Jun – Jul 2014

2014 Weeks 25-27

10 June – 8 July 2014

Week 25

14/02508/AR – Street Record, Corn Street Car Park, City Centre, Bath, Bath And North East Somerset

Display of six sheet internally illuminated advertisements in bus shelter serving the No.18 Newton St Loe-Claverton route; to be located along the Corn Street Stop No.4b.

Object

While we understand the applicant’s desire to increase their revenue through advertising, we will continue to object to illuminated signs in the Conservation Area and World Heritage Site. We regret the undue commercialisation of the public realm within the World Heritage Site. Many city bus shelters have illuminated advertisements but these should not be a precedent for a low illuminated city like Bath. The two overhead lights will emit sufficient light to draw attention to the advertisements and there is little need for additional illumination.

The inappropriate and visually intrusive illuminated signs would be detrimental to the special qualities of the World Heritage Site and will neither preserve nor enhance the character of the conservation area. The proposal is contrary to the Planning (Listed Building & Conservation Areas) Act 1990, Section 12 ‘Conserving & Enhancing the Historic Environment’ of the NPPF and Local Plan Policies D2, D4, BH1, BH6 and BH17 and should be REFUSED.

 

14/02538/FUL & 14/02539/LBA – 38 Milsom Street, City Centre, Bath, Bath And North East Somerset, BA1 1DP

Change of use to retail (Class A1), installation of new shop front, and external alterations

Object

BPT objects to the lowering of the window to create shop window, and removal of glazing bars. There is a pleasant rhythm and coherence to the shop fronts, which would be disrupted unacceptably by the proposal to lower the sill to the window, and install a large sheet of plain glass. Much of the existing charm of this set of buildings as well as the Georgian principle of repetition of line and detail would be lost.

BPT advocates the retention and reinstatement of glazing bars. Replacing the window with plate glass would be detrimental to the appearance of the street scene/group value. Fenestration which is traditional in appearance ought to be retained in the interest of maintaining uniformity at ground floor level and a retaining a desirable precedent for appropriate fenestration.

These inappropriate alterations represent harm to the aesthetic significance of the listed building and its setting. The proposal would neither preserve nor enhance the character and appearance of the Conservation Area and would harm the special qualities of the City of Bath World Heritage Site. The proposals would have a detrimental impact on the character and visual amenity of the street scene and therefore fails to comply with the Planning (Listed Buildings & Conservation Areas Act) 1990, Section 12 ‘Conserving and Enhancing the Historic Environment’ of the NPPF and Local Plan Policies D2, D4, BH1, BH2 and BH6 and should be REFUSED.

 

14/01453/AR – Ground Floor Office, 21B Charles Street, Bath, BA1 1HX

Display of 1no. non-illuminated acrylic sign

Object

The Trust deplores the tendency of firms to undertake unauthorised work and then seek approval. Where listed buildings are concerned, this may mean irreversible damage to the fabric. From the photographs, permission for the fixing of the sign is being sought retrospectively. Such unsolicited work threatens our remaining historic fabric and undermines the efforts of the Bath and North East Somerset Council’s Conservation Officer to protect our built heritage.

Whilst we appreciate that the sign is not illuminated, we object to the inappropriate materials and size of the sign. The sign is too large, and visually intrusive into the features of the listed building, and should be reduced. Perspex is not considered to be a sympathetic or appropriate material for use upon a listed building. The sign should be constructed of timber and be traditionally sign-written.

The sign as existing harms the significance of the listed building and detracts from the visual amenity value of the Conservation Area. The application therefore fails to comply with the Planning (Listed Buildings & Conservation Areas) Act 1990, Section 12 ‘Conserving & Enhancing the Historic Environment’ of the NPPF and Local Plan Policies BH2, BH6 and BH17 and should be refused.

 

14/01896/FUL – 1 – 3 James Street West, City Centre, Bath, Bath And North East Somerset, BA1 2BX

Partial demolition of interior of existing building (with retention of existing historic facade). Redevelopment to provide new commercial ground floor space (use falling within use classes A1, A2, A3, A4, A5, B1(a), D1 or D2 use) with 5 new build storeys above to provide 115 students bedrooms in 21 no. cluster flats of student accommodation. Provision of service areas, cycle parking and refuse/recycling storage.

