Nov – Dec 2014

2014 Weeks 46 – 53

27 November – 31 December

Week 46

14/04037/AR – 10 Southgate Street Bath

Display of 2no. internally illuminated fascia signs, 1no. non-illuminated hanging sign, 2no. laminated cards,  2no. vinyl signs and 4no.canvas signs.

Comment:  Whilst we appreciate the applicant’s desire to advertise their premises, we continue to resist the unnecessary use of illuminated signs.  Bath is a low-illuminated city, so this form of advertising will add to light levels in the World Heritage Site and conservation area.  Street lighting and light spill from general internal lighting should be sufficient to illuminate signs and shop fronts.

14/04518/LBA – 13 Edward Street Bathwick

Internal and external alterations for the installation of boiler and flue.

Comment:  Should the application be granted consent, we would recommend that the flue is of a suitable muted colour and appropriate material, which respects the traditional palette of the city.

14/04907/AR – 2 St Lawrence Street City Centre

Display of 2 no. internally illuminated projecting signs.

Object:  Whilst we appreciate the applicant’s desire to advertise their premises, we will continue to maintain our position as regards the unnecessary use of illuminated signs.  Bath is a low-illuminated city, so this form of advertising will increase light levels in the World Heritage Site and conservation area.  Street lighting and light spill from general internal lighting should be sufficient to illuminate signs.  In addition the proposed materials – steel and acrylic – for the signs, are not in keeping with the traditional palette of materials that are prevalent across the city.  Given these points we object to the proposal.

The proposed scheme, by virtue of the materials and means of illumination, would neither preserve nor and enhance the character and appearance of the World Heritage Site and conservation area and be detrimental to the visual amenity of the street scene. The scheme would be contrary to Section 12 (Conserving and enhancing the historic environment) of the NPPF, policies; B1, B2, B4 and CP6 of the B&NES Core Strategy and saved polices; D4 and BH17 of the B&NES Local Plan.  We would therefore recommend that the application be refused.

14/04609/LBA – 33 Oak Street Westmoreland

External alterations for the installation of new roof.

Comment:  The application presents a missed opportunity to re-instate a more traditional form of roofing material, such as red clay tiles rather than re-using the existing concrete tiles.  The re-introduction of an appropriate historic material would enhance the character and appearance of the listed building and street-scene.    

14/04970/FUL & 14/04971/LBA – 75 Lyncombe Hill Lyncombe

Reinstatement of painted iron railings to the front and side boundary of property.

Comment:  We welcome the proposal in principle as an appropriate reinstatement of iron railings would enhance the character, appearance and significance of the listed building, and in turn enhance the street scene in the conservation area.  However, the application is lacking in details as regards the paint finish and methods of fixing, and a full schedule of works should be requested in support of the proposal or by condition.

14/04981/FUL – 23 Southcot Place Lyncombe

Erection of a rear extension, rear dormer window, front dormer window and garden building.

Object:  As the proposed scheme contains the basic elements as per the previous application we maintain our position of objection.  The proposed alterations to the front elevation of the property also give us cause to object to this application.

Southcot Place is a 1970’s terrace and 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 of alteration, the terrace has retained the general form and appearance of its original design. The flat rear roof dormer as proposed would be an incongruous 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 whole 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 design and form would detract from the setting of listed buildings, and therefore harm the significance of designated heritage assets. The roof extension would set a worrying precedent in this terrace, especially as it is 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.

With regard to the proposed dormer on the front elevation, whilst it is suggested in supplementary documents to the application, that this element will not be seen from street-level, it will no doubt be possible to see the feature from the upper floors of the listed buildings (14) that form the majority of Southcot Place.  The unsympathetic design and form of the dormer would detract from the setting of the listed buildings, and therefore harm the significance of the designated heritage assets.  Inappropriate development of the roof of the property, both at the rear and front, may set a precedent that would cause further harm to the historic environment at this location in the World Heritage Site and conservation area.

The proposed inappropriate development is contrary to S16 and S72 of the Planning (Listed Buildings & Conservation Areas) Act 1990, Section 12 ‘Conserving & Enhancing the Historic Environment’ of the National Planning Policy Framework, policies B1, B4 and CP6 of B&NES Core Strategy, and Local Plan Policies D2, D4, BH1, BH2, BH6 and should therefore be refused.

