April – May 2012

Weeks 13-16

12/01197/LBA – Bath Spa Railway Station, Dorchester Street, Bath, BA1 1SU

External alterations for the provision of new gateline ticket barrier to platform 1 with associated services and fence.

COMMENT Barriers in this location would interrupt views along the station and create more clutter. It does appear that an appropriate design approach has been properly considered. If it is absolutely necessary to have barriers here, a more sensitively detailed bespoke approach would be appropriate for this significant location. We would encourage a move away from a standardised barrier design, and a more attractive streamlined approach and harmonious use of materials.

12/01182/LBA – 17 – 18 St James’s Parade, Bath, BA1

Internal and external alterations for the installation of 3no heat pumps (air to air)

COMMENT This proposals fails to demonstrate the potential impact on features and fabric of significance. A basic heritage impact assessment should be submitted in support of the proposal. BPT is concerned that the mounted unit would have a harmful impact on the historic window and views out – it should be demonstrated that the window would not be damaged or obscured.

12/01455/AR – Bath One Stop Shop, Lewis House, Manvers Street, Bath, BA1 1JG

Display of acrylic and vinyl fascia graphics, 1no. projecting ‘One Stop Shop’ 1no. projecting ‘Shopmobility’ sign, 1no. column sign displaying opening hours, 1no. ‘shopmobility’ wall sign and council brand and Manvers Street external vinyls above entrance doors.

OBJECT The Trust welcomes an accessible ‘one stop shop’ for the people of Bath and takes this opportunity to remind officers that it would be good practice, and will sometimes be necessary to have printed copies of major planning applications available for inspection at this location. We also consider that having a duty planning officer available is necessary to maintain a better level of service, and deal with simple queries and questions such as, ‘do I need planning permission’, which ought not be overly bureaucratic (or incur fees).

Regrettably BPT objects to the proposed signage and condemns the approach taken by B&NES which has allowed the work to begin to take place prior to approval, and before the consultation period for the application has closed! The Council should be leading by example, by following the planning processes and procedures that it is responsible for managing and also by setting appropriate design standards for signage within the Conservation Area and World Heritage Site.

The architectural disadvantage of Lewis House is not sufficient justification for inferior quality design and materials, which in our view fails to preserve or enhance the character of the conservation area, and harms the visual amenity value of the historic context. The shop frontage at Lewis House contributes to the Manvers Street, street scene which comprises of a high proportion of listed buildings. Additionally Manvers Street is an important departure and arrival point, just metres from Bath Spa station. It is therefore essential that the shop frontage is sympathetic to the street scene, reflects the character of Bath, and preserves the setting of listed buildings.

Principally BPT objects to the approach to the design and materials of the proposed signage. The amount of proposed aluminium, acrylic and vinyl signage, and motif decoration is excessive and inappropriate and would detract from the character of the street scene.

Sign B1 in particular, which is the fascia sign which is to be decorated with motifs in a mosaic tile arrangement is unnecessarily busy and cluttered, and combined with additional window graphics presents a visual intrusion into the street scene. A further sign on the column also seems excessive and contributes to a cluttered appearance.

This signage, by virtue of its position, materials, quantity and design, will have an adverse impact on the character of the street scene, be intrusive and harmful to the special character and appearance of the conservation area, and fails to protect the special qualities of the World Heritage Site. This application is therefore contrary to policies BH1, BH2, BH6 and BH17, BH19 of the B&NES Local Plan, the NPPF – specifically section 7 and 12, and the Planning (Listed Buildings & Conservation Areas) Act 1990. We would welcome engagement any discussion of alternative design approaches.

12/01277/AR – Mill House Audi, Prior Park Road, Widcombe, Bath

Display of 1no internally-illuminated fascia sign, 1no entrance feature, 1no internally-illuminated directional sign and 4no non-illuminated parking signs (Retrospective)

OBJECT The Trust will continue to object to illuminated signs within the City of Bath Conservation Area and in the World Heritage Site, and therefore objects in principle to this proposal to retain two internally-illuminated signs. The Trust also takes a very dim view of this flagrant breach of planning control, and this application having to be lodged retrospectively.

