May – Jun 2014

2014 Weeks 21-24

13 May – 10 June 2014

Week 21

14/01870/LBA – Tie Rack, 18 Union Street, City Centre

External alterations to include replacement of fascia sign and restoration works to shopfront

OBJECT Bath Preservation Trust objects to this application due to its corporate design which ignores the context and sensitivities of its surroundings, particularly the structure of the entrance to The Corridor. The proposed aluminium Dibond letters set forward of the fascia are inappropriate as are the vinyl window insets and the overly dominant colour scheme which is not inkeeping with the palate of Bath. This scheme is detrimental to the listed building and the conservation area and will diminish the visual amenity of the street scene.

The proposals, by virtue of the use of inferior materials, offset lettering, inappropriate colours and design are considered to be detrimental to the listed building, adjacent listed buildings and the conservation area contrary to S16 and S72 of the Planning (Listed Buildings & Conservation Areas) Act 1990, Section 12 ‘Conserving & Enhancing the Historic Environment of the NPPF and Local Plan Policies BH2, BH6, BH17 and BH19 and should be REFUSED.

 

14/02158/FUL – Recreation Ground, Pulteney Mews, Bathwick

Retention and/or replacement of, and extensions to, the existing temporary spectator stands along the north, west and eastern sides of the retained playing field, (as approved under planning permission references 09/01319/FUL, 10/01609/FUL, 10/01608/FUL, 10/01611/FUL), provision of new hospitality boxes to either side of the retained south stand, and associated works and ancillary facilities comprising toilets and food and bar facilities (temporary application for period of up to two years

COMMENT We raise no objection to extending the hospitality boxes and the siting of temporary stands for up to 2 years. However we find the positioning of flags along the roof to add unnecessary clutter. Clarification is required about the permanence and seasonality of these flags. In the interested of the visual amenity value of the area the flying of flags ought to be restricted to match days and events.

 

14/01783/LBA – Newton Park, Bath Spa University Campus, Newton St. Loe

Proposed repair and restoration of the south and north walls of the curtilage listed Walled Garden

COMMENT Bath Preservation Trust welcomes the retention and restoration of the north and south wall of the Walled Garden. The sensitive specification and detailed schedule of works for repairs will preserve the special architectural and historic significance of the Grade I curtilage listed structures.

 

14/02073/ADCOU – Parcel 3682, Access Road to Ravenswell House, Charlcombe

Prior approval request for change of use from Agricultural Barn to Dwelling (C3)

OBJECT Bath Preservation Trust objects to this application on the basis that the conversion of the existing agricultural building fails to satisfy a number of the conditions of the General Permitted Development Order Class MB introduced in 2014, any one of which would be sufficient grounds for refusal. The objection put forth by Charlcombe Parish Council is comprehensive on this issue and it is supported by the Trust.

 

14/02275/FUL & 14/01625/LBA – 71 Prior Park Road, Widcombe

Reinstatement of 3 chimney stacks

SUPPORT Bath Preservation Trust welcomes this application as the proposals to reinstate the chimneys represents and enhancement to the listed building which will balance the roof composition and return the building to a more historic appearance.

 

Week 22

14/01863/LBA & 14/01864/AR – 30 Charles Street, Bath, BA1 1HU

External alterations to include alterations to sign boarding (Regularisation) (Resubmission of 13/04582/AR)

OBJECT Bath Preservation trust is pleased to see the removal of the awnings which were proposed under the previous withdrawn application. Nonetheless, with regards to the signage, we object to the fascia signs since the presumed acrylic/plastic/perspex lettering both in material and in colour is not of the palette of Bath, nor is it appropriate upon a listed building. The overall appearance of the scheme does not result in an appropriate frontage to this shop which is located on a prominent corner opposite Holy Trinity Church and within the conservation area and world heritage site.

The signage should be traditionally signwritten onto the original timber fascia. If offset lettering is to be considered then it should consist of individual fret cut timber painted letters or anodised metal.

The proposals are considered to be contrary to the Planning (Listed Building & Conservation Areas) Act 1990, Section 12 ‘Conserving and Enhancing the Historic Environment’ of the NPPF and local plan policies BH.2, BH.6, BH.17 & BH.19 the Historic Environment’ of the NPPF and local plan policies BH.2, BH.6, BH.17 & BH.19

 

14/01583/AR – Lambridge Training Ground (bath Rfc,) London Road, West Lower Swainswick

Display of 1no hoarding to fences surrounding playing fields. (Retrospective)

OBJECT The information within this application is inadequate especially given that the works have already taken place. At the very least photographs should have been provided so as an informed assessment of the proposals could be made. Without being entirely sure of the impact of the works due to the lack of drawings or photographs, and having made an assessment using only the information provided within the application form, Bath Preservation Trust feel we must object to this proposal on amenity grounds given the semi-rural and residential setting and the fact that these hoardings do not likely enhance or preserve the Conservation Area. This application is considered contrary to S72 of the Planning (Listed Building & Conservation Area) Act 1990, Section 12 of the National Planning Policy Framework and local plan policies BH.6, BH.17 and BH.18.

