March – April 2013

12th March – 15th April 2013

Weeks 11-15 2013

Week 11 (2013)

13/00641/LBA 11 Vineyards, Walcot, Bath BA1 5NA

Internal and external alterations to include the erection of an extension to form dining room, internal alterations to existing ensuite bath room and external alterations to existing garden walls and external steps.

COMMENT The Trust regrets the inclusion of UPVC rainwater goods in this design and would recommend either cast iron or aluminium be used instead. UPVC fails to harmonise with the traditional palette of materials in Bath. Not only is it incongruous aesthetically in Bath, it is damaging to the environment in both its manufacture and disposal. If UPVC is permitted then at the very least it should be green, recycled UPVC. Furthermore, UPVC does not preserve or enhance the character of the Bath Conservation Area and detracts from the architectural interest of the  listed building, its setting and the group value of the buildings comprising The Vineyards.

13/00721/LBA – 10 Argyle Street, Bathwick, Bath BA2 4BQ

Internal and external alterations for the change of use from office to residential on first, second and third floors.

COMMENT The Trust welcomes the effort to find a viable future for 10 Argyle St through the proposed change of use.  However we regrets the intention to re-use existing artificial slate roofing tiles on internal slopes where an opportunity could have been taken to enhance the listed building by using natural slate for the whole roof. The selective re-pointing of the stonework and chimney stacks should be undertaken under Condition of a submission of a specification of works.

13/00452/LBA 14 Great Bedford Street, Lansdown, Bath BA1 2TZ

External alterations for the replacement of nine Victorian sliding sash windows on the front elevation of the property with nine Georgian sliding sash windows.

COMMENT The Trust supports, in principle, the opportunity to unify the facade. However, this application lacks sufficient information required to make a proper assessment of the impact of the alterations on the historic character and significance of the building and its setting. Further information ought to be submitted in support of the application, to justify the proposal prior to determination in line with the National Planning Policy Framework, paragraph 128.

13/00701/FUL – Richer Sounds, York Place, 4A London Road, Walcot, Bath BA1 6AE

3 new dwellings to the rear of York Place

OBJECT Whist we recognise that the applicants have made an improvement to the design, Bath Preservation Trust continues to object to this planning application on the basis of its design and choice of materials, which we believe would produce a building of insufficient architectural merit which would fail to enhance local distinctiveness and would be detrimental to the amenity and character of the conservation are a and the World Heritage Site .

We are particularly concerned about the following issues.

  • The block form of the terrace sits out-of-context right in the centre of the site, resulting a small open space area seemingly failing to use the site to maximum benefit for the individual properties. Terraces off the London Road tend to run down in a N/S direction. The aim of this placement and of the design is presumably in order to benefit from views across Kensington Meadows, but pays little attention to the street pattern and grain. The proportions of the south elevation, with the large windows in the upper storey, fail to respect any hierarchy between floors and create a top-heavy design which fails to refer to the characteristic qualities of the surrounding architecture.
  • The roof profile is incongruous both in its context and its relationship with the elevation, and presents an incoherent design.
  • The ‘dormer’ level on the upper floor contributes to this top-heavy look on the west and east elevations and the need for accommodation on the upper floor might be more appropriately achieved by a gambrell-style roof than the current design.
  • The proposals for materials, which refer to reconstituted stone and wood cladding, are incoherent and there is no description as to how the joins between surface different treatments will be managed. Reconstituted stone is an unsuitable material by comparison with natural Bath stone/ stone cladding; the use of render for part of a façade is usually a cost saving measure in order to use natural stone for the remainder. This is not the case here.

We believe that this proposal is contrary to policies BH1, D2and D4 of the local plan and paragraph 131 (positive contribution to local distinctiveness) of the NPPF and should be REFUSED. Should the site be developed for housing design references should be taken from the character of the surroundings, the character of these ‘back land’ sites is subservient and humble – simple artisans cottages and vernacular forms should be respected in the design of any new building.

Week 12 (2013)

 

13/00698/AR – JJB Sports, 23 – 24 High Street, City Centre, Bath BA1 5AJ

Display of 1no. main fascia sign on front elevation, 1no. fascia sign on wall return side elevation and 1no. projecting sign on side elevation.

