May – June 2013

20th May – 16th June 2013

Weeks 21-24

Week 21 (2013)

13/01905/REG13 – Victoria Bridge, Victoria Bridge Road, Kingsmead, Bath BA1 3AY

Deconstruction of Victoria Bridge and reconstruction using existing components where feasible and incorporating new materials where necessary to make the bridge safe for public use and surfacing works to the bridge.

COMMENT: The background research contained within this application on this important surviving example of a Dredge bridge is fascinating, and the trough for bikes alongside the steps from the towpath is a sensible and welcomed element of the proposals. However, the Trust feels the application details are a little thin; the proposed drawings of the bridge show structure but give very few details on materials and colours to be used. Whilst some of this information is contained within the design and access statement it should also be included in the drawings, rather than being left to be specified in conditions. Linked to this, the Trust regrets that the bridge will be painted green despite the paint analysis of the bridge and the assessment of other surviving Dredge bridges, which are all shown to be white. If the bridge were returned to its original white colour, the significance of this bridge alongside those other examples by Dredge would be enhanced. Lastly, we advise that a detailed archaeological record of the bridge be carried out prior to any of the proposed interventions so as its important architectural and structural features can be understood in the future.

13/01946/FUL & 13/01947/LBA – 4 Sion Hill Place, Lansdown, Bath BA1 5SJ

Enclosure of courtyard with glazed roof, internal lining and insulation to floor re-laying existing coverings. Internal and external alterations for the erection of a replacement single storey rear conservatory and a rear window.

OBJECT: The Trust has an in principle objection to the conversion of damp vaults for residential uses. Trying to achieve 21st Century living standards in an 18th Century below ground room is removed from conservation principles. Unless strong justification for works of this nature can be cited within a planning application we will continue to object as such extensions of living space obliterate the rationale of historic buildings. Underground vaults are integral to the design of many 18th and 19th century houses in Bath and as such are an important element, contributing to the architectural and historic significance of listed buildings and the historic townscape. Vaults are not places fit for the core activities of human habitation, such as sleeping, working or relaxation, and we would not easily be persuaded by any argument that seeks to justify a use that could be easily provided elsewhere within a property. This part of a building is best used as ancillary facility or storage space to serve the habitation of the house, as originally intended.

In relation to this application, the Trust feels not enough grounds for the proposed works are given beyond a desire to extend living space. Although we appreciate that the proposed glazed courtyard will not be visible from the street, inadequate information is provided on the application form and on the architectural drawings. No information is given on materials or how works will be carried out, and too little information is given is given as to damp prevention from below and above; for example no indication is given as to how water falling onto the glazing will be drained away from the area. Without clarification, improper water drainage could cause damp issues higher up the building, resulting in the degradation of the historic fabric, whilst also perhaps not solving those issues in the basement.

The works by virtue of their damaging the rationale of an important listed building and the envisaged potential for exacerbated damp issues as a result of a lack of detail in the application are inappropriate. The lack of clear specification in this application precludes any adequate assessment of the impact of the proposals, and as such is contrary to Section 12 ‘Conserving and Enhancing the Historic Environment’ of the NPPF as well as Local Plan policies D.1, D.2, BH.1, BH.2, and BH.6.and should be REFUSED.

13/02000/LBA – 9 Lansdown Place West, Lansdown, Bath BA1 5EZ

Internal and external works to restore and refurbish basement flat.

OBJECT: The Trust has an in principle objection to the conversion of damp vaults for residential uses. Trying to achieve 21st Century living standards in an 18th Century below ground room is removed from conservation principles. Unless strong justification for works of this nature can be cited within a planning application we will continue to object as such extensions of living space obliterate the rationale of historic buildings. Underground vaults are integral to the design of many 18th and 19th century houses in Bath and as such are an important element, contributing to the architectural and historic significance of listed buildings and the historic townscape. Vaults are not places fit for the core activities of human habitation, such as sleeping, working or relaxation, and we would not be easily persuaded by any argument that seeks to justify a use that could be easily provided elsewhere within a property. This part of a building is best used as an ancillary facility or storage space to serve the habitation of the house, as originally intended. As such this application, which seeks to create a bedroom and bathroom within an historic vault is deemed unacceptable.

