Jul – Sep 2015

September 2015

Week 38 2015

15/03855/AR – River Island 9 Southgate Place Bath

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

Object: The Trust objects to the use of inappropriate materials and illumination proposed in this application.  Whilst we understand the applicants need to advertise their premises, and note that this shop is in the modern Southgate development we continue to resist to the use of acrylic which is a low quality material that is not in keeping with the palette of Bath and will therefore detract from the visual amenity of the street.  Southgate remains in the conservation area and its amenity should therefore reflect the character of the conservation area. We would recommend the use of timber fascia boards with handwritten signage. In addition, we continue to resist the unnecessary use of illumination.  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 from within the building and the forecourt roof should be sufficient to illuminate the shop front.

The proposed scheme, by virtue of the means of illumination and materials would 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 National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), policies; B1, B2 and CP6 of the B&NES Core Strategy and saved polices; D2, D4, BH6, BH17 and BH22 of the B&NES Local Plan.  We would therefore recommend that the application be refused.

 

15/03934/LBA – Cancer Research UK 28 Westgate Street City Centre

External alterations to provide limewash coating to front elevation, first floor level to enhance the appearance of the property following the removal of the deteriorated paint and the exposure of old, faded, painted advertising.

Comment: The Trust commends the applicant on their careful uncovering and analysis of the issues regarding the ‘ghost sign’. There is always a viable argument for allowing the sign to remain visible as it forms part of the history of the building but given the sign is incomplete the Trust is supportive of the proposal to lime wash over the ghost sign to provide both aesthetic improvement to the facade and to protect the sign, however we would expect the applicant to make a full photographic record of the sign and consult expert advice on which mix of lime wash would be most appropriate to ensure that the sign is not damaged by any future removal of lime wash covering.

15/03919/FUL – 2 Horseshoe Walk Widcombe Bath

Erection of 2 storey side extension and single storey rear extension following demolition of existing conservatory. Erection of wall and fence with external stairs to front elevation.

Object: The Trust feels that on view of the proposed extension that it should mirror, at least in outline, the extension of the attached house.  The Trust is always keen to see high quality new design in Bath, and we have no objection to the modern design of the side extension, however given the overall composition of the two houses, the fact they were built and intended as a pair, and their position within in a highly visible public realm, we feel that some consideration should be given to retaining an overall architectural harmony of the whole ‘arts & crafts’ style building. The current proposal shows a rectangular formed extension with a flat roof that sits incongruously and therefore intrusively within the overall composition, unbalancing and harming both the building but also the overall suburban character of the conservation area and the local historic canal. We would prefer to see an extension that incorporated a mono pitch roof to match its counterpart.  This should not preclude the addition of additional living space, but provide a unified aesthetic to the front elevation of the building.

In addition we have a strong objection to the proposed use of blue engineering brick, which is neither in the colour palette nor materials palette of Bath and would also be highly incongruous; neither in keeping with the host building nor the surrounding area.

It appears that the applicant is wishing to build a ‘statement piece’ of modern design, however we feel that this type of strong statement constitutes inappropriate development with regards to how it relates to this particular host building and the character of the local area. We also note there is to be ‘modified access’ and would comment that this is a canal side location where any intensification of vehicular access and egress should be resisted.

The proposed extension would be harmful to the significance of  the nearby listed structures and their setting, detrimental to the character and appearance of the Bath conservation area and would fail to protect the special qualities of the World Heritage Site (specifically in relation to materials, and harmonious design) and therefore is contrary to S16 and S72 of the Planning (Listed Buildings & Conservation Areas) Act 1990, Section 12 ‘Conserving & Enhancing the Historic Environment of the NPPF, policies B1, B4 and CP6 of the Core Strategy and Local Plan Policies D2, D4, BH1 and BH6 and should be refused.

15/03930/LBA – 49 Sydney Buildings Bathwick Bath

Internal and external alterations to include replacement fittings to first floor bathroom and cloakroom with matching cornice to bathroom. Glass cover to external lightwell at front entrance and external platform for bicycle with angled glass cover.

Comment:  The Trust comments on the poor quality of the drawings and the lack of clear overall information contained in this application.  We have concerns about the addition of a glass structure to house a bike, it is difficult to gain an overall view of what this will look like, but even so, glass is likely to be an inappropriate material for this purpose, the fixings are likely to be harmful to historic fabric and the overall effect will be harmful to the visual amenity of the listed building and those adjacent.  The proposed ventilation terminal should be discreetly located and be of a colour to match the stonework – a recessive grey or stone colour rather than white. We would also expect that due consideration should be given to the mitigation of harm to historic fabric where possible in these works.  We would encourage the planning officer to work with the applicant to devise a less intrusive method of bike storage.