OBJECT The site falls within the City of Bath Conservation Area and the World Heritage Site, and is particularly sensitive to unsympathetic developments and poor quality shop fronts because it is directly opposite the Grade I listed Guildhall. The Trust therefore objects to the installation of signage at this location.

Painted acrylic signs are considered to be wholly inappropriate additions to the street scene within Bath, and have a detrimental impact upon the character of the urban environment of this World Heritage City. The inclusion of such signage in a sensitive location within the street scene, the Trust believes, will compromise visual amenity and the character of the urban environment. Furthermore, the proposed material and colour of the signage is not accurate, authentic or appropriate. Traditionally painted signs would be much more sympathetic and appropriate for this building. The proposal therefore would have a harmful impact on the architectural significance of the adjacent listed buildings and neither preserves nor enhances the character of the Conservation Area. The proposal fails to comply with Policies BH1 and  BH6 of the B&NES Local Plan, the Planning (Listed Buildings & Conservation Areas) Act 1990, Section 12 ‘Conserving & Enhancing the Historic Environment’ of the NPPF and should  therefore be refused.

13/00750/FUL & 13/00751/AR – Cafe Au Lait, 12 Dorchester Street, Bath BA1 1SS

Use of public highway for the siting of 4no. tables with accompanying chairs and Cafe Barrier System to the front of the property.

OBJECT Whilst the Trust does not object to outdoor tables and chairs in principle, this is a busy pavement area close to a pedestrian crossing where the furniture would present an obstruction and a cluttered appearance. Furthermore the polished aluminium seating is entirely incongruous to the traditional vernacular of Bath. Approval would set an undesirable precedent that would neither preserve nor enhance the City of Bath Conservation Area and detract from the special qualities of the World Heritage Site. The proposal would be contrary to Policies BH1 and BH6 of the B&NES Local Plan, the Planning (Listed Buildings & Conservation Areas) Act 1990, Section 12 ‘Conserving & Enhancing the Historic Environment’ of the NPPF and should  therefore be refused.

13/00848/FUL – 15 George Street, City Centre, Bath BA1 2EN

Use of public highway for the siting of outdoor tables and chairs for the consumption of food and drink.

OBJECT The Trust objects to outdoor tables and chairs on the listed raised pavement of George St & to the excessive quantity of seating proposed for Miles Buildings. The seating would be visually intrusive, clutter the pavement, and cause an obstruction to pedestrians. The combined effect would have a harmful impact on the setting of listed buildings, the pavement and its setting; it would neither preserve nor enhance the character of the Conservation Area and would detract from the special qualities of the World Heritage Site. The proposal is therefore contrary to Policies BH2, BH6 of the B&NES Local Plan, the Planning (Listed Buildings & Conservation Areas) Act 1990, and Section 12 ‘Conserving & Enhancing the Historic Environment’ of the NPPF and should  therefore be refused.

Week 13 (2013)

 

13/00196/FUL – Candywood Leys, Meadow Lane, Bathampton, Bath, BA2 6SN

Erection of a temporary agricultural dwelling to the west of Meadow Lane, Bathampton (Retrospective)

OBJECT The Trust objects in principle to this development which is insufficiently justified and undermines the purposes of the green belt. We strongly urge the local planning authority to refuse this application.

The site is located in a sensitive location within the green belt, and within the environs of the World Heritage Site. The erection of any dwelling at this location is objectionable in principle, as it poses a threat to the openness of the greenbelt at this location. We further consider that the poor quality design and appearance of this dwelling compounds this issue. Development at this location, particularly of a poor quality and inappropriate nature would also undermine the setting of the World Heritage Site, which is outstanding universal value.

Section 9 of the NPPF and Policy GB1 of the B&NES Local Plan rules that there is a presumption against development within the greenbelt and that construction of new dwellings in the green belt is inappropriate, though an exemption is offered for development associated with agriculture and forestry. We dispute that this application qualifies for this exemption, since the primary purpose of the development is as a dwelling, rather than land for an agricultural use. While we do not object to the use of the land and applaud the applicant’s sustainable efforts, the site is itself too small to be considered a viable agricultural holding on its own account. Furthermore, the structure too is of an insufficient size to accommodate any agricultural activities, which suggests that if the applicant is seriously suggesting this as a sustainable business, that this application could be followed by others for further structures to accommodate agricultural activities at this location which would likely be of concern.