The Trust’s reservations about the conversion of this vault into living space are further compounded by the poor level of documentation and detail provided in this application. The application contains no basement plan, as proposed, and no documentation relating to the method, process and impact of the damp proofing of this area. The less habitable conditions of underground vaults are part of the character of an older house and unless the structural stability is in question they should not be tampered with; aim to treat the cause rather than the symptoms. Damp proof courses, water-repellent solutions, cementicious tanking and plastic type wall coatings do more harm than good when inappropriately applied to buildings and are all likely to exacerbate the degradation of historic fabric.

The works, by virtue of their damaging the rationale and architectural significance of an important listed building and the envisaged potential for exacerbated damp issues as a result of a lack of detail in the application, are inappropriate. The lack of clear specification in this application precludes any adequate assessment of the impact of the proposals and as such is contrary to Section 12 ‘Conserving and Enhancing the Historic Environment’ of the NPPF and Local Plan policies D.1, D.2, BH.1, BH.2, and BH.6. and should be REFUSED.

13/01745/FUL 61 Bloomfield Road, Bloomfield, Bath BA2 2AW  

Erection of a replacement single storey rear conservatory and a rear window.

COMMENT The trust does not object to this development and is happy with the design of the new conservatory. However, we regret to see that no explanation is given for the proposed replacement window, and although the base of the conservatory is stated to be built to match the original building, brick supports are also mentioned. These elements should be clarified prior to consent.

13/01920/FUL – Radway Service Station , 482 Wellsway, Bath BA2 2UB

Erection of small-scale student cluster flats to accommodate 35 student rooms following demolition of the existing Radway Service Station at 482 Wellsway and dwelling house at 2 Oolite Road.

OBJECT: The Trust is pleased to see the development of a brownfield site for residential use, and an attempt to alleviate the pressure on family housing in the city. We also commend the good cycle provision and the passive design intents of the scheme. However, we believe that this design constitutes overdevelopment of the Radway Service Station site. Although we appreciate the intention to restrict the building height to the neighbouring ridge line, the surrounding buildings are essentially two storey with a pitched roof and adding a flat-roofed third floor adds considerably to the bulk compared with the surrounding terraces. The design as is proposed is overbearing and the massing too great which will have a detrimental effect on the visual amenity of the local street scene. It is possible that a pitched roof containing a smaller number of units on the third floor would be acceptable, but not the current configuration.

Furthermore, we note that no long term student management plan has been provided in the application. Although a car-free agreement is postulated in the design and access statement it is not explicit, nor is any explanation given as to access to the site for drop off and delivery of students on this busy road junction. These are issues which should be clarified.

Lastly, we do not welcome the demolition of 2 Oolite Road as this historic cottage certainly enhances local distinctiveness and diversity in a way that the proposed development will not.

Due to the proposed massing and the potential overdevelopment of this site this application contrary to Local Plan policies D.2 and D.4 and should be REFUSED.

13/02097/FUL – 16 Southstoke Road, Combe Down, Bath BA2 5SL

First floor extension over existing property resulting in two storey dwelling. Two storey rear extension and two no. single storey side extensions.

OBJECT: The Trust is very concerned at the loss of this unique dwelling which is to be altered to a form which does not enhance or conserve the local distinctiveness of the group of much admired dwellings it sits within, or the distinctiveness of the Bath World Heritage site. As it stands, 16 Southstoke Road is delightful example of the Arts and Crafts style comprising of a Cotswold Stone tiled roof as well as a Dutch gable end roof to the oldest part of the dwelling, which is not shown by the photographs contained within the application. Both these features are rare in Bath and it would be a shame indeed to demolish the historic roof form to add a second storey. The proposal, by virtue of the massing and height proposed, is deemed to be an overdevelopment of a small site and is likely to negatively impact on the setting of the group of similar small neighbouring dwellings as well as being detrimental to the visual amenity of the street scene. Furthermore, this property directly abuts the green belt and as such the proposal to add another story to this dwelling is incongruous, visually intrusive and harmful to the long views out to, and in from the green belt.