 

14/01951/LBA – 77 Lyncombe Hill, Lyncombe, Bath, Bath And North East Somerset, BA2 4PH

External works to carry out the cleaning of front elevation

OBJECT Bath Preservation Trust objects to this application as the methods of cleaning proposed are considered an overtreatment and pose a potential threat to the historic fabric of the building. The application itself is not coherent with regards to what exactly is proposed which is a further element of concern. It is agreed that some areas of the parapet and the area below the cornice could benefit from some careful cleaning to remove the carbon deposits on the surface of the stone for which the proposed DOFF method is appropriate. The TORC method of cleaning mentioned is not appropriate for the level of soiling displayed, nor is it suitable for use on Bath Stone as this abrasive form of cleaning and can be extremely damaging in removing the top surface of the stone leaving the softer stone beneath exposed. The mention of Chemical paint stripper is also highly concerning and the application make no mention of where the paint is to be removed; the D&A states that the painted ground floor will be gently cleaned by hand with water and cloth.

We do not consider that the entire facade needs cleaning, nor is there justification as required by the NPPF for the entire facade to be cleaned. The CDL statement in fact makes it clear that the cleaning is not required but rather desired as the assessment of the stonework made from ground level suggests that, ‘the stone appears in very good order’. The patina upon the front elevation reflects the age of the building and is the natural appearance of aged Bath Stone.

The works, by virtue of proposed excessive cleaning, inappropriate methods of stone cleaning and lack of information is proposed are considered to be detrimental to the special architectural and historical interest and character of the building, the adjacent listed buildings and the conservation area contrary to S16 and S72 of the Planning (Listed Buildings & 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 in its current format.

 

14/01891/FUL – Norwood Dene, The Avenue, Claverton Down

Erection of 3no detached 2 storey dwellings with associated garages and hard and soft landscaping works following demolition of existing 1no storey dwelling.

OBJECT It is noted that this application and the application for an extension to The Roundhouse (14/02044/FUL & 14/02045/LBA) have been submitted concurrently by the same developer. As such Bath Preservation Trust has considered each of the proposals on their own merit, but also thinks it appropriate and necessary that the proposals be considered alongside each other. The following objection reflects this.

First our comments on the proposals directly related to the proposals for three houses on the Norwood Dene site are as follows:

Bath Preservation Trust does not object to the development of this site in principle; the development of three houses on this site is considered to be appropriate in terms of scale of development and is a welcome addition to housing numbers within the city boundary. However, it is considered that these proposals are not sensitive to the street scene nor to the adjacent grade II listed Roundhouse.

It is felt that the proposed dwellings are situated too close to the boundary with The Avenue. The proposed removal of the trees from this boundary will alter the character of street scene; the trees on the front boundary effectively form the boundary of the conservation area and currently draw the eye down The Avenue giving the impression that the countryside lies beyond. The impact of their removal must be carefully considered. It is suggested that to minimise any harm resulting from their removal that the houses should be set back further into the site.  With regards to positioning on the site it is noted that the orientations of the drawings as proposed are wrong and this is somewhat misleading and concerning. The orientation of the elevations should be confirmed prior to approval.

In terms of design the proposals are largely appropriate for their location. However, the details regarding materials are scant and the intention to use ‘cast stone’ should not be welcomed. As the buildings directly abut the conservation area boundary as well as the setting of a listed building and are within the Article 1(5) land of the World Heritage Site the materials need to be appropriate to the historic environment. As such we feel that a condition for the use of natural stone ought to be applied though our main aim would be to see that the materials need more clarification prior to approval and not by way of condition.

When considered alongside the related proposals for the extension to The Roundhouse there are elements of the proposals on this site become more concerning:

Drawing 3627-202 ‘Proposed Block Plan’ of the Norwood Dene application shows existing trees having been removed from the Western boundary of the site. Contrary to this, the annotation of drawing 3705/002 ‘Site Plan As Proposed’ of The Roundhouse application notes that the trees along the same boundary to the West are to be ‘unaffected by the Roundhouse extension’ but does not mention that these trees are to be removed under the proposed scheme on the Norwood Dene site. Either this is an oversight or it is intentionally misleading.

Understanding the treatment of this boundary is crucial assessing the impact of the two applications on the significance of the listed building; there is little assessment of the impact of proposals on the listed building in either application. The trees to the western boundary provide screening for The Roundhouse with allows it to retain primacy within its setting and provide an appropriate verdant boundary to the conservation area. Should these trees be removed subsequently the appropriate scale of the proposed buildings will become inappropriate in relation to the setting and proportion of the listed building. Until this element of the proposals is clarified, and in the event that the trees are to be removed, Bath Preservation Trust must object to the proposals.

We would hope that the LPA’s tree officer has been informed of the proposals to remove trees which form the boundary of the conservation area as is required under part 8 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.