Section 9 of the NPPF clearly states that harmful development in the green belt should only be approved under ‘very special circumstances’. We hold a very serious concern about the potential of setting a precedent if this application were to receive permission in light of the fact that the applicant has not adequately demonstrated why their application demonstrates such very special circumstances.

This application contravenes Section 9 ‘Protecting Green Belt Land’ of the NPPF and policies GB1 and BH1 of the B&NES Local Plan and should therefore be REFUSED.

13/00966/AR & 13/00970/LBA – 3 Store , 23 Union Street, City Centre, Bath BA1 1RS

External alterations for the display of 2no. fascia signs and 1no. hanging sign to replace existing signage.

OBJECT Whilst the Trust welcomes the re-use of the timber fascia and the absence of illumination in the applicant’s scheme, we feel that the treatment of the listed building is not sympathetic. The colour scheme of the black lettering on white background is very stark and will not sit harmoniously alongside the other listed buildings and shop fronts in the vicinity. Furthermore, the lettering of the signage is overly large and the Trust regrets that approval is being sought for applied, sprayed steel lettering as this opposes the traditional palette of Bath.

By virtue of the materials used and the stark design this application neither enhances or preserves the conservation area and, therefore,  fails to comply with Local Plan Policies BH2, BH6, BH17 and BH19 and Section 12 ‘Conserving & Enhancing the Historic Environment’ of the NPPF and should be refused.

13/00987/LBA & 13/00988/AR – Jack Wills 1 New Bond Street Buildings, New Bond Street, City Centre, Bath BA1 1BL

Internal and external alterations to re fit and re brand existing retail shop unit including repair and redecorate shop front and masonry, provision of new signage and internal alterations. Display of 3no non-illuminated fascia signs and 2no non-illuminated projecting signs.

OBJECT Whilst the Trust is please to see that illumination does not feature in the proposed alterations to this historic shop front, the use of incongruous material such as aluminium on the fascia is disappointing. This shop front sits in a prime position in Bath’s conservation area and within the World Heritage Site and as such the Trust feels that the stark colours scheme of black on white is wholly unsympathetic to the listed building, the street scene and to the traditional palette of Bath.

By virtue of the materials used and the stark design this application neither enhances or preserves the conservation area and, therefore,  fails to comply with Local Plan Policies BH2, BH6, BH17, BH18 and BH19 and Section 12 ‘Conserving & Enhancing the Historic Environment’ of the NPPF and should be refused.

13/01180/TEL – Street Record, Church Road, Combe Down, Bath BA2

Installation of 1 x Openreach Broadband cabinet at Church Road, Opp 71 Church Road, Combe Down, Bath, BA2 5JQ (PCP011)

COMMENT The Trust questions whether or not the placement of the cabinet as per the application is the most preferable location due to its height, and suggests that it would be less conspicuous were it to be placed alongside the adjacent taller wall. Furthermore we feel that black would be a more appropriate colour for the cabinet than green.

13/00753/LBA – Mcdonalds Weston Lock Retail, Lower Bristol Road, Westmoreland, Bath BA2 1EP

Display of 3no. yellow acrylic ‘golden arch’ fascia signs.

OBJECT Bath Preservation Trust objects strongly to the proposed fascia signs. The materials, illumination, colour and position of the proposed fascia signs are totally inappropriate. Acrylic is an incongruous, inappropriate and inferior quality material, which fails to harmonise with the traditional palette of materials in Bath.

The ‘golden arch’ design will have a harmful impact on the composition of the facade and will detract from the architectural and historic significance of the listed building. Previous approaches to this building, in the past, have been sensitive and bespoke, incorporating design and materials that reflect the special character of Bath. We would encourage this approach to be maintained.