Week 47

14/02669/AR – Goldsmiths 1 Milsom Street City Centre.

Display of 3no non-illuminated fascia signs, 1no new projecting non-illuminated blade sign.

Object:   We object to this proposal as the materials and form of signage proposed are not in keeping with the traditional type of materials and historic designs, prevalent across the city.  The combined elements of the proposed scheme – which has been implemented causes visible harm to the character and appearance of the listed building and therefore the visual amenity of the street scene, at this location in a prominent position in the one of the most traditional and prestigious shopping streets within the World Heritage Site and conservation area.

Whilst we appreciate the applicant’s desire to advertise their commercial premises this should not be at the detriment of the significance of the listed building or the amenity of the street scene.  We would recommend that more traditional forms of materials and signage design in keeping with the historic forms in place across the city be used.  The lettering/legend to the marble facade should be of a quality material and finish appropriate to the location.  The amount of lettering fixed to the seemingly historic facade, should be kept to a minimum in order to avoid unnecessary damage to the historic fabric of the listed building.  The applied vinyl window surrounds presents an alien and inappropriate feature to the shop fronts in this section of the city and the proposed hanging sign is not a common form on the street and should therefore not be agreed to, as it may set an unwelcome precedent harmful to the visual amenity and aesthetics of the street.  We strongly object to the use of neon signage as it is not a traditional form of material and its illumination is overbearing and unfitting for the subtle character of this area.  We object to illuminated signs as Bath is a low illumination city and this form adds unnecessarily to light levels.  Street lighting and light-spill from general internal lighting should be sufficient for advertising to be clearly seen.

The proposed scheme by virtue of its material, appearance and forms of advertising would be harmful to the significance of the designated heritage asset and the visual amenity value of the area, and neither preserve nor and enhance the character and appearance of the World Heritage Site and conservation area.  The scheme would be contrary to the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas Act) 1990, Section 12 of the National Planning Policy Framework, Core Strategy policies B1, B2, B4 & CP6 and Saved Local Plan policies, D4, BH2 & BH6.  We would therefore recommend that the application be refused.

When considering this application we would expect that the local planning authority be mindful of the publication, Bath Shopfronts – Guidelines for Design and Conservation (Bath City Council: 1993) and that this informs their decision making.

We are greatly concerned that this application – though not marked as such – is retrospective, the work being carried out some time ago, even though application 14/02590/LBA was refused by the local planning authority on 18 August 2014.  Work undertaken without the correct consents is a breach of planning legislation and may result in damage to the fabric of a listed building.  We would certainly expect that if the extant application is refused that the B&NES take enforcement action as soon as possible.

Week 48

14/04543/LBA – Whitestuff Ltd 7 New Bond Street City Centre

External alterations for the display of 1 no. non-illuminated fascia sign, to include the repainting of the existing fascia and addition of decorative moulding.

Comment: We would recommend that all the exterior wood work has an egg-shell or matt finish rather than gloss, as this would be more in keeping with the historic palette of the city, and be more suitable for a building in a prominent location within the World Heritage Site and conservation area.  We consider that there are more sympathetic heritage colours than that which has been proposed.

14/04813/AR – The Cowshed 5 Bladud Buildings City Centre

Installation of 1no non-illuminated fascia sign, 1no internally illuminated static menu board and 1no logo and opening hours. (Retrospective)

Comment:  We appreciate that the fascia sign is non-illuminated, constructed of timber and finished in paint; however the design presented is not exactly as the sign in place.  As regards the illuminated menu-board, it is unsatisfactory to state “T.B.C” against the illuminance levels both for the local planning authority to make an informed decision based and for other parties to fully consider the proposals.  From the information as per the application and drawing A100B, it is unclear if the logo (steer) will be coloured studio green or yellow.

14/05359/FUL & 14/05360/LBA – 132 North Road Combe Down

Alterations and extensions to dwelling, including reconfigured first floor layout, replacement & reinstated windows, replacement stairs, removal of modern fireplaces, replacement internal & external doors, reinstatement of timber floor, stone paint removal, frontage paving and replacement front bay. Single storey rear and side extensions replacing conservatory and glazed lean-to, glazed lantern to existing roof.