By virtue of the lack of clear information relating to the impact of the proposals on the setting of The Roundhouse, the proposed use of ‘cast stone’ material and the removal of mature trees which effectively act as the boundary for the conservation area and the subsequent effect of the proposed dwellings on the street scene this application is considered contrary to S16 and S72 of the Planning (Listed Buildings & Conservation Areas) Act 1990, Section 12 ‘Conserving & Enhancing the Historic Environment’ of the NPPF and Local Plan Policies BH2 BH.6 and BH.8 and should be refused.

 

Week 23

14/02044/FUL & 14/02045/LBA – The Round House, The Avenue, Claverton Down, Bath, Bath And North East Somerset

Erection of a single storey extension

OBJECT It is noted that this application and the application for three new dwellings on the adjacent Norwood Dene site (14/01891/FUL) have been submitted concurrently by the same developer. As such Bath Preservation Trust has considered each of the proposals on their own merit, but also thinks it appropriate and necessary that the proposals be considered alongside each other. The following objection reflects this.

First our comments on the proposals directly related to the proposal for the extension to The Roundhouse:

We acknowledge that The Roundhouse has already previously been extended from its original form though we have some reservations about the size of the proposed extension in relation to the original building. The proposed 60% increase in volume is considerable particularly given the architectural aesthetic and character of this building whose significance is derived from the lodge style of architecture and plan form. Largely we consider that the design of the proposed extension attempts to be subservient however the use of render and timber cladding materials is potentially in conflict with the traditional vernacular of the building and surrounding area.

When considered alongside the related proposals for three new dwellings on the Norwood Dene site there are elements of the proposals on this site become more concerning:

Drawing 3627-202 ‘Proposed Block Plan’ of the Norwood Dene application shows existing trees having been removed from the Western boundary of the site. Contrary to this, the annotation of drawing 3705/002 ‘Site Plan As Proposed’ of The Roundhouse application notes that the trees along the same boundary to the West are to be ‘unaffected by the Roundhouse extension’ but does not mention that these trees are to be removed under the proposed scheme on the Norwood Dene site. Either this is an oversight or it is intentionally misleading.

Understanding the treatment of this boundary is crucial when assessing the impact of the two applications on the significance of the listed building; there is little assessment of the impact of proposals on the listed building in either application. The trees to the western boundary provide screening for The Roundhouse with allows it to retain primacy within its setting and provide an appropriate verdant boundary to the conservation area. Should these trees be removed subsequently the appropriate scale of the proposed buildings on the Norwood Dene Site will become inappropriate in relation to the setting and proportion of the listed building. Until this element of the proposals is clarified, and in the event that the trees are to be removed, Bath Preservation Trust must object to the proposals.

We would hope that the LPA’s tree officer has been informed of the proposals to remove trees which form the boundary of the conservation area as is required under part 8 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.

By virtue of the lack of clear information relating to the impact of the proposals on the setting of The Roundhouse, the proposed use of ‘cast stone’ material and the removal of mature trees which effectively act as the boundary for the conservation area and the subsequent effect of the proposed dwellings on the street scene this application is considered contrary to S16 and S72 of the Planning (Listed Buildings & Conservation Areas) Act 1990, Section 12 ‘Conserving & Enhancing the Historic Environment’ of the NPPF and Local Plan Policies BH2 BH.6 and BH.8 and should be refused.

 

14/02068/LBA – 10 Great Pulteney Street, Bathwick, Bath, Bath And North East Somerset BA2 4BR

Internal and external work to provide a glazed roof over the existing light well/pavement grill to the garden flat basement entrance and to replace and reposition the existing boiler and flue.

OBJECT Whilst we have no concerns regarding the repositioning of the boiler and associated flue, we object to the insertion of glazing over the light well.  This glazed infill will effectively enclose the outside window of the basement room so reduced ventilations, may well cause or exacerbate damp problems, even though new ventilation is proposed, ventilation will be much reduced. On principle the conversion of this external space into an internal space by the proposed glazing should be resisted. The enclosing of the space does not respect the historic use of the basement area and unless strong 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.

As the application contains no such justification or an assessment of the impact of the proposals on the heritage asset and as the only gain to mitigate against eh harm on the significance of the proposal is private and not public we do not consider this application to be appropriate or to have met the requirements of planning policy or legislation.

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.

 

14/02412/FUL – The Johnsons Group Ltd, James Street West, City Centre, Bath Bath And North East

Erection of student accommodation (sui generis) comprising 190 student bedrooms in studio/cluster flats; together with 2 no. disabled parking spaces; 56 covered cycle spaces; 2 no. covered refuse/recycling stores; covered plant rooms; vehicular access from James Street West; new hard/soft landscaping treatment, following demolition of existing industrial/office buildings. (Resubmission)

OBJECT

Principle

Bath Preservation Trust does not object in principle to the redevelopment of this site, as the existing buildings have little visual quality and, as such, their removal could be an enhancement of the conservation area and World Heritage Site.

However, any new buildings on the site should seek to enhance the conservation area and the WHS and take their cue from, and be subservient to, the listed buildings in the locality, in particular the listed trainshed of Green Park Station. Beyond the heritage considerations, any development needs to respond to the area in terms of increasing vitality and enhancing the public realm and to meet the requirements of the NPPF, in proposing sustainable development and providing a public benefit where any harm to the significance of heritage assets is likely.