The approach to this building should make better use of traditional materials. The use of timber painted signage is preferred as this material is harmonious with the traditional palette materials appropriate for listed buildings.

The proposed signage, by virtue of the inappropriate materials, illumination, colour and position is considered extremely detrimental to the visual amenity value of the area, would neither preserve nor enhance the character and appearance of the Conservation Area, and would have a harmful effect on the Outstanding Universal Value of the World Heritage Site. This proposal is contrary to the Planning (Listed Building & Conservation Areas) Act 1990, Section 12 ‘Conserving & Enhancing the Historic Environment’ of the NPFF and Local Plan Policies BH2, BH6 and BH17 and should be refused.

13/00732/LBA – The Bath Bun, 2 Abbey Green, City Centre, Bath, BA1 1NW

Internal and external alterations for the remodelling of existing Bath Bun Tea Shoppe comprising a proposed extension linking the tea shop to no.7 North Parade Passage at ground floor via a new staircase (revised resubmission).

OBJECT While the Trust does not object to the proposed alterations, there is not enough information provided to enable a proper assessment of the impact on the character and historic interest of the listed building. For example, there is insufficient detail about the historic significance of the architectural features. Whilst we would not normally comment on internal works, we are concerned about the lack of detail about interventions and additions. The Trust therefore objects unless further information can be submitted in support of the application. Without this, the information fails to comply with Planning (Listed Building & Conservation Areas) Act 1990, Section 12 ‘Conserving & Enhancing the Historic Environment’ of the NPPF and Local Plan Policies BH2 and BH6 and should be refused.

13/00439/VAR – 11 – 12 Abbey Churchyard, City Centre, Bath, BA1 1LY

Variation of condition 2 of application 11/02793/FUL to extend seating outside after 19.30 (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).

COMMENT Bath Preservation Trust has no objection to extending the use of the tables and chairs into the evening. However if granted approval, then external lighting and heating should be specifically excluded from planning permission.

13/00974/FUL & 13/00975/LBA – 7A Harley Street, Lansdown, Bath

Provision of a roof extension forming new floor level over existing felt flat roof. (Resubmission)

OBJECT The Trust is disappointed to find that this application lacks evidence that consideration has been given to the impact of any works on the significance and heritage value of this listed building and those adjacent to it.

We feel that this solution to the current incongruous flat roof is still not a viable solution for this area of Bath. The proportions of the proposed roof are too tall and are not comparable, even if in slate, to nearby gable ends. The current design for the roof would adversely affect the street scene as well as negatively impacting the legibility of the building.

For the reasons listed above, the application is contrary to Section 12 ‘Conserving & Enhancing the Historic Environment’ of the NPPF and Local Plan Policies D2, D4, BH1, BH2 and BH6 and should be REFUSED.

13/00994/AR – Premier Inn, 4 James Street West, City Centre, Bath,

Display of 2no. internally illuminated fascia signs, 1no. non-illuminated fascia sign, 1no. internally illuminated menu board sign and 2no. externally illuminated hanging signs

OBJECT The Trust objects to illuminated signs within the Conservation area and in the World Heritage Site. The amount of illumination proposed is, in itself, enough to be of detriment to the visual amenity of the area.  However the signs, by virtue of the materials, colour, amount and position are also incongruous. Powder coated aluminium and applied vinyl materials are not sensitive or appropriate and do not reflect the traditional palette of Bath. The excessive number of additions to the shop frontage will add to the visual clutter of the street scene and will adversely affect the setting of the neighbouring listed building. The application therefore fails to comply with Local Plan Policies BH2, BH6, BH17 and BH19, the Planning (Listed Buildings & Conservation Areas) Act 1990 and Section 12 Conserving & Enhancing the Historic Environment of the NPPF and should be REFUSED.

Week 14

13/00992/AR & 13/01106/LBA – The Hole In The Wall , 16 George Street, City Centre, Bath BA1 2EN

Internal and external alterations to include alterations to internal basement walls to allow modifications to restaurant layout; existing road level external wooden shutters and doors sanded back to reinstate original appearance; replacement of damaged wooden shutters to match and provision of new signage to replace existing:

Display of 1no illuminated projecting sign, 1no non-illuminated A-frame board, 1no illuminated menu board fixed to exterior wall by entrance and 3no illuminated advertisement boards fixed to exterior wall at road level.