We strongly believe that before any permission is granted, the history and provenance of this building should be thoroughly investigated as this building and its site are considered to be locally important.

This development, by virtue of the detrimental effect of the height and massing on the local street scene, the green belt and the World Heritage site contravenes Section 12 ‘Conserving and Enhancing the Historic Environment’ as well as Local Plan policies D.1, D.4, GB.2 and BH.1, and should be REFUSED.

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Week 22 (2013)

13/02088/LBA ‐ Street Record, Royal Crescent, City Centre, Bath

External works to building including Masonry Cleaning, with associated repair and localised replacement, window joinery repair and redecoration paint removal from basement walls in window reveals.

COMMENT Bath Preservation Trust is a stakeholder and interested party in this application in its capacity as the freeholder of No 1 Royal Crescent.

The Trust supports in principle the aim of the application to provide residents and freeholders with a comprehensive specification of works should they want and need to carry out restoration and repair work to the very important front façade of the Grade 1 set‐piece of the Royal Crescent. The detailed considerations of methodologies demonstrate an excellent understanding of the nature of such repairs.

We fully support the proposals for exterior paintwork, joinery repairs, removal of paint (with care) and masonry repairs. Our concern lies with the intention for stone cleaning.

Although the design and access statement points out that previous stone cleaning has been done insensitively, and this proposal suggests that there would need to be a justification for the detailed work for any individual façade (presumably achieved by discharge of condition?) the Trust is concerned about an implied cycle of cleaning based solely on aesthetics.

English Heritage guidance states that ‘Action taken to counter the harmful effects of natural change, or to minimise the risk of disaster should be timely, proportionate to the severity and likelihood of identified consequences, and sustainable.’ (Conservation Principles, Policies and Guidance, 2008). In 1728 Ralph Allen and John Wood persuaded James Gibb that he should build Gibbs Quad at St Bartholomew Hospital, London out of Bath stone. As a guarantee of its durability Ralph Allen agreed that he would replace all the stonework at his own expense if it failed; by 1763 Allen had to reface the building. In 1845 the bath stone had failed again and was refaced by Philip Hardwick using Portland stone. This is a stark example of the frailty of Bath stone and demonstrates that the buildings of Bath are susceptible to the same fate.

While the pollutants of the 19th and early 20th century are no longer with us, and the cleaning removing the dirt of those 2 centuries has been very positive for the aesthetic appearance of the city, we do not think regular cleaning should be assumed for aesthetic purposes only. The application mentions previous cleaning schemes having been undertaken on the facade, however, no dates are given. That the Royal Crescent has been cleaned in recent history calls in to question the need for cleaning at this stage. The Trust would date these cleaning programmes within the last forty years, the most recent having been completed within the last twenty years. This is a very short time span in the life of these frontages and frequent cleaning processes on this highly important facade may do more harm than good. With regard to the sustainability, once stone has been cleaned and as a result the pores of that stone  made bigger, it can become more susceptible to soiling and spalling at an accelerated rate. Ultimately the health of a building is determined not by its appearance, but by what is happening on the surface of the stone. Following exposure Bath stone adopts a surface patina often enhanced by natural organic compounds and lichens, the majority of which do no damage and should be preserved. We are pleased to see that the application recognises that it is this patination which renders the architectural details more legible. The application fails to detail any serious areas of damage resulting from the soiling outlined in the condition reports. We are not convinced that this application goes far enough to demonstrate that the facade is in need of cleaning (as distinct from other masonry repair) due to damage caused by weathering.