OBJECT

Bath Preservation Trust has no objection in principle to the re-development of this site; indeed we welcome the essence of the design proposed, which reflects the 20th century character of the existing building and re-uses the building fabric, a highly significant historic example of bomb damage within the city. Retaining the building facade will preserve perhaps the last surviving example of wartime damage in Britain and secures the future viability of the structure. However, we have several serious concerns about the scheme as it stands which can be delineated as follows:

Height

At six storeys, the proposed building would have an over bearing and over dominating impact on the adjacent listed buildings. The proposed height inappropriately matches the highest building in the street which is City of Bath College. This building doesn’t relate comfortably to the townscape and arguably has a negative impact on the character of the conservation area. The Building Heights Strategy states that new development in zone 1 should not exceed the overall prevailing height of nearby listed buildings. The proposed building would stand two storeys taller than the listed Kingsmead terrace.  It is possible that in reducing the height by one storey to the mansard roof the development would be acceptable.

Materials

Much more detail is required on materials and finishes. In particular, it is unclear from the application form whether the cladding will be ‘Bath stone’ or ‘reconstituted Bath stone’. In general, the Trust opposes the use of reconstituted Bath stone in new development. Reconstituted stone is an unsuitable material in comparison with natural Bath stone/stone cladding because it results in a differing, poorer quality appearance and would be unacceptable in this central location of the World Heritage Site. The cladding material needs to be specified prior to determination, and not by way of Condition.
Use

We are particularly concerned about an over provision of purpose built student accommodation within the city, on brownfield sites which could and ought to be developed to provide much needed affordable housing. It is regrettable that the owners of these sites, in many instances B&NES Council, are driven by land value rather than local housing need.

Conclusion

The inappropriate design, height, scale and materials would be detrimental to the setting and significance of the adjacent listed buildings, would neither preserve nor enhance the character and appearance of the Conservation Area, and would detract from the special qualities of the World Heritage Site. The application in its current form therefore fails to comply with the Planning (Listed Building and Conservation Areas) Act 1990, Section 12 ‘Conserving & Enhancing the Historic Environment’ of the NPPF and Local Plan Policies D2, D4, BH1, BH2 and BH6.

 

14/02502/AR – Street Record, Homelea Park East, Newbridge, Bath, Bath And North East Somerset

Display of six sheet internally illuminated advertisement in bus shelters serving the No.18 Newton St Loe-Claverton Route; to be located along Newbridge Road at the Rudmore Park Stop (Eastbound)

Object

While we understand the applicant’s desire to increase their revenue through advertising, we will continue to object to illuminated signs in the World Heritage Site. We regret the undue commercialisation of the public realm within the World Heritage Site. Many city bus shelters have illuminated advertisements but these should not be a precedent. The overhead light will emit sufficient light to draw attention to the advertisements and there is little need for additional illumination.

The inappropriate and visually intrusive illuminated signs would be detrimental to the special qualities of the World Heritage Site. The proposal is contrary to the Planning (Listed Building & Conservation Areas) Act 1990, Section 12 ‘Conserving & Enhancing the Historic Environment’ of the NPPF and Local Plan Policies D2, D4, BH1 and BH17 and should be REFUSED.

 

14/02346/FUL – Westfield Lodge, Weston Road, Lower Weston, Bath, Bath And North East Somerset, BA1 2XT

Internal and external work to remove of side wings of existing orangery and replace with symmetric ashlar walled orangery. Removal of second entrance door to left of front elevation and replace with a window to match the existing

OBJECT

This application is essentially applying for a single storey extension on the front elevation of a listed building.   Justification for such significant alterations must be supported by a far better Heritage Statement and an attempt to research the history of the house and document the later changes around which the basis of this application centres.  This house very much in the style of John Pinch and although listed as c1828 we have found a reference to a date of 1819.  Pinch style houses of this type can be seen on Bathwick Hill and at Claremont Villas 1817 and Cambridge Place c1825, and for many of these the side door is actually the principal entrance.  Looking at the moulding of the cornice on the side extension we would suggest that, unless there is evidence to prove otherwise, this wing and the side door they are applying to replace with a window is original historic fabric and an original door opening.  Again historic research should show the phases of alterations, rather than relying on the listing information.

The existing glazed structure allows for the original building to be seen through it, and allows for the 1882 porch to remain prominent, thus retaining the form of the lodge.  The proposed new structures either side of the entrance porch will reduce the central hierarchy of that entrance porch as can clearly be seen on the proposed side elevation.

This application proposes quite significant harm to what is a charming early 19th century villa with relatively light later interventions. The more solid front extension proposed is not in our view at all appropriate. The design of the extension proposed detracts from the more simple character of the listed building. Introducing a solid horizontal emphasis, with a heavy cornice and round headed windows which would harm the appearance and the proportions of the facade.