OBJECT Although the new signage replaces the existing, the Trust regrets the decision taken by the applicant to retain the same high level of signage where an opportunity could have been taken to reduce the clutter of the street scene and, in doing so, enhance the conservation area. In particular the trust feels that four signs on the lower wall is excessive, especially given that three of the boards will be illuminated. Furthermore, the trust feel that the proposed A-frame will be detrimental to the special architectural and historic interest and character of the listed pavement and railings on which it will be located, as well as to the listed building itself and to the group value of the adjacent listed buildings.

Although the Trust does not often comment on interior alterations, we would like assurance that the removal of the historic fabric of the basement is minimal enough not to merit refusal on those grounds alone.

The works by virtue of excessive signage, unnecessary illumination and the loss of historic fabric from the interior of a listed building are considered detrimental to the conservation area and to the world heritage site of Bath. This application is therefore, contrary to Section 12 ‘Conserving & Enhancing the Historic Environment’ of the NPPF and Local Plan Policies BH2, BH6, BH15, BH17 and BH18 and should be REFUSED.

13/01021/FUL 1 – Richmond Road, Beacon Hill, Bath BA1 FTU

Erection of a new 4 bedroom dwelling following demolition of existing 4 bedroom dwelling

OBJECT Bath Preservation Trust notes with concern that this application seeks permission for a house which is significantly larger and more bulky than that permitted under application 11/04033/FUL.  While we acknowledge the reason for submitting a new proposal (the need to avoid building too close to the public sewer), this does not justify an increase in the size of the proposed building.   We are concerned that there may be an emerging tendency towards seeking approval for bigger and bigger houses, built right up to the edge of the neighbouring plot, which cumulatively may result in over-development which will have a significant adverse impact on the character and amenity of the local area.  The developing tendency towards flat roofs in an area characterised largely by pitched roofs effectively adds a full storey’s bulk rather than a set-back upper floor and fails to respond sensitively to the neighbouring properties.

In addition to these wider concerns, we also consider that the application lacks some important detail, for example in relation to the impact of the new building on longer views such as the view from Charlcombe Lane; how to avoid light pollution from the extensive glazing on the rear elevation; and the architectural detailing, in particular at the junctions where Bath stone meets render, which would need to be carefully managed in order to achieve a high-quality building.

The proposal therefore fails to comply with Section 12 ‘Conserving & Enhancing the Historic Environment’ Local Plan policies D.2, D.4, HG.14, G.B2, B.H1, B.H6 and should be REFUSED.

13/01018/FUL & 13/01019/LBA – 36 Bathwick Hill, Bathwick, Bath, Bath And North East Somerset, BA2 6LD

Alterations to the garage and the provision of a garden room.

COMMENT Bath Preservation Trust notes the historical precedent of a built structure in the area proposed and on the whole considers that the development proposed does not detract from the visual amenity of the listed building. The blocking up of the opening makes the whole street elevation more agreeable when both houses are viewed, and the flat roof lights rather than lanterns mean that the visual appearance from street is not dramatically changed.  Due to the amount of change the front elevation has undergone previously, the Trust questions if the entrance steps are original. If so we suggest that prior to any alteration, the entrance steps and surrounding area is fully documented before changes are made so that a record of them is retained.

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Week 15 (2013)

 

13/00998/LBA – Paxton & Whitfield Cheesemongers, 1 John Street, City Centre, Bath, Bath And North East Somerset

External alterations for the removal of paint using ‘PeelAway’ chemical cleaner to strip the paint from the stone on the side wall facing Queen Street.

COMMENT In principle we support the removal of paint to better preserve Bath stone. Whilst the ‘Peel Away’ method of paint removal is deemed potentially acceptable, unfortunately there is a lack of information given in the application as more detail is needed in the form of a methodology or cleaning specification document. In particular we feel it integral that trials should be carried out on small areas of the stonework to establish the optimum methods and to understand any adverse impacts which may arise from the cleaning. Furthermore, it is not clear that there is any intention to repair any failures in the wall resulting from the damp issues once the condition of the stone has been revealed which should absolutely be the applicant’s objective.