15/04047/LBA –  Brasserie Blanc Francis Hotel 6 – 11 Queen Square City Centre

External alterations for the provision of 6 tables, 12 benches and 2 umbrellas (Retrospective).

Object: The Trust objects strongly to this application and also regrets that it is retrospective. The hard, rectangular semi-industrial form and design of the tables and chairs currently permanently cemented in-situ are incongruous and out of context, making no reference to or respecting the fact that they are adjacent to a Grade 1 listed building nor in a highly sensitive historic location in the World Heritage city.  In addition they are permanent fixtures and will therefore be constantly and highly visible within the public realm, even in the winter when feasibly they will not be used (unless of course permission is also being sought for gas burners). The Trust feels that such an intentional and blatant departure from the authorised scheme is highly irregular and that the current tables and benches are damaging to the historic and architectural interest of the significant listed building, those adjacent, and the overall special character of Queen’s Square, arguably the heart of Georgian Bath.  With the custodianship of special buildings in special places comes a responsibility to understand, respect and preserve the building in its setting, and this case, commercialism has clearly overridden these core values.

The benches and tables currently in situ harm the special architectural and historic interest of multiple heritage assets, negatively impacts on the setting and views of multiple designated heritage assets, and would neither preserve nor and enhance the character of the conservation area, would fail to enhance the special qualities of the World Heritage site and would be detrimental to the visual amenity of the area. The scheme would be contrary to the Planning (Listed Building and Conservation Areas) Act 1990, Section 12 (Conserving and enhancing the historic environment) of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), policies; B1, B2, B4 and CP6 of the B&NES Core Strategy and saved policies; D2, D4, BH1, BH2, and BH6 of the B&NES Local Plan.  We would therefore recommend that the application be refused.

15/04055/FUL – 5 Victoria Buildings Twerton Bath

Installation of replacement windows and internal new staircase with other minor modifications.

Comment: The Trust comments that it appears from the application that a new flue terminal is to be inserted into the rear elevation, the proposed ventilation terminal should be discreetly located and be of a colour to match the stonework – a recessive grey or stone colour rather than white. We would also expect that due consideration should be given to the mitigation of harm to historic fabric where possible in these works.  We also regret the loss of the original stair case arrangement and the subsequent harm to historic fabric however it appears that on balance there will be conservation benefits overall to the refurbishment which may mitigate this impact.

Week 37 2015

15/03871/FUL – Basement   3 Widcombe Crescent, Widcombe

Erection of single storey rear extension together with minor internal layout amendments.

Objection: Whilst the Trust has sympathy with applicant’s desire to increase space within the property, the Trust feels that the addition of an extension to the rear facade of the Grade I listed building is unacceptable, both in terms of loss of historic plan form, loss of historic fabric and harm to the visual amenity of the rear elevation of the listed building and those adjacent.  Widcombe Crescent is a group composition of special architectural and historic interest within the World Heritage site and in its elevated position means the rear elevation is also visible in long views from vantage points across the city and therefore contributes to the setting of the city.  The precedent of such development on the relatively undeveloped rear facade of the crescent presents irreversible harm to the heritage asset which is not outweighed or compensated by any significant conservation benefits.

The proposed scheme by virtue of the demolition of significant historic fabric, loss of plan form and loss of historic facade would substantially harm the historic, architectural, aesthetic and evidential value of the listed building, would detract from the character and appearance of the conservation area and the special qualities of the World Heritage site and would therefore be contrary to the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas Act) 1990, Section 12 of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), policies B1, B4 and CP6 of the B&NES Core Strategy and saved polices, BH1, BH2, BH4 and BH6 of the B&NES Local Plan.  We would therefore recommend that the application be refused.