Moreover, the size, location, and materials are not considered to be sympathetic or appropriate at this location. The signs do not reflect the amenity value and local distinctiveness of the Widcombe area, and they are incongruous to the character of the conservation area.

This application fails to take account of heritage assets, including the conservation area and the setting of Mill House, a listed building. The signage is visually intrusive, neither preserves nor enhances the character and appearance of the conservation area, detracts from the setting of listed building and harms the visual amenity value of the area.

The application is therefore contrary to policies BH1, BH2, BH6 and BH17, BH19 of the B&NES Local Plan, the NPPF – specifically section 7 and 12, and the Planning (Listed Buildings & Conservation Areas) Act 1990. The application should be refused and appropriate action taken to remedy the situation. We would welcome engagement of any discussion of alternative design approaches.

12/01203/AR – Sainsburys , 43 Monmouth Street, City Centre

Display of 1no externally-illuminated projecting sign

OBJECT The Trust objects strongly to the signage proposed. The Trust will continue to object to illuminated signs within the City of Bath Conservation Area and in the World Heritage Site. The size, location, and illumination are not at all appropriate at this attractive location. The signs do not reflect the amenity value and local distinctiveness of the Bath conservation area, and detracts from the setting of adjacent listed buildings.

The application is therefore contrary to policies BH1, BH2, BH6 and BH17, BH19 of the B&NES Local Plan, the NPPF – specifically section 7 and 12, and the Planning (Listed Buildings & Conservation Areas) Act 1990 and should therefore be refused.

12/01291/AR & 1201292/LBA – 8 – 9 Quiet Street, City Centre, Bath

Display of 2no non-illuminated fascia signs, 1no non-illuminated projecting sign and 1no internally-illuminated ATM header panel to existing machine to replace existing signage

OBJECT The Trust objects to the signage proposed. The Trust will continue to object to illuminated signs on listed buildings, within the City of Bath Conservation Area and in the World Heritage Site. The illuminated signs do not reflect the amenity value and local distinctiveness of the Bath conservation area, and detracts from the historic significance of the listed building. The stainless steel and vinyl materials are not considered to be sympathetic or appropriate at this location.

The application is therefore contrary to policies BH1, BH2, BH6 and BH17, BH19 of the B&NES Local Plan, the NPPF – specifically section 7 and 12, and the Planning (Listed Buildings & Conservation Areas) Act 1990 and should therefore be refused.

12/00888/LBA Rose Cottage, Pipehouse, Freshford, Bath

Internal and external alterations for the provision of 1no. dormer window, 2no. velux windows and erection of link to outbuildings, replacement of staircase, alterations to roof, replacement porch and replacement lean-to.

COMMENT The Trust recognises the amendments and alterations which have been made to the design scheme, which constitute a marked improvement. However, we remain unenthusiastic about the appearance of the stair tower and the impact upon this building, and our concerns relate primarily to design elements which we have previously objected to.

The reduced scale and more sympathetic massing of the stair-tower is certainly an improvement. We recognise that there is evidence for a stair-tower having previously existed, yet in spite of these revised designs the tower, as designed, remains a large and incongruous element. We are unsure that the contemporary design solution is appropriate to this building, with the glazing of the gable-end appearing excessive and uncharacteristic in contrast. We would encourage a more modest approach that harmonises with the shape of the original stair-tower. This could be a conical cap, though bridging to the roof would be a further design challenge. We are still concerned that the amount of glass proposed at this level would be visually intrusive into views, and may have a harmful effect on the visual amenity of the Green Belt, with potential issues surrounding light pollution resulting from the quantity of glazing proposed. We do not wish to comment upon the remainder of the proposed alterations which are considered to be uncontentious.