The Royal Crescent is, despite its use for many films, not a a stage set; rather it a functioning residence. Aside from the first years of its existence this historic frontage will rarely have been uniform in patination, soiling and colour. It is also worth nothing that the Royal Crescent has not been directly subject to the heavy soiling of vehicle exhausts since it ceased to be a through route or accessible to coaches, and as such the decay caused by calcium sulphate formation is likely far more less severe than on other historic facades in the city.

As points of detail on the specifications, cast lead is absolutely more historically appropriate than milled lead, and ideally an aggregate similar to Caen sand should be used for the mortar mixes.

We hope that a way forward can be found with this application which gives householders the comfort that they can decorate and repair the historic façade to an appropriate, properly specified and historically sensitive manner, without inadvertently giving a permission which would permit excessive or inappropriate stone cleaning. Ultimately the aim must be to permit future generations to enjoy the gently patinated Bath stone for another 250 years if possible.

13/02071/FUL & 13/02072/LBA – Horseshoe House, 51 Sydney Buildings, Bathwick, Bath BA2 6DB

Erection of two storey replacement side extension (garage with bedroom over) following demolition of single storey side extension (garage).

OBJECT Bath Preservation Trust continues to object to this scheme as in relation to the previous submission for a two storey extension on this property, very little has been altered and no real attempt has been made materially to change the scheme. The overall design is still not taking its cue from the existing building and terrace, and rather superimposes its own proportions and plan; for example the horizontals of the extension do not relate to the historic horizontal lines and look like a mis-statement. The principle of making a 21st century statement is understandable and can be laudable, but not if, as in this case, the design of a subservient feature is so aggressively unsympathetic that it devalues the visual amenity of both the main structure and its group value. Furthermore, due to this site’s prominent position, we have concerns about the impact of the long site lines from the National Trust land above and the canal below onto this development. The deliberate asymmetry in design contradicts the classical tradition of Bath, and aluminium is a material alien to the city’s palette. The cornice and string course of the new extension do not align comfortably with those of the main house, and the window is disproportionately large.

The proposal remains in conflict with Section 12 ‘Conserving and Enhancing the Historic Environment’ as well as Local Plan policies, D.2, D.4, BH.1, BH.2 and BH.6 and should therefore be REFUSED.

13/02057/AR – Churchill Bridge Service Station, Lower Bristol Road, Westmoreland, Bath BA2 3BA

Display of 2no internally-illuminated freestanding pole signs to replace existing.

OBJECT The Trust objects to illuminated signs within the conservation area and in the World Heritage Site. The proposed internally illuminated freestanding pole signs are visually intrusive and will be harmful to the visual amenity value of the area; neither preserving nor enhancing the character and appearance of the conservation area. The proposal fails to comply with the Planning Section 12 ‘Conserving and Enhancing the Historic environment’ of the NPPF, and Local Plan Policies D2, D4, BH1, BH6 and BH17 and should therefore be refused.

13/02182/FUL – All Bar One, 11 – 12 High Street, City Centre, Bath BA1 5AQ

Use of the public highway for the siting of 9no tables and 24no chairs with 6no barriers and 2no planters.

OBJECT Bath Preservation Trust feels that this proposal for the provision of outdoor seating presents an excessive amount of visually intrusive clutter that would detract from the historic setting of Bath. In turn, this would be detrimental to the character of the conservation area as well as an impressive street scene in Bath’s historic centre.

Prior to the ongoing street improvement works, this very busy stretch of pavement is frequently difficult to negotiate because of waiting/alighting bus passengers. The current works and extension of the pavement are intended to ease this, not to provide extra ‘trading space’. More importantly, the work was intended as a ‘celebration’ of the public realm with coordinated and minimal street furniture.

This scheme would contravene this intention and set an unhelpful precedent. Due to the loss of visual amenity of the street scene and the loss of public amenity, this application is contrary to the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990, Section 12 ‘Conserving and Enhancing the Historic Environment’, and Local Plan Policies BH1, BH2 and BH6 and should therefore be refused.