15/03991/DLPAO – Old Somerset And Dorset Railway Bridge Bellotts Road Twerton

Prior Approval for the removal and reconstruction of the central span of the existing bridge, in connection with the electrification of the Great Western Main Line (S&D Intersect Overbridge MLN1 108M 09Ch)

Comment:  The Trust is broadly supportive of the overall scheme regarding this bridge, however we have a small number of comments/observations. We regret the departure from the barrel arch form for the central span but accept that this is the only feasible solution to the technical requirements of electrification. We support the proposal to re-face the amended sections of the bridge in appropriately coloured and finished brick and would encourage the re-use of 19th century bricks where possible.  We would encourage the use of Bath stone for the anti-climb copings and support the idea of a translucent screen but would question how it is bonded and maintained/cleaned in the longer term.

We encourage the applicants to at all times recognise and respect the importance of this bridge as part of the historic railway experience of Bath. Whilst it is not part of the Brunel group composition it does have historic relevance as part of Bath’s railway history, is a visible element of the railway journey within the World Heritage city and is located within the setting of the Grade II listed Bellott’s Road Bridge.

Week 36 2014

15/01811/FUL – Use of highway for the siting of 10 tables and 28 chairs.

Society Café 5 Kingsmead Square City Centre Bath

Comment: The Trust has no objection to the siting of tables and chairs in this shared access cafe destination, providing the tables and chairs are of an appropriate style and can be stored inside at night in order to minimise impact on the setting of the listed buildings. We note that currently the cafe have 13 tables and 26 chairs outside the premises, not the number noted in the application form.  We would recommend that permission be granted for the only the number requested in order not to unduly clutter this sensitive historic location.

15/03805/LBA – 9 Royal Crescent City Centre Bath

Internal works to include installation of ground floor WC and removal of redundant lift plinths and wall in basement.

Comment: The Trust comments that whilst we have no objection in principle to the proposed internal work but given the Grade I listing and architectural/historic importance of the building we would expect to see a more detailed submission including some form of historic report on the significance of the building and a heritage impact assessment of the proposed works in line with the NPPF which requires submissions for listed building consent to contain an amount of detail proportionate to the significance of the building.

15/03697/LBA – Flat 6   11 Springfield Place Lansdown Bath

External and internal alterations to install a domestic extractor fan into exterior wall.

Comment: The proposed ventilation terminal should be discreetly located and be of a colour to match the stonework – a recessive grey or stone colour rather than white. We would also expect that due consideration should be given to the mitigation of harm to historic fabric where possible in these works to relocate the ventilation opening.

 

15/03795/FUL – 30 Brougham Hayes Westmoreland

Change of use from single dwelling into two self-contained units with minor internal alteration and erection of rear two storey extension.

Object: The Trust wishes to object to the size of the proposed dormer.  Brougham Hayes is a modest and diminutive terrace of Victorian cottages, and we feel the size, design and bulk of the very large dormer would be visually top heavy, would distort the traditional roof line and overwhelm the cottage and its neighbours, and would constitute overdevelopment. The proposal presents a scheme that fails to respond to the local context and will detract from the attractive quality of a group of buildings, an essential component contributing to the harmonious qualities of Bath’s built environment.  Whilst the building is not a designated heritage asset, this form of historic terraced housing in this area of the World Heritage Site, defines a period of expansion in the housing stock of the city, and the building and terrace of which it is part, is a good example of the historic design for this building type.

The proposed scheme, by virtue of scale and design would be detrimental to the visual amenity value of the area, fails to enhance or reinforce local distinctiveness, and therefore contrary to Section 7 (Requiring good design) of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), policies B1and CP6 of the B&NES Core Strategy and saved policies, D2 and D4 of from the B&NES Local Plan.  We would therefore ask that the application be refused.

15/01932/EOUTProposed Development Site Roseberry Road Twerton Bath

Mixed-use regeneration comprising the erection of six buildings to accommodate up to 200 flats, flexible business employment floor space (Use Class B1) (up to 6,000 sq m gross), local needs shopping (up to 1,350 sq m gross) together with all associated development including demolition of existing buildings, site remediation, construction of new access roads and riverside walkway/cycle path, landscaping and tree planting.