This proposal would have a detrimental impact on the significance of the listed building and fails to comply with the Planning (Listed Buildings & Conservation Areas Act) 1990, Section 12 ‘Conserving and Enhancing the Historic Environment’ of the NPPF and Local Plan Policies D2, D4, BH1, and BH2 and should be REFUSED.

 

Week 26

14/01316/LBA – New Church, 10 Henry Street, City Centre, Bath, Bath And North East Somerset, BA1 1JR

External alterations for the provision of 2 flues

Comment

If the design intention is to make the flues appear as downpipes or water goods, care should be taken as to the nature of the wall mountings, finish and flue outlet to achieve this effect. Ideally there should be a condition attached to ensure that paint colour and type achieves this effect, otherwise a regressive colour to match the stonework would be preferable.

 

14/02556/FUL – Vacant Kiosk, Dorchester Street, Bath

Installation of new shop front with associated works

Comment

The Trust is pleased to see an application seeking to renovate this vacant shop come forward.  The materials specified for use on the front elevation drawing for elements would generally be suitable, however some detail is missing. For example, in the proposed images, the stall riser appears to be made from brick but no material or colour is provided on the front elevation drawing. Also, the details shown on the drawings and the proposed images differ, for example, the signage text is at an angle on the proposed exterior drawing but is horizontal in the proposed images. These details should be clarified prior to consent and a subsequent application for tables and chairs will be required.

 

14/02557/AR – Vacant Kiosk, Dorchester Street, Bath

Display of 1no. non illuminated fascia sign and 1no.internally illuminated hanging sign suspended from ceiling

Object

While the Trust has previously conceded that the Southgate shopping centre is able to tolerate more contemporary design approaches compared to the rest of the Conservation area. However, we will continue to object to illuminated signs in the Conservation area and in the World Heritage Site. Illumination is a completely inappropriate form of advertising in the World Heritage Site. We are also disappointed by the selection of materials, which include aluminium, acrylic, stainless steel and brass. Higher quality materials are expected in the Conservation area regardless of the contemporary design approach.

The inappropriate and visually intrusive illuminated hanging sign will neither preserve nor enhance the character of the Conservation area. The proposal is considered contrary to the Planning (Listed Buildings & Conservation Areas) Act 1990, Section 12 ‘Conserving and Enhancing the Historic Environment’ of the NPPF and Local Plan Policies D2, D4, BH1, BH6 and BH17 and should be REFUSED.

 

14/02568/FUL – Coral Quay Fair Trade , 8 – 9 New Bond Street Place, City Centre, Bath, Bath And North East Somerset, BA1 1BH

Use of pavement for the sighting of three tables and six chairs.

Comment

We are concerned that this proposal for tables and chairs and barriers would unnecessarily clutter the narrow passage way. The   Rifleman’s Arms already use part of the passage way for their tables and chairs. Additional street furniture in this location will be an obstruction to pedestrians and make the passage way difficult to negotiate. At least 2m of the footpath must be kept clear at all times. This could be improved by reducing the number of tables and chairs and avoiding the use of barriers, to maintain the character and interest of the passage way.

 

14/01279/LBA – Second Floor Office, 21D Charles Street, Bath, BA1 1HX

External works to display front door sign (Regularisation)

Object

We regret that yet again this company is applying retrospectively for planning permission. Fixing the sign to the stonework has irreversibly damaged the fabric. Also, Perspex is an inappropriate modern material for use upon a listed building. It is particularly prone to tarnishing and scratching, and as such is not considered a durable material. Plaque style signs should be constructed of toughened glass and be traditionally sign-written.

The sign, by virtue of the use of inappropriate materials is considered detrimental to the special architectural and historic interest of the listed building, neither preserves nor enhances the character and appearance of the Conservation area, and detracts from the special qualities of the World Heritage Site. The application therefore fails to comply with the Planning (Listed Building and Conservation Areas) Act 1990, Section 12 ‘Conserving & Enhancing the Historic Environment’ of the NPPF and Local Plan Policies BH2, BH6 and BH17 and should be refused.

 

14/02619/FUL – Pinesgate, Lower Bristol Road, Westmoreland, Bath, Bath And North East Somerset, BA2 3DP

Erection of an office building (use class B1) with basement parking, associated infrastructure and landscaping following the demolition of existing office building.