The Trust believes it may be more beneficial to the listed building if all the paint were to be removed, rather than solely the portion specified in the application, as we are of the opinion that the wall beneath the paint may continue to suffer the same damage if areas of paint were left. The Trust encourages the applicant to consult ‘The Cleaning of Bath Stone’, a conservation guidance document produced by the Bath Preservation Trust and Bath & North East Somerset Council for more detail, and advice on the benefits and constraints of cleaning Bath stone.

13/01157/FUL – 6 Fairfield View, Ragland Lane, Fairfield Park, Bath, Bath and North East Somerset, BA1 6HX

Provision of a loft conversion to include 1no. rear dormer and front rooflights.

OBJECT Bath Preservation Trust considers that the proposed, overly large, flat roof dormer window is not in the interest of good design and fails to reinforce or improve the local distinctiveness of World Heritage Site. By virtue of its siting, size, scale and design this development would result in an incongruous addition to the host building and would be harmful to the appearance of the roofscape of the wider terrace as the strong horizontal emphasis and box form present a visually intrusive feature in the Bath townscape. We feel that Velux windows to the front and to the rear would be a more sympathetic arrangement.

The Trust previously objected to the dormer window of 11 Fairfield View on the grounds that a precedent would be set, and indeed that development is cited in this application as the precedent for the terrace, therefore, we object on principle and on the basis of poor design to the proposed dormer window as the development is contrary to Section 7, ‘Requiring Good Design’ of the NPPF and policies D.2 and D.4 of the Bath & North East Somerset Local Plan and should be refused.

13/01279/FUL – Site of Former Nursery, Bailbrook Lane, Lower Swainswick.

Erection of 1no. detached dwelling, vehicular and pedestrian access, parking, landscaping and ecological enhancement.

COMMENT Bath Preservation Trust is pleased to see that this application has taken note of the concerns raised in the comment we submitted on the now withdrawn application for the same site. As previously stated, we do not oppose the development of this site on principle and we are reassured that this design scheme has retained the same sensitivity toward the visual impact resulting from the topography of the site. We are also pleased to see that the landscape proposals have been amended so that a larger proportion of trees and vegetation have been retained which will help to minimise the visual impact further, as well as minimise the degradation of the setting of the listed building in the sites proximity. We also welcome the widening of the access road and provision of a passing place.

13/01153/FUL – 55 Englishcombe Lane, Southdown, Bath

Provision of a loft conversion to include 1no. front dormer 1no. side dormer and the installation of 3no. rooflights to rear elevation.

OBJECT While the Trust feels that these dormer windows are small enough to avoid dominance, we believe that they are wholly incongruous in position and shape. The area in which the development is sited is characterised by sloped roof ‘strip dormers’ on side elevations and therefore, it seems prudent that any development on this site follow the more appropriate precedent in adding dormer windows to the rear or side of the property, rather than look to add a dormer window to the front which will obtrude onto, and negatively impact the street scene.

By virtue of the disruption of the visual amenity of the street scene within the conservation Area this development contravenes Section 12 12 ‘Conserving & Enhancing the Historic Environment’ of the NPPF and Local Plan Policies D.2, D.4, BH.1 and BH.6 and should be REFUSED.

13/01278/FUL – 28 Brook Road, Twerton, Bath, Bath and North East Somerset, BA2 3RS

Provision of a loft conversion with rear dormer.

OBJECT Bath Preservation Trust recognises that reaching a decision on this particular application, or justifying an objection when limited by precedent, is difficult. However, we take the view that the terrace has been degraded by the previous two rear dormers and that any further inappropriate development should not be permitted on the grounds of precedent alone. The installation of another rear dormer in this terrace is incongruous and the effect of ‘infilling’ the roof of No28 to complete the set of three dormers in series will have a negative impact on the building and on the terrace.

By virtue of the impact of this development on the massing, height and volume of the terrace, this development contravenes Local Plan policies D.2, D.4, and BH.1 and should be REFUSED.

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