Design

Bath Preservation Trust feels that the contemporary idiom adopted for the proposed buildings is appropriate. However, despite several iterations, the design is not yet at a stage where it is considered to respond to its surroundings or make a positive contribution to the street scene and public realm.

Height

It is recognised that the site lies within a zone where 3-5 storeys is generally appropriate. However, the height, volume and massing of the large block to the south of the site has an overbearing relationship with Green Park Station. The height competes with and diminishes the otherwise imposing listed train shed. In addition, the flat, deep expanses of roof as proposed exacerbate the inappropriate scale, and would be harmful in city wide views of the World Heritage Site.

Materials

For a proposal for a large new development in the city and in a prominent location within the conservation area and WHS, the application is very short on necessary detail pertaining to the proposed materials, making it impossible to visualise the scheme properly. The proposed elevations do not adequately illustrate the relationships of the metal cladding, Bath stone and glazing on any facades and we would ask that the case officer requests detailed drawings of these relationships. More generally, it is felt that more clarity is required regarding materials, e.g. colours/finishes & “Bath stone ashlar”, and that all these details must be secured prior to determination and not by way of condition.

We feel that the proposed contextual street views demonstrate the inappropriateness of the proposed materials in James Street West, and we are highly sceptical of the accuracy of the view from the car park.

The landscaping, as proposed, seems appropriate in quality, if not in quantity. The lack of external social space, its relationship to the two disabled parking spaces and utilities collection routes, seems unfortunate.

Sustainability and future use

Whilst we welcome the submitted plan showing the buildings adapted for a non-student use, we feel that the design does prejudice against a viable future use. The design as proposed creates few active frontages and no public uses or pedestrian routes through. The rear elements of the development will adjoin the Sainsbury’s car park and, as such, active frontages should be proposed at this stage to create a good quality public realm and avoid prejudicing potential development of this site. Lastly, we feel that the proposals constitute a missed opportunity to employ sustainable construction and renewable energy technologies which might have elevated the quality of what is proposed.

In short, we regard this application as a missed opportunity for a positive enhancement of Bath’s townscape. As proposed, the scheme’s height, bulk, massing & materials would detract seriously from the heritage assets which surround it. The application should, therefore, be refused.

 

14/01267/LBA – 29 Sion Hill, Lansdown, Bath, Bath And North East Somerset BA1 2UW

Damp control ‘Schrijver system’. Insertion of special bricks on exterior wall for the control of damp. Explanatory letter from company enclosed.

OBJECT Bath Preservation Trust considered these proposals to be wholly objectionable. The drawings and information contained in the application are inadequate particularly given that such an intrusive method of damp proofing has been proposed.

An application for damp proofing should give evidence in the form of an independent damp survey (that is to say a survey not carried out by the benefiting contractor) as justification for works. The information provided by the installing contractor does not give enough evidence to suggest that the cause of the damp is fully understood. Damp proofing is merely a short term remedy to issues of dampness and not the solution – the cause of the damp should be investigated and the real problem rectified. It would seem prudent to suggest that problems on the third floor and the ground floor are unlikely to be caused by the same problem and as such the solution should be tailored to each cause of damp.

With regards to the damp proofing method proposed we have very serious reservations about the use of it on a listed building. Protruding ventilation bricks, standing out 3cms from the wall at regular intervals will be aesthetically unacceptable, and the use of cement for their insertion will only serve to exacerbate damp problems given the natural stone walls that the bricks are to be inserted into. That the installing contractor proposes to use cement raises serious questions about their understanding of the building and its materials. The level of intervention this system requires in terms of loss of historic fabric is considered excessive and it is clear that the rows of protruding bricks at the ground and third floor would harm the special architectural and historic interest of the building. Furthermore, should they be removed in the future the damage to the building in terms of scarring and replacement of ashlar would be unsightly and an entirely avoidable situation.

By virtue of the lack of justification for the proposed works (as required by the NPPF), the use of inappropriate materials and the resulting harm to the fabric and significance of the heritage asset, these proposals are considered to be detrimental to the special architectural and historic interest of the listed building and therefore contrary to S16 and S72 of the Planning (Listed Buildings & Conservation Areas) Act 1990, Section 12 ‘Conserving & Enhancing the Historic Environment of the NPPF and Local Plan Policies BH.2 and BH.6 and should be refused.

 

14/02017/FUL – 5-13 Somerset Place, Lansdown, Bath, BA1 5HA

Provision of balconies to rear elevation at 6, 11, and 13 and alterations to rear fenestration. (Resubmission)

SUPPORT The Trust reviewed the previous application submitted and the amendments to the proposed design scheme make a considerable difference. We recognised that the applicant has made efforts to constructively address our concerns to the original design.

We consider the present design to be more appropriate to the character of this listed building and the adjacent listed buildings and will not have the visually jarring industrial quality that the previous proposals did. We are glad the opportunity has been take to enhance character and appearance of the City Conservation Area.