OBJECT

Background and summary

BPT welcomed the opportunity to engage in the early stages of the development process and provide comments. Our response has been informed by an earlier meeting between Ediston and BPT and the exhibition, which was attended by members of our Architecture and Planning Committee. We have provided pre-application comments to the applicants, expressing concerns about the height, design, appearance and materials which do not appear to have been taken into consideration.

Commercial viability

Although the issue of commercial viability is slightly beyond our remit, BPT remain to be convinced that there is a commercial case for an office development of this scale. We note that a recent proposal for office accommodation further down the Lower Bristol Road was recently withdrawn due to lack of commercial interest and has been reconfigured for housing development. We also note that this development constitutes 25% of the Enterprise Zone office accommodation for the whole of the Local Plan period to 2029 which would suggest that if the other end were also developed similarly, a full 50% of the Enterprise Zone requirement would be met on a single site rather than creating a ‘Zone’ of multiple developments of differing sizes spread through the Enterprise Area.  Given this disproportionate scale, we do not consider that the case for commercial viability is sufficiently justified in support of the proposal. We fear that if this building were built and then left unoccupied, a large and relatively brutal building such as this could be a severe blight on the city. Moreover, we are concerned that if a building of a certain scale and height is agreed in principle, then, if there is no commercial interest, a subsequent proposal for residential accommodation of equivalent height and scale would prove difficult to refuse.

Height and Mass

This planning application proposes a building which in our view is overly large and oppressive in the context of the Lower Bristol Road. Despite the claims of the D&A statement that the BWR SPD has been followed, we do not believe that the ‘overarching design principles’ of the SPD have been properly taken into account; for example see highlighted sections of the ‘overarching principles’ below:

1. Bath Context

The design solutions must be sensitive to, responsive and inspired by their Bath context. In particular designs must be respectful of the wider city and the outstanding universal values and characteristics that have led to its designation as a World Heritage Site. Designs should be inspired by and complement the historic fabric of the city but not compete with it in terms of their overall visual presence. BWR should, by way of contemporary interpretations, continue the Bath tradition that is based upon classical proportions and detailed to give visual delight. Overall the design of BWR must continue the tradition of strong visual harmony which has resulted from respect for the outstanding universal values, that has created this distinctive city.

3. Scale and Proportion

The tradition of a human scale in Bath must be recognised in BWR and this is based on hierarchy, order, proportion, rhythm, and harmony. Where greater scale is proposed sufficient setting will be required to retain human proportions. Retention of the human scale will reinforce the quality of the environment as a walking city.

5. Visual Connectivity

An important design consideration for BWR is the nature of the visual relationship it establishes with the Georgian city centre and the rest of the city, as it extends over the adjacent hillside.

The redevelopment of the site must not reduce the visual connection to the natural landscape. In this regard it must use the opportunity to bring the country into the city by a feeling that you can reach out to the wider green surroundings whilst being able to enjoy immediate green space.

In line with (5) above, we consider that the footprint of the built form occupies too much of the site and would like to see the size reduced to allow landscaping to provide a better setting and environment. We welcome that there is some widening of the pavement and provision of trees along the Lower Bristol Road which would be a definite environmental improvement. Unfortunately this is the only positive comment we are able to make.

The height, bulk and scale of the proposed building, sited at the edge of the Enterprise Zone, does not relate at all comfortably with the adjoining townscape. The proposed building makes the marked change in land use and building type very abrupt. We re-emphasise a point made previously that the height and scale of any new building on this site must sensitively address the transition from domestic scale and character where this change takes place.

As it is, a building of the proposed height and bulk would have an overbearing impact on the character of the local townscape.

We note that the proposed roofscape is articulated, which we understand should reduce impact when seen from above. Verified views are said to be provided within the application, but these cannot be found. Also, it is not easy to assess the context heights provided – The D&A statement 2.5 gives surrounding building heights, but, not only are floor-ceiling heights varied, the colours in key & diagram are inconsistent, precluding certainty.

Materials

We have serious concerns about the use of a ‘brick’ material, particularly on a building of this size and prominence. The use of natural Bath stone is preferred in general in the City due to the homogeneity of material being part of the description of OUV of the World Heritage Site.  Preferably stone should be integral to the design i.e. it should not be used as a cladding. However, the use of Bath stone alone would not make this building acceptable in terms of mass and scale.

In relation to the appearance of the building we are not convinced that the design aesthetic which is in existence at BWR should be accepted as the design aesthetic for all new buildings in Bath or even in BWR.  The other end of Pinesway ‘island’ provides potential for a ‘twin’ with more seriously significant impact, especially on local viewpoints. We are strongly concerned that the proposed building, if approved, should not set a precedent for a design approach for the Enterprise Zone.