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Week 23 (2013)

13/02182/FUL – All Bar One, 11 – 12 High Street, City Centre, Bath BA1 5AQ

Use of the public highway for the siting of 9no tables and 24no chairs with 6no barriers and 2no planters.

OBJECT Bath Preservation Trust feels that this proposal for the provision of outdoor seating presents an excessive amount of visually intrusive clutter that would detract from the historic setting of Bath. In turn, this would be detrimental to the character of the conservation area as well as an impressive street scene in Bath’s historic centre.

Prior to the ongoing street improvement works, this very busy stretch of pavement was frequently difficult to negotiate because of waiting/alighting bus passengers. The current works and extension of the pavement are intended to ease this, not to provide extra ‘trading space’. More importantly, the work was intended as a celebration of the public realm with coordinated and minimal street furniture.

This scheme would contravene this intention and set an unhelpful precedent. Due to the loss of visual amenity of the street scene and the loss of public amenity, this application is contrary to the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990, Section 12 ‘Conserving and Enhancing the Historic Environment’, and Local Plan Policies BH1, BH2 and Bh6 and should therefore be refused.

13/02227/VAR – Gibbs Mews, Walcot Street, Bath

Variation of condition 3 of application 08/00591/FUL (Erection of 4 houses (resubmission of application no 05/04017/FUL).

OBJECT This application is an attempt to remedy the failure of the applicant to use natural Bath stone, as condition 3 required, by retrospectively seeking a variation of condition. This is an unacceptable way forward as it would set a damaging precedent suggesting that developers are free to build in inferior materials and then restrospectively vary the planning conditions which imposed higher quality standards. Moreover the applicant is, in this planning application, threatening in advance of determination that they will appeal the decision if it goes against them. The applicant is still trying to argue that a clear condition referring to ‘natural local stone’ could possibly have referred to cast stone. Given the clarity of the description, the subordinate reference to a sample panel which was later destroyed is surely immaterial.

The Trust has looked carefully at the previous applications submitted to this application, and despite the efforts which have been taken to remedy any breach of planning control we feel our original concerns regarding the use of materials inferior to those envisaged in the original planning application and in subsequent conditions have not been addressed.

The original application (05/04017/FUL) specified “[Natural] Bath stone ashlar” and the relevant condition required the walls to be built in “Natural local stone”. On construction, the building has been built of reconstituted Bath stone. The applicant continues to claim that the sample panels, which he maintains were approved in May 2008, used this material.

The applicant argues that the then Planning Officer, Neil Harvey, observed these panels when he visited the site in May 2008 and approved the materials in a letter dated 16 May 2012. However, this letter does not actually discharge Condition 3. If the former is the case, it seems strange that this is not mentioned in the letter from Neil Harvey, especially as reference to “cast stone” used in earlier correspondence by the applicant, was countered by advice that the use of reconstituted stone would require a new planning application (January 2008).

Regardless, Condition 3 was restated in February 2009 (08/00591/FUL) requiring the walling material to be “Natural local stone” and merely confirming that the type, size, colour, pointing, coursing and jointing be approved previously.

It is only the applicant who asserts that both the sample panel was made of reconstituted stone and that reconstituted stone meets the condition for natural stone. The Trust feels that natural stone is in its natural state, and reconstituted stone is a product of a manufacturing and could never be described as ‘sawn’, as it is on the relevant drawings (08/00591/FUL). If the definition of ‘natural stone’ is extended to encompass reconstituted stone, it would appear extremely difficult for a condition to be set which requires ‘real’ Bath stone to be used.

It should be noted that the BS1217 relating to cast stone cross-references other British standards which specifically differentiate between ‘cast stone’ and ‘natural stone’, and there is a whole range of separate British Standards which deal with the specification for natural stone. In addition, as the applicant has failed to meet the conditions relating to the sample size and window fenestrations. Therefore, we do not consider that Condition 3 has been adequately met.