 

14/02118/FUL – Widcombe Social Club, Widcombe Wharf, Widcombe Hill, Widcombe, Bath

Installation of new entrance doors and screen external ATM, air conditioning plant and satellite dish to roof. Installation of fascia signs and projecting sign.

OBJECT The proposed illuminated hanging sign and fascia signs are totally inappropriate in their design, appearance and materials. This corner building deserves a far more considered and traditional approach. This historic shopping centre is characterised by independent shops and high quality individually designed signage and decoration that contributes to the local distinctiveness of the centre. The corporate approach to the proposed signs fails to equal the surrounding high standard which should be maintained and continued so that the character of this historic shopping centre is enhanced further. It is acknowledged in the Design and Access Statement that a historic approach to the signage is required but this has not been followed through in the designs. The external illumination and proposed materials (aluminium panels and applied vinyl graphics) are inappropriate and unsympathetic within this sensitive location, an issue compounded by the standard Morrison’s corporate design proposed. Traditional signpainted timber signage would be far more appropriate for this location and would constitute a missed opportunity if not introduced.

The proposed signage and illumination would be harmful to the visual amenity value of the area, fail to enhance local distinctiveness, would neither preserve nor enhance the character and appearance of the Conservation Area and would be detrimental to the special qualities of the World Heritage Site.

The proposals are 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 BH1, BH6 and BH17 and should be REFUSED.

 

14/02116/FUL – 23 Southcot Place, Lyncombe, Bath, Bath And North East Somerset, BA2 4PE

Erection of a rear extension, installation of rear dormer and erection of garden building.

OBJECT Southcot Place is a 1970’s terrace has been sensitively designed with the appearance of a ‘Georgian’ terrace on the hillside to fit comfortably into its setting and from both elevations it relates well to the built character and topographical character of the conservation area. Whilst there is some evidence alterations the terrace has retained the general form and appearance as it were originally designed. The roof extension proposed would be an incongruous over development, by virtue of its height, design, size and position and visibility. The large flat roof dormer window is not in the interest of good design and would have a detrimental impact on the design of the terrace. Being visible from the public realm this feature would have a negative effect on the surrounding townscape and neither preserve nor enhance the character of the conservation area.

Furthermore the unsympathetic and visually intrusive deign and form would detract from the significance and setting of adjacent listed buildings. The roof extension would set a worrying precedent in this terrace especially as clearly visible from public realm (Lyncombe Hill). The other houses have placed veluxes in order to render roof space usable which is more sympathetic in the very shallow-pitched roof.

The proposed inappropriate development is considered contrary to S16 and S72 of the Planning (Listed Buildings & Conservation Areas) Act 1990, Section 12 ‘Conserving & Enhancing the Historic Environment’ of the NPPF and Local Plan Policies D2, D4, BH1, BH2, BH.6 and should therefore be refused.

 

Week 24

14/02272/EFUL – Ministry Of Defence, Warminster Road, Bathwick, Bath, Bath And North East Somerset, BA2 6SF

Demolition of existing buildings and erection of 189 no. dwellings; 2 no. accesses from Warminster Road, vehicular parking; open space; landscaping (including tree removal); pumping station; and associated engineering works.

OBJECTION

Dear Sirs,

Further to our preliminary comments submitted to raise awareness of our concerns, we now submit the following more detailed response which augments our previous letter.

On the whole we applaud the will to produce a relatively lively mix of traditional buildings and the care given to resolving challenging topographical issues.

General comments

– The redevelopment of the site to provide housing is supported.

– In principle we welcome the type of housing and character areas, and have no objection to a well detailed classical approach.

– We particularly welcome how there has been no distinction between affordable and open market housing, in terms of design detailing, when we are so used to seeing design stripped down when it comes to affordable housing.

– On the whole the proposed layout appears sensitive to views across the valley. However, view montage 1 is worrying. Not only would the bulk of the buildings along the pavement impair the existing views across the valley, but their relationship with road is extremely uncomfortable and lacking local precedent.

– We are concerned that the height of buildings is one storey taller than identified in the Concept statement for the site, which states a preference for a ‘maximum of two storey dwellings, with taller buildings concentrated in a setback location on the lower slopes of the site’.

– Additional verified views would be helpful. For such a large development there should be more than three viewpoints included the montages.

– We would welcome a mix of uses, at least the inclusion of a shop, within a development of this size. With two schools in the immediate vicinity as well as the development itself we cannot believe that a convenience store would not be used.

– We welcome the intention “to achieve CfSH Level 4” over the whole site (Sustainability Statement para.2.18) but regret that the 10% of higher levels envisaged in the Concept Statement (together with the commitment to some self-build plots) appears not to have been addressed. We are also somewhat surprised to see ‘N/A’ against para 2.3 Renewables (and elsewhere) in Sustainable Construction Checklist.

– Detailed comments about design are set out below.