Support: We welcome and support the reinstatement of timber windows in place of UPVC and the repair and replacement of the shop front with new timber framing and glazing bars, as this will improve the appearance and character of the listed building and the street scene.  Our support only applies to the external works which improve the historic appearance of the building. We have made no assessment of any internal works and therefore pass no comment on them.

14/05036/FUL & 14/05037/LBA – 9 Lansdown Crescent Lansdown

Internal and external alterations to include re-ordering of rooms, relocation of partition wall and door relocation, fireplace surround relocation and replacement of kitchen following removal of kitchen, alterations to some windows, and provision of new garden landscaping.

Comment:  We welcome the removal of metal bars from windows on the front elevation, as this will improve the appearance and character of the listed building and the street scene.  We have made no assessment of any internal works and therefore pass no comment on them.

14/05087/FUL – 2 Bay Tree Road Fairfield Park Bath, Bath and North East Somerset BA1 6NA 

Erection of fence, replacing hedge.

Object:  We object to the proposal as it aims to introduce a boundary material that is not in keeping with the prevalent materials and character in the proximity of the proposal site.  Low stone walls with natural forms of boundary such as hedging are typical in this part of the city and this type should be retained.

The proposed scheme would neither preserve nor and enhance the character and appearance of the conservation area and would be detrimental to the visual amenity of the street scene.  The scheme would be contrary to Section 12 (Conserving and enhancing the historic environment) of the NPPF, policies; B1 and CP6 of the B&NES Core Strategy and saved polices; D4 and BH6 of the B&NES Local Plan.  We would therefore recommend that the application be refused.

Week 49

14/05270/FUL & 14/05271/AR – Beaufort Londis 3 – 4 Balustrade London Road Walcot Bath BA1 6QA

Installation of new shop front.

Object: We object to this proposal as it presents the opportunity to replace the whole of the existing inappropriate modern shop front with one, which incorporates  traditional elements of design drawing on the historical forms in the proximity of the site; however it proposes the further introduction of materials such as fibreglass, and illumination that detract from the visual amenity of the street scene.

The proposed scheme, by virtue of the materials and means of illumination, would neither preserve nor and enhance the character and appearance of the conservation area and be detrimental to the visual amenity of the street scene, and would detract from the special qualities of the World Heritage Site.  The scheme would be contrary to Section 12 (Conserving and enhancing the historic environment) of the NPPF, policies; B1 and CP6 of the B&NES Core Strategy and saved polices; D4, BH6, BH17 and BH19 of the B&NES Local Plan.  We would therefore recommend that the application be refused.

14/05193/AR & 14/05194/LBA – Richer Sounds 4A York Place London Road Walcot Bath BA1 6AE

Display of 1no. internally illuminated fascia sign and 1no. non-illuminated hand painted sign.

Object:  Whilst we appreciate the applicant’s desire to advertise their premises, we continue to resist the unnecessary use of illuminated signs.  Bath is a low-illuminated city, so this form of advertising will add to light levels in the World Heritage Site and conservation area.  Street lighting and light spill from general internal lighting should be sufficient to illuminate signs and shop fronts.

The proposed scheme, by virtue of the means of illumination, would neither preserve nor and enhance the character and appearance of conservation area and be detrimental to the visual amenity of the street scene, and would detract from the special qualities of the World Heritage Site.  The scheme would be contrary to Section 12 (Conserving and enhancing the historic environment) of the NPPF, policies; B1 and CP6 of the B&NES Core Strategy and saved polices; D4 BH2, BH6 and BH17 of the B&NES Local Plan.  We would therefore recommend that the application be refused.

Week 50

14/05328/FUL – Co-Operative Retail Services Ltd Upper Bloomfield Road Odd Down

Relocation of the entrance doors, alterations and redecorations to the shopfront.  Replacement of AC condenser to delivery area.

Comment:  We appreciate the applicant’s desire to re-model the front of their commercial premises; however the general quality of the design of the proposed scheme is poor, and does not enhance or preserve the visual amenity of the street scene.