We consider the stone used is of an inferior quality and does not preserve nor enhance the character and appearance of the Conservation Area, the setting of the adjacent listed buildings, protect the Outstanding Universal Value of the World Heritage Site and does not make a positive contribution to the local distinctiveness of Bath. We do not consider that the current planning application meets this statutory requirement and an objection has been subjected; this application is therefore contrary to the Local Plan Policies D2 and D4, the Planning (Listed Building & Conservation Areas) Act 1990 and Section 12 “Conserving and Enhancing the Historic Environment” of the NPPF.

In relation to the issue of the stone, we strongly encourage the Local Authority to make full use of their enforcement powers in recognition that “Effective enforcement is important as a means of maintaining public confidence in the planning system” (NPPF, para 207).

13/02136/REN – King Edward’s School, Broad Street, City Centre, Bath BA1 5LJ

Renewal of application 10/00041/FUL (External and internal alterations and demolitions associated with a change of use from a school to a hotel on first and second floors and a restaurant and bar on ground and lower ground to include ancillary managers accommodation on the lower ground floor).

COMMENT The Bath Preservation Trust continues to have grave concerns about this application.

We recognize that this building needs a new viable use to secure its upkeep and survival.  However we are particularly concerned about the proposed change of use, specifically the size of the bar and restaurant proposed at ground floor and garden level which makes provision for a very high maximum number of covers.

As the site is located in Broad Street, an ancient street in the heart of the Conservation Area and World Heritage Site, the Trust is concerned that any overconcentration of A3 use (bars, food and drink) will unbalance the character of the Conservation Area, which comprises a mix of retail, residential and leisure uses. Any dominance of A3 use would potentially detract from the character and ambience of the Conservation Area.

For this reason, the Trust questions the appropriateness of this ancillary use, and how viable the whole scheme would be if the amount of A3 use was reduced or eliminated in order to preserve the character of the Conservation Area.

In its current form, the planning application would over-provide A3 use, increase noise and activity, and add to the cumulative dominance of A3 use in the area, and would have a detrimental impact on the character and appearance of the Conservation Area.

13/02098/FUL – Private Garden, Lark Place, Upper Bristol Road, Lower Weston, Bath

Erection of a pair of two storey semi-detached 3 bedroom dwellings, and a terrace of 3 no. two storey 3 bedroom dwellings, including access, parking for 5 cars, cycle storage, and amenity provision.

COMMENT Bath Preservation Trust notes that the land to be developed may currently be used as allotments and therefore protected under Local Plan policy CF.8.   This clearly needs to be clarified before any planning permission could be granted.  Our comments on the design proposals are made without prejudice to the issue of whether the land is available for development.

In general, Bath Preservation Trust supports the development of housing on unused land within the city which will alleviate pressure to build within the Green Belt.  We therefore broadly support this proposal, but only subject to clarification of the status of the land.

We do, however, regret the intention to move the Guildhall milestone so far from its current position. Whilst we understand that the marker may have to be moved, it ought to be re-installed far closer to where it sits currently.

We feel strongly that this development must be tightly conditioned in terms of materials including sample panels and that more attention must be given to the related highway proposals as per the highways consultation response if permission is to be given.

13/02073/AR – Britannia Building Society, 31 Moorland Road, Oldfield Park, Bath BA2 3PW

Display of 1no internally-illuminated fascia sign and 1no internally-illuminated projecting sign.

OBJECT The Trust  objects to illuminated signs within the World Heritage Site. The signs, by virtue of the materials, colour and illumination would be visually intrusive and harmful to the townscape and amenity value of the area. The proposal fails to comply with the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990, Section 12 “Conserving and Enhancing the Historic Environment” of the NPPF and Local Plan Policies D2, D4, BH1 and BH17, and should therefore be refused.

13/02150/AR & 13/02155/LBA – Mcdonalds Weston Lock Retail, Lower Bristol Road, Westmoreland, Bath BA2 1EP

Display of 2no. identical non-illuminated wall mounted signs.