Design approach

The character of this part of the city is marked by the transition from terraces to villas during the mid 19th century. Developments of townhouse terraces in this area of Bath had largely ceased by the 1830’s, and in the Warminster Road direction ended at Sydney Gardens (with the exception of simple artisan’s houses at Hampton Row). We therefore have reservations about the appropriateness of the architectural approach to terraces, and blocks which have symmetrical facades with pediments, resembling the frontages more usual in the 18th Century areas of the grander Georgian terraces of the City centre and the upper town.

The proposals refer to villas. However, we feel that these buildings are not in the Bathwick villa style, which is defined by detached or semi-detached dwellings that show a mixture of symmetrical and asymmetrical facades, with varied rooflines both on individual buildings and in vistas within the landscape and are not large “palace fronted” blocks or terraces.  There are some late 18th century and early 19th century villas on Bathampton Lane, but these would have taken advantage of a countryside setting on the outskirts of Bathampton village, rather than a higher density city edge. These houses have parapets but not pediments.

In particular, this approach to the design of the buildings sited where the site closely abuts Warminster Road give rise to a very curious street frontage due to the significant difference in levels between the road and the ground floor of the building. We cannot think of an example where a pediment tops a façade at street level (or only slightly ‘above normal eye level’). Indeed, in the local area, the larger villas (but still considerably narrower than proposed) are set side-on to the road or well behind vegetation. In much new classical architecture the use of pediments is an overly grand indication of classicism.

It is disappointing that the Italianate Bathwick Villa style character of the area does not appear to have been fully explored or considered by the development. A more locally representative villa design would substantially reduce the bulk of lines of built form that will be seen from across the valley (as seen in montages from Camden Road).

Design Detailing

Examples of questionable detailing as referred to in our preliminary comments are described below. Our concerns generally relate to composition/elevation treatment, fenestration, entablature, chimneys, and the position of down pipes. When drawings are presented at this scale it can be difficult to judge detailed articulation and we would welcome larger scale drawings.

On the whole the approach to fenestration and the lack of sash windows with glazing bars is very disappointing given the ‘classical’ approach. Here we believe there is room for improvement.  Sash windows would correspond better to the classical proportions than many of the currently proposed windows do.  The proposed mullion and transom windows appear rather squat – we assume this is because off the peg windows are being used and produce these dimensions, and presumably so do floor heights in the mid levels of housing types like N9 and N11.

Flats 3 plot 111 – The south elevation window arrangement with a central tripartite window could be a good focus of this elevation. However this window lacks such focal emphasis because the two small windows appear awkwardly slotted into the tripartite feature.

N13 Plot Numbers: 141, 142 & 143 – The rear elevation is shown as render, stating it is not facing public realm. This is however, the main elevation that will be seen from the public landscaped areas and from the canal (as seen in montages viewpoint 4 winter). While it is not built public realm it is open space with views to the new buildings and therefore still highly visible.  As this crescent type block appears as a feature building and could be classed therefore as double fronted we would recommend the use of Bath stone on both elevations.

House Type N7 – It is unfortunate to see downpipes placed at the centre of pilasters as this creates an awkward division of the pilaster form. Elevations e, d, c, – Ground floor garage arrangement has strange relationship to the pilaster/bay arrangements above that makes what should be an impressive elevation (in the giant order/Royal Crescent style) look slightly awkward.

House Type N9 & N9 – Concerns about the design approach, bulk and pediment detailing as described above.

House Type N11 & N11 – Concerns about the design approach, bulk and pediment detailing as described above. North elevations rendered and yet they face public realm in the development.  Getting fenestration/proportions right on this size elevation is vital and this is clearly where the dimensions of the windows have little relationship with the proportions of the elevation. For a design emulating or taking the Bath townhouse facade as its inspiration, the development has rather mean windows. The wall to window (solid to void) relationship makes this building look more institutional than townhouse-type.

House Type W3 – On the front elevation the proportions and fenestration do not follow any order and the window size and pattern is irregular. The windows in the side elevation are small and out of scale.

Overall we question shallowness in pitch of some roofs, e.g. blocks of flats c.f. ‘villa’-terraces shown on street elevation 1.

Materials and finishes

– The use of natural sawn Bath stone is preferred on all elevations and chimneys, given that the orientation of buildings would result in most facades being visible from some part of the public realm or in long views. If render is used we would suggest that it is lime render with stone quoins as this then allows for a natural relationship between stone and render facades.

– Aside from fact that the chimneys have no function why are they not classed as public realm facing and therefore in stone?  Especially when they are on same elevations as those that will be in stone and therefore classed as public realm facing. There would be obvious maintenance problems with painted render chimneys. The material for chimney pots should also be stipulated – we would oppose the use of plastic or glass reinforced plastic, which have been used on neoclassical builds elsewhere in Bath (Bathwick Street).

– Painted metal railings, bin stores and windows – colours should be stipulated.

Lacunae

– Further information is required on landscaping of ‘canal-side’ & eastern open space (including playable spaces & community growing plots), on the new bridge over canal & railway, & on footpath connection to Darlington Rd (all as outlined in the Council’s site concept statement).

Planning Policy Context

The proposed development, by virtue of its inappropriate design, appearance 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, a Policies BH.1, BH6 and D4 of the B&NES Local Plan.