It may be due to an error in the elevation drawing (A), but the text above the door does not appear to be correctly aligned/ or central, with the width of the entrance doors.  The colour (grey) for the finish of a number of elements on the elevation is not one that will enliven the appearance of the property or the street scene.  A seemingly lack of attention to detail in the design and the selection of a dark colour will harm the appearance of the building and detract from the amenity of the street scene.

14/05076/FUL & 14/05077/LBA – 23 Thomas Street Walcot

External alterations to replace the flue at the front of the house and route a condensation drainage pipe through front wall of the house.

Comment: Should the application be granted consent, we would recommend that the flue is of a suitable muted colour and appropriate material, which respects the traditional palette of the city. 

Week 51

14/05464/AR – Usc 9 – 11 St Lawrence Street City Centre

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

Object: Whilst we appreciate the applicant’s desire to advertise their premises, we continue to resist the unnecessary use of illuminated signs.  Bath is a low-illuminated city, so this form of advertising will add to light levels in the World Heritage Site and conservation area.  Street lighting and light spill from general internal lighting should be sufficient to illuminate signs and shop fronts.

The proposed scheme, by virtue of the means of illumination, would neither preserve nor and enhance the character and appearance of conservation area and be detrimental to the visual amenity of the street scene, and would detract from the special qualities of the World Heritage Site.  The scheme would be contrary to Section 12 (Conserving and enhancing the historic environment) of the NPPF, policies; B1 and CP6 of the B&NES Core Strategy and saved polices; D4, BH6 and BH17 of the B&NES Local Plan.  We would therefore recommend that the application be refused.

14/05055/FUL – Turnpike Yard Lower Bristol Road Twerton

Erection of replacement building as builder’s merchant (sui generis); hard and soft landscaping works; hardstanding, vehicle and parking areas; alteration to entrance gates and perimeter fencing following demolition of existing sales, storage and staff buildings and structures.

Comment: If the proposed scheme is permitted we would recommend that conditions are attached to the consent.  Our recommend outline conditions are as follows:

  • That all outside storage is subject to strict height restrictions.  In the interest of visual amenity.
  • Retained trees and shrubs should be should be properly managed with dead wood removed, and additional specimens planted if necessary, to retain screening, especially in during the winter months.  In the interest of visual amenity.
  • The existing low wall as per the proposed site plan should be retained and repaired as necessary, except for the section immediately by the entrance.  In the interest of visual amenity.
  • That a separate advertising consent is sought by the applicant for the proposed advertising on the proposed new building.  In order to comply with planning regulations.

In addition we wish to enquire as to whether or not Kellaway have the appropriate consent for the large existing sign, which is displayed on the fencing near the entrance?  We would ask that you investigate this issue and keep us informed of your findings and actions?

14/05376/FUL & 14/05377/LBA – 38 Grosvenor Place Lambridge Bath   

Provision of off-street car parking to rear of property with associated works and repairs to garden wall.

Object: The removal of a section of the historic boundary wall; represents a loss of the historic means of enclosure and building line to the property which would  detract from the enclosed garden setting of the listed building and result in the loss of the historic fabric of the wall.  Whilst we recognise that a section of the wall will need to be removed to achieve access, the amount to be removed is too great and is not sufficiently justified.  Furthermore the height and appearance of the proposed timber fence would provide a structure that is higher than the flanking garden walls, and thus would be visually detrimental to the visual amenity and setting of the listed buildings in the immediate proximity.  Our objection is also informed by the lack of detail regarding the appearance of the paving.

The proposed scheme, by virtue of a lack of detail, the extent of the demolition of historic fabric would cause substantial harm to the significance and setting of the listed building, would neither preserve nor and enhance the character and appearance of the conservation area and be detrimental to the visual amenity of the street scene, and would detract from the special qualities of the World Heritage Site.  The scheme would be contrary to the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas Act) 1990, Section 12 (Conserving and enhancing the historic environment) of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), policies; B1, B4 and CP6 of the B&NES Core Strategy and saved polices; D4, BH1, BH2 and BH6 of the B&NES Local Plan.  We would therefore recommend that the application be refused.