Objection:  The Trust appreciates the collaborative approach of the applicants which has resulted in welcome amendments to the application, however we continue to object to the proposed development on the basis of roof design, appearance, bulk, massing and height of some of the proposed buildings.  In our submission of 21 May 2015 we objected to:

  • The bulk and mass of the employment buildings
  • The height and upper storey design of the nodal building
  • In general the reliance on step back roofs
  • Blank and hostile street frontages

We note that some welcome changes have been made to the application, namely:

  • The reduction in height of the nodal building (building 1) and the change in roof articulation
  • The addition of saw tooth roofing to provide some roofscape variety to Building 1.
  • The addition of a curvilinear element to the employment buildings
  • The addition of more active frontages

However we are still concerned about:

  • the      overall impact and precedent of very large, bulky, tall, ‘boxy’ (or box-like)      buildings on the townscape in this sensitive riverside location with the      World Heritage city. Specifically we still have concerns about the mass,      scale and height of buildings 1,4, 5, 6.
  • Due to      their bulk the proposed buildings still largely fail to respond to the      character and architectural grain of the surrounding area. They would      incongruously and very visibly dominate the local area which is      characterised by visually homogenous small scale domestic or industrial      architecture of various periods.
  • In particular we note that the proposal still includes the step back roof form which is an unwelcome design precedent and we strongly suggest that further thought should be given to more variety in the roofscape design. The local patterns of gable and hip roof forms and dormer windows should be reflected more in this development.  We continue to urge the applicants to reconsider the set back roof design to the upper storeys of Buildings 1, 2, 4 and 5. Whilst some of the height of the employment buildings has been reduced, it appears that actually the set back roof of the far west building may be one storey higher.

We do not believe the dominant design elements of the Western Riverside scheme should be used as a blueprint for other riverside areas. The overall bulk, massing and heights of the WR development could be suggested to detrimentally overwhelm and dominate the townscape in this central and very visible riverside location in the World Heritage site. At this stage we believe the same outcome could be true of the proposed Roseberry Place development. We believe developments in this location should seek to blend in with, complement and enhance the local urban grain, not stand out strikingly from it.

To illustrate our point, the Trust cites the example set by the Twerton Mills development  which has impressed the Trust. The high quality modern design, creative plan form and refreshingly varied and interesting roof treatments of this development which sits very comfortably within its local context (indeed enhancing it) but is still contemporary and satisfies the overriding need for high density units.

The proposed scheme, by virtue of height, bulk, design and appearance, harms the setting  and views of multiple designated heritage assets. This development would neither preserve nor enhance the character and appearance of the conservation area, would fail to enhance the local distinctiveness of the townscape and would be detrimental to the visual amenity of the location. We believe that the special qualities of the World Heritage Site would be compromised by such development. The scheme would be contrary to the Planning (Listed Building 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 policies; D2, D4 and BH2 B&NES Local Plan.  We would therefore recommend that the application be refused.

Week 35 2015

15/03728/LBA – Friends Meeting House, York Street City Centre

Internal alterations to include thermal upgrading of existing building, alterations to west lobby half glazed entrance screen, removal of lobby cupboard, replacement of existing meeting room pendant lights and upgrade small power and AV equipment.

Support:  The Trust welcomes the proposed works to this important building and commends the level of research and analysis that has informed the proposals, which appear sensitive and appropriate, without compromising any features of significance. The Trust supports sensitive and informed retrofitting of energy saving measures.  It is also pleasing to know that this significant building is being updated for further public use which will ensure its ongoing occupation and survival as one of Bath’s historic public buildings.

15/03589/FUL – Public Toilets Bradford Road Combe Down

Erection of first floor extension to facilitate the conversion of former public convenience into 1no. Dwelling.

Object: The Trust objects to this proposal on the basis of inappropriate materials and design.  Whilst the principle of developing this empty structure is commendable as is the desire to create a low carbon dwelling, we are very concerned that the overall design of the dwelling is incongruous and poorly conceived given the character of the surrounding area.  The proposed building with its and unsympathetic roof articulation sits without any reference to its context nor the prevailing patterns of local character, it is bulky, box like and intrusive on the street scene.  The fenestration appears awkward and we have concerns about the use of white render (a Bath stone colour render would be more appropriate) and the use of timber cladding in an urban street scene environment.  We would question whether it is proposed to treat the timber as there are no details within the application; untreated timber and its capacity to weather and soften in colour is more acceptable than ‘gaudy’ treated timber. We also have concerns about the visual impact of solar panels on the street elevation and local amenity.

The proposed scheme by virtue of its massing, design, and materials would detract from the visual amenity value of the area, and thus would detract from and harm the special qualities of the World Heritage Site. The proposal is contrary to Policies D2, D4, BH1 and BH6 of the B&NES Local Plan, B1, B4 and CP6 of the B&NES Core Strategy, the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 and Section 12 ‘Conserving and Enhancing the Historic Environment’ of the NPPF, and therefore should be refused.

