve this by reducing the height of the end-dwelling of the lower block and altering the material treatment of the end-wall facing Byfield Place from render to rubble Bath Stone.

Though the Trust maintains that the original design is inappropriate to the location, we also feel that this amendment compromises the integrity of the development’s design. It is encouraging to see, at least, consideration to the effect the development will have upon its surroundings, though the change makes an already inappropriate design solution unattractive in itself. The Trust supports neither the original design nor the revised design (with the reduced height of the end-dwelling), and strongly suggests that the design scheme of the entire site ought to be reviewed. Specifically, we suggested that the density of the development and the number of dwellings proposed might be reduced in order to reduce the volume and footprint of the townhouse buildings.

Further to these issues, though the visualisations assist in assessing the impact upon local views, little consideration seems to have been given regarding the potential impact upon wider views in the area, and long views of Combe Down. The Area Character Assessment supplied with this application highlights two key views across the site out of Combe Down. The application, unfortunately, does not otherwise consider how these views will be impacted by the development, or whether views toward the site will be negatively impacted. The concentration and quantity of south-facing glazing and the site’s proximity to the countryside, whilst contributing to green credentials, may have a negative impact on the rural setting by virtue of glare and light emission.

The Trust also feels that the question of parking for visitors to the Mining Interpretation Centre has been inadequately addressed and that the single kerb-side space proposed will prove insufficient. Since all parking provided in the development is for use by the residences, visitors travelling to the centre by car would need to park off-site. How this will impact the highways and the nearby public house ought also to be considered.

Conclusion

The Trust does not consider that the proposed scheme is at all appropriate. The amount is excessive, and design, bulk, massing is incongruous and would fail to preserve or enhance the conservation area. The proposed development therefore fails to accord with the Planning (Listed Buildings & Conservation Areas) Act 1990, and PPS5, and is contrary to policies D2, D4, BH1 and BH6 of the B&NES Local Plan and should be REFUSED.

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