Contrary to the overarching principle (1) above, the building proposed fails to express ‘Bathness’ in its design and appearance and fails to reinforce the local distinctiveness of the Conservation Area.

The proposed development, by virtue of its inappropriate height, bulk, massing, design, appearance, materials and failure to respond to the local context, would neither preserve nor enhance the city of Bath Conservation area and would compromise the special qualities of the World Heritage Site.

Therefore it is in our view contrary to the NPPF, the Planning (Listed Building and Conservation Areas) Act 1990, Policies BH1, BH6 and D4 of the B&NES Local Plan and should be REFUSED.

 

Week 27

14/02590/LBA – Goldsmiths , 1 Milsom Street, City Centre, Bath, Bath And North East Somerset, BA1 1DA

Internal and external work to facilitate retail fitout, replacement of external signage and removal of existing security shutters.

Object

Yet again we see that work has been carried out on a listed building before permission has been granted. If the planners are minded to agree with any of the comments made below, enforcement will therefore be required.

The Trust applauds the applicant for omitting any illumination from their proposals, however, we are concerned about the fascia mounted sign and projecting sign.
The proposed individual pin mounted letters of the ‘Kiehl’s’ sign should be attached, without the extra detail of ‘since 1851’ which could be displayed elsewhere, using existing drill holes to reduce further damage to the marble fascia. Also, we are of the opinion that the projecting sign should be omitted from the proposals altogether, since there are relatively few projecting signs in the street and the damage it will cause by its attachment to the listed building.

Due to the proposed damage to the fabric and inappropriate materials, this application is contrary to the 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.

 

14/02719/AR – 11 Southgate Place, Bath,

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

Object

While the Trust has previously conceded that the Southgate shopping centre is able to tolerate more contemporary design approaches compared to the rest of the Conservation area, we will continue to object to illuminated signs in the Conservation area and in the World Heritage Site. The signs, by virtue of their illumination, materials, colour and size are incongruous. Aluminium materials are not sensitive or appropriate and do not reflect the traditional palette of Bath. The Trust encourages traditional approaches to signage in the Bath Conservation area. The application therefore fails to comply with the Planning (Listed Buildings & Conservation Areas) Act 1990, Section 12 ‘Conserving & Enhancing the Historic Environment’ of the NPPF and Local Plan Policies BH1, BH6 and BH17 and should be refused.

 

14/01580/LBA – 17 Charles Street, Bath, BA1 1HX

External alterations for the display of sign

Object

The Trust objects to this application because of its inappropriate and detrimental impact upon the primary facade of this listed building. The wall is encumbered with signs in a totally inappropriate manner, all unrelated to each other in design and positioning, and encroaching across the facade. We deplore the fact that this application is to move a sign that has already caused irreversible harm to the stonework and relocation will cause further damage to the fabric. The Design and Access Statement expresses no awareness of the required responsibility towards a historic building. Also, Perspex is an unacceptable modern material for use upon a listed building. It is particularly prone to tarnishing and scratching, and as such is not considered a durable material. If retained, we would ask that the sign is replaced with toughened glass and be traditionally sign-written.

As this application seeks to further damage historic fabric merely for the benefit of corporate branding, it should not be given consent. The application fails to comply with the Planning (Listed Buildings & Conservation Areas) Act 1990, Section 12 ‘Conserving & Enhancing the Historic Environment’ of the NPPF and Local Plan Policies BH2, BH6 and BH17 and should be REFUSED.

 

14/02502/AR – Street Record, Homelea Park East, Newbridge, Bath, Bath And North East Somerset

Display of six sheet internally illuminated advertisement in bus shelters serving the No.18 Newton St Loe-Claverton Route; to be located along Newbridge Road at the Rudmore Park Stop (Eastbound)

Object

While we understand the applicant’s desire to increase their revenue through advertising, we will continue to object to illuminated signs in the World Heritage Site. We regret the undue commercialisation of the public realm within the World Heritage Site. Many city bus shelters have illuminated advertisements but these should not be a precedent. The overhead light will emit sufficient light to draw attention to the advertisements and there is little need for additional illumination.

The inappropriate and visually intrusive illuminated signs would be detrimental to the special qualities of the World Heritage Site. The proposal is contrary to the Planning (Listed Building & Conservation Areas) Act 1990, Section 12 ‘Conserving & Enhancing the Historic Environment’ of the NPPF and Local Plan Policies D2, D4, BH1 and BH17 and should be REFUSED.

Designed by Ice House Design