15/03590/FUL – Public Toilets Dominion Road Twerton

Erection of first floor extension to facilitate the conversion of former public convenience into 1no. Dwelling.

Object: The Trust objects to this proposal on the basis of inappropriate materials and visual appearance.  Whilst the principle of developing this empty structure is commendable as is the desire to create a low carbon dwelling, however we have concerns about the use of white render (a  Bath stone colour render would be more appropriate) and the use of timber cladding in an urban street scene environment.  We would question whether it is proposed to treat the timber as there are no details within the application; untreated timber and its capacity to weather and soften in colour is more acceptable than ‘gaudy’ treated timber. We also have concerns about the visual impact of solar panels on the street elevation and local amenity.

The proposed scheme by virtue of its materials would neither preserve nor enhance the character and appearance of the conservation area, would detract from the visual amenity value of the area, and thus would detract from and harm the special qualities of the World Heritage Site. The proposal is contrary to Policies D2, D4, BH1 and BH6 of the B&NES Local Plan, B1, B4 and CP6 of the B&NES Core Strategy, the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 and Section 12 ‘Conserving and Enhancing the Historic Environment’ of the NPPF and therefore should be refused.

August 2015

Week 34 2015

15/03342/AR14 St Lawrence Street City Centre

Display of 1no. internally illuminated brand sign attached to fascia, 1no. internally illuminated projecting sign

Object: The Trust objects to the use of illumination and materials proposed in this application.  Whilst we understand the applicants need to advertise their premises, and note that this shop is in the modern Southgate development, Southgate remains in the conservation area and its appearance should therefore reflect the character of the conservation area. The use of aluminium, acrylic and perspex are not in keeping with the traditional palette of Bath, we would recommend the use of timber fascia boards with handwritten signage. In addition, we continue to resist the unnecessary use of illumination.  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 from within the building should be sufficient to illuminate the shop front.

The proposed scheme, by virtue of the means of illumination and materials would be detrimental to the character and appearance of the Conservation Area and harm the visual amenity value 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 National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), policies; B1, B2 and CP6 of the B&NES Core Strategy and saved polices; D2, D4, BH6, BH17 and BH22 of the B&NES Local Plan.  We would therefore recommend that the application be refused.

 

15/03180/LBA1 – 2 Bartlett Street City Centre

Internal and external alterations to include new shop front and associated works to facilitate the restaurant use approved under planning permission 14/03290/FUL. Use of the highway in St Andrew’s Terrace, outside of the entrance to Boston Tea Party, for the siting of tables and chairs.

Comment: The Trust reiterates our usual comments regarding tables and chairs in that the local street amenity should always be considered and that tables and chairs should be sensitively designed, modest in numbers and thoughtfully placed.  We would wish to see furniture removed inside at the end of each evening to ‘de-clutter’ the building facade.

15/03661/AR- 26 – 27 Milsom Street City Centre

1 No. non-illuminated fascia sign and 1No. non-illuminated projecting sign

Comment: The Trust welcomes the fact that this application does not propose any unnecessary illumination of the shop front or signage. However w are concerned about the lack of appropriate information including a Listed Building application, a Heritage Statement or indeed an acknowledgement of the listed building and its setting within the important Milsom Street architectural ensemble.

Our primary concern centres around the inappropriate materials proposed for the shop fascia and projecting hanging fascia sign.  We do not regard acrylic and steel as appropriate materials for this part of the conservation area and World Heritage Site.  We would recommend that the fascia and projecting sign are hand painted to be a more appropriate and high quality response this shop front and in keeping with the historic location. We recommend all internal glass vinyls are designed and placed with consideration of the overall impact of the shop front on the host listed building and those adjacent.

15/03284/LBA30 Church Road Upper Weston

Internal and external works to include cleaning of the building all round, replacing the front window with Timber Frame Double Glazed Windows, the rear windows with UPVC double glazed windows, the cast guttering with UPVC cast effect guttering system, front door and oversized rear window with UPVC French Patio Doors, taking down of the front porch and replacing with a canopy.

Comment:  We welcome the proposed enhancement works to this listed building, including the reinstatement of timber windows to the front elevation, though we would comment that we feel the ground floor window should be narrowed to reinstate the visual connection with the overall terraced composition. We would also urge the applicant to fit timber windows to the rear elevation. We welcome the removal of the modern porch structure.