Week 52

14/05704/FUL & 14/05721/LBA – 2 Chapel Row, City Centre, Bath

Internal & external alterations for the erection of a single storey rear extension at lower ground floor to include replacement of sash windows to front elevation with multi pane units.

Comment:  We welcome the replacement of sash windows in principle. If of suitable design and materials may enhance the character and appearance of the building street-scene and therefore the conservation area. However, unfortunately we can’t comment in full on this aspect of the proposal as detailed information is lacking.  Our comments on the proposed scheme are therefore restricted and limited to the principle of this aspect of the proposal.

14/05703/FUL – 1 Providence Villas Henrietta Road Bathwick 

Erection of two storey side extension following demolition of attached garage and first floor link to rear elevation.

Object: Whilst we appreciate that the property is not a designated heritage asset it is situated with the conservation area and World Heritage Site and the front elevation is of a harmonious form, with clearly recognisable historical elements of design.  The proposed side extension will disrupt the symmetry of the existing front elevation and elements of the extension; including the use of zinc and projecting window, would introduce incongruous features that would fail to reflect the local distinctiveness of the area.

Unbalancing the symmetry of the front elevation and the use of zinc would be detrimental to the character and appearance of building, and harm the visual amenity of the street-scene.

The proposed scheme by virtue of material, appearance and form would be harmful to the visual amenity value of the area, and neither preserve nor and enhance the character and appearance of the World Heritage Site and conservation area.  The scheme would be contrary to Section 12 of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), B&NES Core Strategy policies B1, B4 & CP6 and B&NES Saved Local Plan policies, D4 & BH6.  We would therefore recommend that the application be refused.

Week 53

14/05525/LBA – 2 Sion Hill Place, Bathwick Hill, Bathwick

External alterations including stone cleaning to the front elevation, repairs to cornice and mortar and other damaged areas, replace UPVC downpipe with cast iron, repainting of door and window reveals and cills.

Comment:  We support the proposal in principle, in that appropriate cleaning and repairs will conserve the fabric, appearance and character of the building, and the visual amenity of the street-scene.  It is regrettable however; that no pre-cleaning survey has been submitted as part of the application, to support and justify the approach proposed.  With such information we would be able to provide a comprehensive response.

14/05497/AR – Street Record, London Road Car Park, Batheaston

Display of six sheet internally illuminated advertisements in bus shelter serving the No.13 Fox Hill-Bathford route; to be located along the London Road East (Stambridge) Stop No.42.

Object:  Whilst we understand the applicant’s desire to increase their revenue through advertising, we will continue to object to illuminated signs in the city and its environs, which form the World Heritage Site, a conservation area and the setting of these designated areas respectively.  Many bus shelters have illuminated advertisements but these should not be a precedent for a low illuminated city like Bath. Secondary sources of light in the proposed location will emit sufficient light for the advertisements to be seen, such as the ‘courtesy light’, and there is little need for additional illumination.

We regret the undue commercialisation of the public realm, especially by commercial agencies as opposed to local-interest information. We have concerns that the absence of information about the content of such advertisements is becoming a precedent. As such, we feel that a condition for local interest content only ought to be sought.

The proposed scheme by virtue of material, appearance, illumination and form would be harmful to the visual amenity value of the area, and neither preserve nor and enhance the character and appearance of the World Heritage Site.  The proposal is contrary to, Section 12 ‘Conserving and Enhancing the Historic Environment’ of the NPPF, B&NES Core Strategy polices; B1, B4 and CP6 , and ‘Saved’ Local Plan Policies D2 and D4, and should be refused.

14/05807/FUL – The Lodge, 1 London Road West, Lower Swainswick.

Erection of extension following removal of existing lean-to.

Comment:  We have no specific comments on the proposal, other than we would like clarification of the treatment of the proposed larch cladding?  Is the timber cladding natural or will it be treated in some form, and if the latter how?  Any treatment has the potential to determine how the timber weathers, and therefore the colour and appearance of this element of the building.

14/05698/EFUL – Site of Twerton Mill, Lower Bristol Road, Westmoreland, Bath.