For the reasons stated above the Trust is unable to support the proposal in its current form. We would welcome improved justification for the design approach, and would welcome the opportunity to engage in any further design review.

 

14/02294/FUL – Avon Lodge, 140 London Road West, Lower Swainswick, Bath, Bath And North

The erection of one 3no bed dwelling.

OBJECT This planning application proposes to site a new dwelling in the Green Belt. The Trust objects in principle to land use of the Green Belt for inappropriate development especially in the absence of ‘very special circumstances’ relevant to planning policy. In considering the Trust’s position on this we can think of only one exception but in that case there was substantial benefit to the local community.

Para 88, Section 9 ‘ Protecting Green Belt Land’ of the NPPF states that ‘When considering any planning application, local planning authorities should ensure that substantial weight is given to any harm to the Green Belt. ‘Very special circumstances’ will not exist unless the potential harm to the Green Belt by reason of inappropriateness, and any other harm, is clearly outweighed by other considerations.’

We do not consider that this proposal for a new dwelling in the Green Belt is made with exceptional or meritable circumstances and there is no obvious public benefit to outweigh the harm of the proposals.

Furthermore, the style and use of the new building are not named in the exempt development types as outlined in in Para 89, Section 9 of the NPPF.

This inappropriate development would cause harm to the openness and character of the Green Belt, and is therefore contrary to Section 9 ‘Protecting Green Belt Land’ of the NPPF and Local Plan policies GB.1 and GB.2.

 

14/02208/FUL – 13 Lower Camden Place, Walcot, Bath, Bath And North East Somerset, BA1 5JJ

Removal of cement/concrete and pavement lights, and formation of traditional raised basement lights, front railings and landscaping works to the front garden area.

SUPPORT The Bath Preservation Trust supports the external alterations proposed. Replacing unsympathetic concrete paving slabs with pennant flags will greatly improve the character and appearance of the listed building and its setting. Fitting conservation roof lights, following the removal of the existing concrete in-pavement lights, will be a considerable enhancement. And adding iron railings to the frontage will improve the architectural interest of the building and the appearance of the whole terrace.

 

14/02077/LBA – 4 Abbey Street, City Centre, Bath, Bath And North East Somerset, BA1 1NN

Internal and external alterations for the display of hanging sign, name sign by portico, printed signage on internal window blinds. Installation of temporary display screens in two ground floor rooms and painting of internal rooms/panelling.

OBJECT The Trust previously objected to the proposed signage, and will continue to object to this element of the proposal since the applicant has failed to demonstrate that there has been any difference in the approach or impact, therefore the extent of harm remains unchanged. Our reasons for objection are repeated.

Bath Preservation Trust objects in principle to the proposal for a hanging sign in this location and considers that the commercialisation of this location should be strongly resisted and the residential character of this area of the conservation area preserved. The paucity of detail for the hanging sign should in itself be regarded as reason enough for determination against this element of the proposals. We also object to the Perspex material as it opposes the traditional palette of materials in Bath and is inappropriate upon a listed building. The size of the proposed lettering on the blinds is also considered to be inappropriate and should be reduced. Overall the proposals contained within this application will have a detrimental impact on the character and visual amenity of the street scene and therefore they do not 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 BH2 and BH6 and should be REFUSED.

 

14/02273/LBA – 16 Gay Street, City Centre, Bath, BA1 2PH

Internal work to facilitate the refurbishment of basement flat to incorporate new services.

COMMENT A full schedule of works should be included with this application. It is important that details of the works are submitted in support of this proposal rather than determined by condition of any permission, as this does not allow appropriate public notification.

 

14/02318/AR – Abbey Hotel, 1 North Parade, City Centre, Bath, Bath And North East Somerset, BA1 1LF

Display of 1no non-illuminated sign.

COMMENT Bath Preservation Trust has no objection in principle to these works, however, the application is lacking detail required to make an informed assessment of the impact of the proposals. Installation of the aluminium built-up letters would necessitate the drilling of holes into the fabric of the facade, however, no information on fixings has been provided within the application so the full impact of these proposals cannot be determined. We would prefer existing drill holes to be used as further drilling will cause irreversible harm but if new holes must be drilled, the number of fixings should be kept to a minimum and the existing holes need to be repaired. Details as to how the holes will be repaired must be provided. Also, a section is required to illustrate the depth/profile of the lettering.  We would therefore recommend that further information is requested accordingly in support of this application.

 

14/02385/LBA – 2 Upper Church Street, City Centre, Bath, Bath And North East Somerset, BA1 2PT

External works to remove paint finish to front elevation at ground and lower ground floor.

COMMENT In principle, BPT supports the removal of paint to better preserve Bath Stone and better reveal the significance of the heritage asset. Blistering and peeling paint becomes detrimental to the aesthetic quality of the building and the health of the stone. Removing the existing paint will enable the stone to be returned to its original appearance, and enable the building fabric to breathe and moisture to pass through. Whilst the ‘Peel Away’ method of paint removal is deemed acceptable, we ask that test samples be carried out to establish application times and results, prior to any large, visible areas being cleaned. These samples ought to be approved by the Conservation Officer or by way of Condition of any permission, before being carried out in full.