We would comment that any stone cleaning work must be fully surveyed and specified by a reputable stone cleaning specialist and be in line with the guidance contained in the B&NES/BPT publication The Cleaning of Bath Stone. We generally do not support the installation of upvc rain goods and would recommend the repair and retention of (or installation of new) traditional cast iron where possible.

15/03476/FULRichmond Arms Public House 7 Richmond Place Beacon Hill

Erection of a rear extension at first and second floor levels and addition of a pitched roof to existing single storey kitchen.  To include internal alterations to ground floor.

Comment: The Trust understands the commercial considerations which result in the proposal to add an extension, and we sympathise with these considerations, particularly as this building is limited as to its use. However we have concerns that the scale of the proposed two storey extension will overwhelm and dominate the rear elevation of the listed building and cause irrevocable harm to historic fabric and the historic plan form. We wonder if a more creative approach could bring in the required rental rooms but be less overbearing and harmful to the historical and architectural qualities of the listed building?

15/03561/LBA – 4 Widcombe Hill, Widcombe

Internal and external alterations for the replacement of the front door and fire place surround. (Regularisation).

Internal and external alterations to replace rear ground floor French windows (Retrospective).

Comment:  The Trust is concerned at the very poor quality of this application and its retrospective nature. Our overall comment is that we regret the loss of the original fireplace and the associated historic fabric.

15/03594/FUL – 77 Lyncombe Hill Lyncombe

Construction of an open carport to side of property.

Object:  The Trust objects to this application on the basis of harm to the setting of the listed building, the historic terraced street and the character of the conservation area. The addition of an incongruous modern metal and glass structure adjacent to the listed building is visually intrusive, encroaching and damaging, both to the setting of the listed building but also to the overall terraced architectural composition of Augusta Place and the character of the local street scene.

We feel that Listed Building Consent should be sought for this proposed work, given the harmful impact that the proposal will have on the curtilage and setting of the listed building.

The proposed scheme by virtue of unsympathetic design, materials and proximity to the listed building, would harm the setting of the listed building, the character and appearance of the conservation area and the special qualities of the World Heritage Site.   It would therefore be contrary to the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas Act) 1990, Section 12 of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), policies B1, B4 and CP6 of the B&NES Core Strategy and saved polices D4, BH2 and BH6 of the B&NES Local Plan.  We would therefore recommend that the application be refused.

Week 33 2015

15/01829/LBA -T M Lewin, 29 Milsom Street City Centre

External alterations for the repair and redecoration of the existing shop front.

Comment: The Trust comments that whilst we support the sensitive refurbishment of this prominent shop front, we do not support the proposal to remove 1930’s decorative glass squares to the shop front; as an early 20th century addition to the frontage these form a record of the building’s history and should not be removed for reasons of commercial aestheticism.  In addition we would recommend the use of eggshell paint as a gloss finish is too striking and reflective in this sensitive and important historic street.

15/03180/LBA & 14/03290/FUL: 1 – 2 Bartlett Street City Centre Bath   

Internal and external alterations to include new shop front, hand painted and illuminated signage and associated works to facilitate the restaurant use approved under planning permission

Object: The Trust objects to the use of illumination and materials proposed in this application.  Whilst we understand the applicants need to advertise their premises we continue to resist the unnecessary use of illumination, particularly in historic and characterful locations such as Bartlett Street.  Bath is a low-illuminated city, so this form of advertising will add to unnecessary light levels in the World Heritage Site and Conservation Area.  Street lighting and light spill from general internal lighting from within the building should be sufficient to illuminate the shop front.  We feel the number of hanging signs is excessive, as is their proposed size and in particular the sign on Alfred Street could potentially harm the architectural and historic interest of the listed building and clutter and this detract from the architectural group value of Alfred Street, as well as harming the fabric of the listed building with the additional fixings that would be required.  We also object to the use of steel ‘blade’ signs, and feel that a more appropriate material for this location (and given the treatments of the fascia) is a hand painted timber sign.

We are concerned by the proposal to remove and re-lay paving to the Alfred Street elevation of the property, and note very little detail is given as to the proposed treatment, its structural implications to any vaults and any new introduced materials. We strongly recommend Case Officer input into this element of the proposals as we would be concerned at any loss of historic pennant paving. As always, outdoor seating should be minimal in number and completely removable to avoid excessive street clutter, and should be returned indoors each evening. We question whether the Alfred Street elevation has enough space for the safe placement of tables and chairs and suggest that south side (as now) is a better location for outdoor seating.