Erection of student accommodation (sui generis) comprising 268 student bedrooms in studio/cluster flats and 62 bedrooms in 10 No. town houses comprising 1,2,3,4 and 5 storeys in height, together with 5 No. parking spaces (3 disabled and 2 management spaces); 96 covered cycle spaces; 2 No. covered refuse/recycling stores; covered plant rooms; vehicular access from the east (Mill Lane); emergency maintenance vehicular access from Lower Bristol Road; new hard/soft landscaping treatment, following demolition of existing industrial/office buildings.

Object: Bath Preservation Trust maintains its position of objection to the proposed scheme, which represents revisions to the previous application (13/01876/EFUL), to which we objected.

We are particularly concerned about an oversupply of student housing which would potentially use up brown field sites within the city. A report obtained from B&NES planning policy team concludes that there is a forecast shortfall in deliverable supply of student housing to 2021 of only 203 bed spaces.  This contrasts with the following planning applications:

  • Green Park – 461 bed spaces;
  • James Street West – 250 (min) bed space;
  • Transport Depot, Brougham Hayes – 103 bed spaces;
  • Site of Old Gas Works, Upper Bristol Road – 404 bed spaces;
  • Hartwells, Upper Bristol Road  – 194 + 70 beds paces;

This would suggest a massive overprovision when one compares applications against need. The key issue here is that in the provision of student housing will prevent much needed affordable housing being developed on this and other brown field sites.

We are very concerned on a number of points which relate to both policy and architecture, a number of which we expressed in relation to the previous scheme for this site, prior to application 13/01876/EFUL.

In policy terms, the planning statement provided with the application puts forward a case for this development which nevertheless breaches elements of B&NES policy. First, we note that the Core Strategy (Policy B3) states the following concerning Twerton Riverside:

  • The area presents an opportunity to host business that is displaced as a consequence of the residential led development of Western Riverside and the growth of the intensification of the Central Area into BWR East. Whilst Newbridge Riverside will remain the core industrial location, Twerton Riverside can provide additional flexibility. It will therefore be necessary to maintain an appropriate level of land in this area for B1c uses alongside office uses and housing.
  • Risks to Newbridge and Twerton Riverside – The following [issue is] identified as key risks to the success of these areas that should be addressed in development proposals:

a.  An excessive loss of industrial space would harm Bath’s mixed economic profile.

d.  There is a danger that redevelopment will fail to connect to the riverside  and miss the opportunity to enhance its walking and cycling route.

Secondly, the Building Heights Strategy suggests 5+1 storeys should be a maximum height even in this area which is a distance away from the City Centre.

Thirdly, we are not convinced by the sequential and exception test in relation to flooding, which suggests that in fact there are more suitable sites potentially available.

In architectural terms we have further reservations, which were stated clearly previously, and as such we regret that more amendments have not been made to the scheme. Firstly, the gateway is the only substantial remaining fragment of the historic site, yet it is being treated in a way that denies its function. This gateway should have provided an emphasis and axis to the plans for the site rather than being shunted sideways as an afterthought. A regrettable local example of where an architectural element is not incorporated into the legibility of a development is of course Pinch’s Folly; such a deliberate failure in design on this site should not be permitted so easily.

Unfortunately, while we support the approach of very limited parking provision and good provision of bicycle stores, we do not believe there is adequate access to the site for drop off and delivery of students, nor is the potential for open areas fully realised. This is largely because of the transverse block placed behind the gateway, which blocks East/West access through the site and looks like an ‘added extra’. Linked to this lack of amenity and flow through the site, we regret that the applicant has not considered opening the development onto the canal; as proposed the design shuts off the canal and makes no use of the benefits it could bring to residents living in the development.

Overall, therefore while seeing elements to support in this proposal (in particular the attempt to respond through an industrial ‘aesthetic’ to the history of the site) we believe it is let down by a desire to overdevelop both in height and mass, with insufficient respect paid to the retained history and a dubious pathway through the policy framework.

We therefore object to this proposal as it is contrary to Section 12 of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), policies B1, B3 and CP6 of the B&NES Core Strategy, saved policies D2 and D4 of the B&NES Local Plan and the B&NES Building Heights Strategy, and should be refused.

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