 

14/02180/FUL -King Edwards School, North Road, Bathwick, Bath, Bath And North East Somerset, BA2 6HY

Installation of permanent low impact floodlighting system to existing synthetic turf pitch.

OBJECT Bath Preservation Trust objects to this application primarily on the grounds of a lack of evidence that this development will not have a negative impact on the character of the Bath Conservation Area and special qualities of the World Heritage Site. Regrettably the application fails to acknowledge both designations.

To reduce visibility from a distance we encourage the use of a more advanced type of luminaire that has a full horizontal cut off with the glass tilted. The designers have included the 350 lux switching mode, but it is not explained why and when 500 lux would be applied. If it is needed only for particular competitive matches then a strict regime would need to be imposed to ensure that 500 lux does not become the norm. This must be made a Condition of any consent, and monitored.

The hours of use proposed are such that come winter it is highly likely that the impact on residents in the locality and on the ‘dark sky’ character of the World Heritage site will be severe. It may well be that there is only limited impact and that this is outweighed by other benefits, but this needs to be properly assessed and better clarity given on the phasing aspect of the development.

In summary, this site sits within the Bath Conservation Area and World heritage Site and needs to be treated accordingly. The application is considered unacceptable in its current format due to the lack of clarity, impact assessment and the potentially aggressive illumination and as such is considered contrary to Section 8 ‘Promoting Healthy Communities’ and Section 12’Conserving and Enhancing the historic Environment’ of the NPPF as well as local plan policies SC.4 SC.5 BH.1.

 

14/02432/FUL – 78A Newbridge Hill, Newbridge, Bath, BA1 3QA

Creation of new vehicular access.

COMMENT The Bath Preservation Trust understands the desire for off-street parking, however the loss of the front garden is regrettable. Front gardens, pedestrian gates and boundary walls are attractive and important features that provide cohesiveness and unity in a street and contribute to an important part of the city Conservation Area. It is for this reason that the Trust has a keen preference for the retention of front gardens and boundary walls. Several neighbouring properties have demolished their boundary walls and resurfaced their gardens to provide parking spaces. The existence of car parking spaces in other gardens of the street should be considered as a deterrent, not an encouragement for more. Also, there is no information about the surfacing materials. It is important that details of the materials are submitted in support of this proposal rather than determined by a condition of any permission. This application is not acceptable in its current form and we encourage the LPA to obtain further information about surfacing materials from the applicant.

 

14/01485/LBA  – 29 Denmark Road, Twerton, Bath, Bath And North East Somerset, BA2 3RE

Internal and external alterations for the erection of ground and first floor rear extension

OBJECT We recognise that this listed building has been very poorly treated and much of its historic and architectural character has been damaged by previous insensitive alterations. Every opportunity must therefore be made to protect this building from further harm, and where possible reinstate missing or lost features. We note that planning approval has previously been granted for reinstating timber sash windows which regrettably was never implemented.

This proposal presents further harm to the significance of the listed building. The size of the proposed extension would over dominate the original building. The inappropriate UPVC materials proposed would further detract from the architectural interest of the building. Adding even more UPVC to this building is simply not acceptable. We encourage the use of traditional building materials, and timber windows as is appropriate and in keeping with the age and style of the building, and the character of Bath.

These inappropriate alterations 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.

 

14/02381/FUL – 37 West Avenue, Oldfield Park, Bath, Bath And North East Somerset, BA2 3QD

Erect a rear dormer loft conversion.

OBJECT The Bath Preservation Trust considers that overly large flat roof dormer windows are not in the interest of good design and fail to reinforce the local distinctiveness of the Bath World Heritage Site. The strong horizontal emphasis the box form presents is a visually intrusive feature in the Bath townscape. The proposal is contrary to Local Plan Policies BH1, D2 and D4 and Section 7 ‘Requiring Good Design’ of the NPPF and should be refused.

 

14/02435/AR – 3 Victoria Buildings, Twerton, Bath, Bath And North East Somerset, BA2 3EH

Display of 1no. externally illuminated fascia sign.

OBJECT BPT would be supportive of alterations to this shop front which would be sensitive to the architectural and historic interest of the listed building. However elements of this proposal are of concern including acrylic lettering, wood staining and illumination, all of which are inappropriate upon a listed building of this age and style. We would encourage the applicant to review their approach. A painted shop front is much more in the character of Bath, as is painted signage and individual metal lettering. We note that the approach to illumination is rather more discrete than other more obvious and intrusive light fittings however, we continue to object in principle to illuminated signs on listed buildings within the Bath Conservation Area. In this location illumination really isn’t justified. The proposal in the current format would have a detrimental impact on the significance of the listed building, and 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, BH6 and BH17, and should be REFUSED.

 

14/02347/LBA – 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 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 more solid front extension proposed is not in our view at all aesthetically 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 principle facade. Furthermore no historic report has been submitted, as is required. 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.

Designed by Ice House Design