The proposed scheme, by virtue of the means of illumination, materials, hanging signs and paving works would harm the architectural and historic interest of the listed building, would damage the historic fabric, be detrimental to the character and appearance of the Conservation Area and the visual amenity value 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 National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), policies; B1, B2 and CP6 of the B&NES Core Strategy and saved polices; D2, D4, BH2, BH6, BH17 and BH22 of the B&NES Local Plan.  We would therefore recommend that the application be refused.

15/03399/LBA – Flat 7   10 Gay Street City Centre

External and Internal alteration to facilitate the replacement of rear door and damp mitigation measures to the front of the property.

Comment: The proposed ventilation terminal should be discreetly located and be of a colour to match the stonework – a recessive grey or stone colour rather than white. We would also expect that due consideration should be given to the mitigation of harm to historic fabric where possible in these works to create the ventilation opening.

15/03444/FUL & 15/03445/AR & 15/03446/LBA – 7 New Bond Street City Centre

Alterations to shopfront including replacement signage and refurbishment to interior. Display of 1no – non illuminated projecting sign, 1no – non illuminated facia sign, 1no – non illuminated T2 logo sign (internal) and temporary window graphics.

Object:  The Trust objects to this application on the basis that the proposed materials, projecting blade sign and the proposed colour scheme will be harmful to the listed building and to the character of the street scene and conservation area.  Aluminium and acrylic are not appropriate materials for Bath and we would prefer to see a traditional hand painted fascia.  With regards to the projecting hanging sign; the Trust is keen to promote the de-cluttering of Georgian facades and we note that there is currently very little precedent for projecting hanging signs in New Bond Street and we consider the street wide enough for passers-by to have ample view of the fascia brand signage.

We would remark that the black and orange proposed colour scheme is too strident and imposing and will overpower the listed building and its setting within the street scene. Whilst we understand the applicants desire to create a visually noticeable street presence we would suggest that a bespoke and high quality approach (as opposed to rolling out generic corporate branding) would be a more responsible and sensitive approach to opening a new shop in the historic city of Bath.

In addition we would comment on the poorly presented Design & Access statement, the fact there is no Heritage Statement, and the lack of reference to the listed building and its place in the conservation area or World Heritage site as well in the historic street. We suggest that this application is deficient and steps should be taken to procure the missing information which will indicate that the applicant has an understanding of the heritage asset and its setting.

The proposed scheme, by virtue of the means of materials, hanging signs and colour would harm the architectural and historic interest of the listed building, would damage the historic fabric, be detrimental to the character and appearance of the Conservation Area and the visual amenity value 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 National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), policies; B1, B2 and CP6 of the B&NES Core Strategy and saved polices; D2, D4, BH2, BH6, BH17 and BH22 of the B&NES Local Plan.  We would therefore recommend that the application be refused.

15/03488/AR  – 33 Milsom Street City Centre

Display of 1 no. timber fascia sign and provision of external awning.

Comment: The Trust comments that we feel that given the sensitive historic location of the business, the shop fascia and awning would benefit from traditional hand painted signage and a smaller logo on the awning.  We assume that the current awning box which is set back into the fascia will be used as it is already in situ, and that a new awning box will not affixed to the front of the fascia?  We also suggest the awning box is painted the same colour as the fascia and awning.

15/03435/FUL & 15/03436/LBACleveland House Sydney Road Bathwick

Erection of ground floor extension with triple garage at basement level following demolition of existing toilet block.

Comment:   The Trust reiterates our original comment regarding this application in that we have concerns about the use of the roof as a roof terrace and the possible harm to the listed building and its setting from domestic activities and paraphernalia on this part of the building. In particular we have concerns about any planting or furniture being visible above the parapet, as this would impact on the visual appreciation of the overall architectural composition and the character of its setting.  We strongly suggest that a condition is imposed requiring a further application for use of the roof terrace and that a temporary period of use be implemented to establish whether there is actual harm to the listed building from this use.

15/03506/LBAFlat 5, Marlborough Buildings, Bath

Internal and external works to replace boiler and other associated works.

Comment: The proposed ventilation terminal should be discreetly located and be of a colour to match the stonework – a recessive grey or stone colour rather than white. We would also expect that due consideration should be given to the mitigation of harm to historic fabric where possible in these works to create the ventilation opening.