We welcome the applicant’s decision to remove the dormer from the south roof-pitch. While the Trust considered the revised design proposed in the last application to be more sympathetic, we prefer the decision to keep this pitch as uninterrupted and retain the symmetry of the primary facade.

The Trust on balance welcomes the amendments, though continues to object to the proposed rear roof extension which would have a detrimental impact on the character and significance of the listed building and would be contrary to policies D2, D4, BH1, BH2 and BH6 of the B&NES Local Plan, and paragraphs 125, 132, 133, 134 of the NPPF.

12/01063/FUL & 12/01064/FUL – 16 Gay Street, City Centre, Bath, Bath And North East Somerset, BA1 2PH

Internal and external alterations for the change of use from Offices (Use Class B1) to Residential (Use Class C3), basement flat to remain.

COMMENT The Trust supports this proposal in principle and returning the building back to a house is welcomed. However, we have a few points to note with regard to detail.

– Once cleaned stone should not be repainted. – We would prefer windows not to be fixed shut. They should remain operational, and the method of fixing risks damage to the fabric. – The drawings of the elevations are short of detail, such as the front door, the proposed staircase, doors to basement level and valuts.

We trust that these matters can be addressed prior to determinations of this application.

12/01058/FUL – Newark House, 26 – 45 Cheltenham Street, Westmoreland, Bath, BA2 3EX

Erection of 14no dwellings following demolition of existing buildings.

COMMENT BPT supports the principle of development of houses on this site. Regrettably the design of the houses is rather bland and would benefit from taking greater reference from the local vernacular style of housing. The end building is disproportionate in height and should not be four storey. We would recommend that the terrace is three storey and rather than have a gap between buildings, additional space could be regained by creating arched access to parking, with a flat above. This would also help conceal the exposed parking. Additionally Code Level 5 must be achieved. We would welcome further review of the design approach and discussion with the applicants prior to the determination of this application.

12/01189/FUL – Block 1W, University Of Bath Campus, Claverton Down, Bath, Bath And North East Somerset, BA2 7BT

Erection of five storey vertical extension of the single storey part of the existing 1 West academic building.

COMMENT The university campus is located within the city of Bath World Heritage site and its developments make a significant contribution to the character and image of the city. It is our view that new developments here should be commensurate with Bath’s profile, which is recognised internationally. Recent new buildings on the site have been well designed and have helped raise the quality of the campus to the benefit of the architectural and aesthetic value of Bath. We are concerned that this rather undistinguished proposal falls short of this standard, and would do little to enhance the campus. In particular we regret the use of fibreglass concrete panelling which fails to reflect the special qualities of Bath’s architecture.

12/01336/FUL – City of Bath College, 4 – 5 Westgate Buildings, City Centre, Bath, Bath and North East Somerset, BA1 1EB

Installation of shop fronts and external alterations

OBJECT The Trust will continue to object to illuminated signs within the conservation area and in the World Heritage Site. The illuminated signs will detract from the historic character and appearance of the conservation area, and harm the visual amenity of the area. The proposed materials, which include aluminium and perspex, are also undesirable and incongruous to the vernacular of Bath. This application is contrary to policies D2, D4, BH1, BH2, BH6 and BH 17 of the B&NESLocal Plan and should be refused.

12/014745/LBA – Beech House, Tadwick Lane, Swainswick, Bath

Internal and external alterations for the alteration and extension to the ground floor kitchen and lobby and also a ground floor WC and store and hard standings for cars.

COMMENT The Trust is concerned about the proposals to raise the height of the existing boundary wall and gate piers. In our view the wall should be at the same height on either side of the piers. Altering the height on one side creates an unbalanced appearance which may have a detrimental impact on the character of the street scene. Additionally the gate piers should be retained at a slightly higher height than the wall as to retain a degree of prominence to the entranceway.

Designed by Ice House Design