COMMENT The Trust welcomes the removal of the unauthorised yellow acrylic signage. However, we do not condone the applicant’s disregard for the planning processes in place to protect the Grade II Listed Avon House.

Whilst we welcome that the proposed signage is non-illuminated and subtler in colour (as per the earlier signage which has been removed), no details have been provided as to the proposed materials or the type of fixings to be used.

It is the Trust’s view that the signage should be made from traditionally painted timber. This would be more appropriate and sympathetic for this listed building. The use of inappropriate synthetic materials should not be permitted.

In addition, the existing building is in poor condition. The removal of the original gold “M’s” has left an outline on the wall, highlighting the dirt and grime. We suggest the applicants carry out appropriate gentle cleaning prior to the new signage being installed.

The lack of information leaves us in doubt as to what precisely is proposed.  Without further detail, granting permission would be detrimental to the special architectural and historic interest and character of the listed building and Conservation Area.

13/02115/FUL & 13/02116/LBA – 15 St Mark’s Road, Widcombe, Bath BA2 4PA

Erection of a single storey rear extension following demolition of existing extensions.

COMMENT Bath Preservation Trust welcomes this application in principle and recognises that the applicant should be commended for being willing to invest in this historic building. There are however a few areas of concern relating to the application that we wish to highlight.

Whilst we have no objection in theory to the removal of the existing rear extensions and replacement with a modern extension, we feel that if  the structure to be demolished is dated to 1800, as stated,  a more detailed assessment of its character should have been made within the application. A record of this structure and its historic fabric should be undertaken prior to any works. We regret that the roof of the proposed extension sits so uncomfortably with the first floor window and ask the applicant to consider as a solution, a flat roof so as the historic fenestration can be preserved.

The design and access statement notes that the historic layout of the house has survived relatively unscathed; therefore we call into question the intention to remove historic fabric and alter the floor plan by installing the shower room. We do not consider that there is adequate justification for this element of the proposal.

Although we agree that the facade of the building will benefit from some stone cleaning, as is always our position, we believe that a survey of current condition and a detailed specification of the cleaning method should be included within the application. The method of cleaning used should be determined by trials, and we believe that this element of the proposal should be clarified and placed under condition prior to permission. It is clear that the adjacent buildings have been over-cleaned and we advise the applicant that they should not seek to clean to the same extent, rather leave some of the harmless surface patination which serves to enhance the building’s architectural legibility.

13/02118/FUL & 13/02117/LBA – 15 St Mark’s Road, Widcombe, Bath BA2 4PA

External alterations for the removal of front boundary wall and provision of vehicular hardstanding in front garden.

OBJECT The Trust feels that no real justification is given for this alteration; for example the parking situation for residents in this road is not described. The relatively generous front gardens of this terrace, very rare in Bath, have always been one of its charms, and contributed considerably to the distinctive character of the terrace and the quality of the street scene. The building’s immediate and wider setting and the existing sense of enclosure from the public realm created by the garden and its boundary wall, will alike be destroyed. The existence of a number of car parking spaces already established in other gardens of the terrace should be considered as a deterrent, not an encouragement for more. Apart from the loss of the garden, which will cumulatively contribute to the loss of green space in the city, the presence of a car parked in the front garden of a house of this period is anomalous and inappropriate. The proposal will remove virtually the entire garden wall, which appears to be original; the frost damage shown, and the missing coping stones, could readily be remedied.

The works, by virtue of the unjustified loss of original historic fabric, the negative impact of the historic street scene within the conservation area and world heritage site, as well as the setting of a listed building alteration are considered to be contrary to Section 12 ‘Conserving & Enhancing the Historic Environment of the NPPF and Local Plan policies BH1, BH2 and BH6 and should be REFUSED.

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Week 24 (2013)

13/01929/LBA – 5 – 6 Hay Hill, City Centre, Bath BA1 5LZ

Internal and external alterations to include the installation of a new raised lounge floor structure to increase head height in store below, improvement of the material condition of the rear passageway, relocation of boiler to rear passageway, replacement of door to store front elevation, new window openings in the south wall of the store, raising and replacement of the french doors leading to the courtyard, new utility room timber roof with standing seam lead covering and conservation rooflights to replace the existing twinwall polycarbonate roof, installation of a light well to the south wall and to improvement of external drainage of the courtyard, installation of kitchen hob extractor fan, linking of the house front entrance areas with a 700mm wide opening and construction of an external bridge over the new courtyard light well area.

SUPPORT The Trust is broadly supportive of this proposal, which seeks to make better use of the internal space of the property. The proposed alterations appear to be sensitive and appropriate to the character of the building and its context. Quality of build is important, and while creating an opening between the two front entrance halls will result in loss of fabric and plan, retaining the two front doors will clarify the original existence of the two separate houses. In general, the proposed use of lead for the roof; the replacement of cementitious material with lime; the replication of the existing store room door; the lowering the level of the courtyard; the retention of the existing pennant flags in the store room and the addition of windows which appear appropriate in scale, these improvements will preserve and enhance the character of the Conservation Area.

13/02219/AR – Lloyds Tsb Bank Plc , 16 Lower Borough Walls, City Centre, Bath BA1 1QX

Display of 1no. non-illuminated hanging sign, 1no. non-illuminated hanging sign, 2no. non-illuminated ATM headers, 1no. non-illuminated nameplate, 1no. reverse applied vinyl and 2no. non-illuminated letter box signage.

COMMENT The Trust recognises the amendments and alterations which have been made to the design scheme, which constitute a marked improvement and take account of our previous comments.

While we are pleased to see the progression of the scheme to one of non-illumination as well as the reduction in size of the ATM headers, and the timber hanging sign which will be hung from the existing bracket, we remain concerned about the number of fixings and materials proposed for the lettered signage.

Specifically, we regret the use of stainless steel built-up letters, which are considered to be harmful to the listed building, and in the wider context of the conservation area. Their installation would necessitate the drilling of holes into the fabric of the facade which constitutes an inappropriate level of intervention. However, the absence of scale drawings has made the actual method of fixing impossible to assess. We would prefer existing drill holes to be used as any further drilling into the Bath Stone frontage would cause irreversible harm to the stonework.

13/02141/CLEU – Fosseway Environment Park, Fosseway, Englishcombe, Bath BA2 8PD

General Industrial (B2) Use for the whole application site with the exception of one building which has a lawful use for Storage and Distribution (B8). (Certificate of Lawfulness for an Existing Use).

OBJECT The application for a certificate of lawful existing use applies to what is described as area A.

The Bath Preservation Trust has accepted that, while some arguments could be made to the contrary, the area covered by buildings and hardstanding in 2002/3, when an Inspector reported on proposed development at this location and the Secretary of State later made a ruling concerning that inquiry, has B2 use as a result of the Secretary of State’s ruling and the subsequent ruling in February 2013 by the Inspector considering the enforcement appeal on the wider area of land.

If the application had been confined to that area covered by buildings and hardstanding in 2002, referred to as Area A, we would have no problem with this application; indeed we could possibly support it as it would represent a useful clarification of the site planning status by defining the only area, in our opinion, to have lawful B2 use within the area subject to recent and on-going enforcement proceedings. Indeed we are glad that there is no attempt in this application to suggest that areas to the North East of the site, including the area covered by processed rubble and concrete hardstanding for the palisading, does have lawful B2 use.  The onus is with the applicant to demonstrate both the scope and the extent of the use for which a Certificate of Lawful Use is now being sought.

We do however consider that the area applied for has incorporated land to the south of Area A (or in the alternative south of the area which in 2002 was not part of the buildings and hardstanding), and we are therefore obliged to OBJECT to this application. We also query the appropriateness of the Council determining the application while enforcement proceedings continue, which will determine the same issues with the benefit of evidence tested at a public inquiry.

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