 

15/03460/LBAAbbey Hotel 1 North Parade

Internal and external works with under pavement vaults and basement.

Comment: The Trust commends the level of investigation that has gone into this proposal, and the fact that a number of different solutions to the vaults have been considered.  It is clear that the applicant is keen to enhance his business whilst retaining a responsible and sensitive approach to the historic vaults in his property.

The Trust is generally supportive of the proposal to ‘see how the vaults behave’ when they are ventilated and partially heated.  We welcome the non-interventionist approach and the intention to remove 20th century brick pillars and return the vaults to their original form.  We continue to assert that vaults are not suitable for habitation but the idea of utilising the vaults for pop up entertainment represents an acceptable compromise.  We would recommend that if possible any historic features are left in situ, or that one vault could be left as is to the maintain the legibility and integrity of the hierarchy of the building, including a sense of the wartime use of the vaults as possible air raid shelters.

15/03522/LBA & 15/03521/FUL23 Royal Crescent City Centre

Internal and external work to facilitate installation of new roof to existing orangery (Revised proposal)

Installation of new roof to existing orangery (Revised proposal)   

Object:  The Trust regrets the retrospective nature of this application and the fact that works knowingly went ahead without an application for amended plans being submitted. On review of these plans, and ignoring any historical submissions, we have a number of comments:

  • We note that internal alterations are mentioned in the submission title, but that no detail is supplied for the internal works. If this involves lowering of the ceiling to accommodate a second floor in the roof, then we strongly urge the Case Officer to request internal plan drawings to ascertain the intentions of the applicant as to the entire building.  Should a change of use from garden building to habitable dwelling be proposed, this must be the subject of a new planning application.
  • We note that the justification for the new version of the roof is for wider guttering required by building control. On view of the drawings we deem the width of guttering to be only marginally wider and at a higher level on the parapet, therefore we cannot see how this creates a better drainage system.  We suggest that as built, the new pitch on the roof will actually create a meaningful roof space with a wider area of good head height in which domestic activities may take place such as sleeping or working.  The pitch of the originally agreed roof would have precluded this space being as useful or used in this way. This includes the addition of an unauthorised roof light in the east roof elevation to provide further natural light.
  • In terms of the building within its setting in the Grade 1 listed crescent gardens, we strongly believe that the proposed roof appears over-dominant in the setting and top heavy on the orangery building itself, sitting incongruously on top. We refute the assertion that the proposed roof in its new iteration blends in better with the roofs of the new buildings to the rear; there can be no comparison or connection because those buildings are domestic dwellings and this building is a garden building, which should be subservient and non-intrusive to its surroundings.
  • We are very concerned about the precedent of a building of this size and dominance (it is no longer a subservient garden building) being proposed in such a sensitive setting within the conservation area and World Heritage Site.  We feel its over-dominance in terms of bulk created by the new roof harms the very significant historic setting of the listed buildings and therefore represents unacceptable development and precedent.

The proposed amendments to the garden orangery would be harmful to the significance of  the nearby listed buildings and their setting, detrimental to the character and appearance of the Bath conservation area and would fail to protect the special qualities of the World Heritage Site and therefore is contrary to S16 and S72 of the Planning (Listed Buildings & Conservation Areas) Act 1990, Section 12 ‘Conserving & Enhancing the Historic Environment of the NPPF, policies B1, B2, B4 and CP6 of the Core Strategy and Local Plan Policies D2, D4, BH1, BH2 and BH6 and should be refused.

15/03511/EOUTPlaying Field Former MOD Ensleigh Granville Road Lansdown

Outline planning permission sought for the erection of a 210 place primary school (Use Class D1), up to 95 residential units (Use Class C3), associated infrastructure and open space. Approval of access, with all other matters reserved.

Comment:  As detailed in our pre-application comments regarding the proposed primary school, the Trust regrets the lack of an overall site masterplan.  The piecemeal approach to developing this site will, we believe, result in physical disconnects that will ultimately affect the success of the overall site development. Tensions and issues may arise over the differing priorities of the various architects/developers, and this may impact on the building phase of the development and they way it integrates with its surroundings, physically and logistically. For example, we question the adequacy of leisure space (such as the small – perhaps inadequate – children’s playground) and whether a more ‘joined up’ approach could have produced a more creative and high quality response to the overall site and its particular character and qualities, including  the design opportunities created by its close relationship to the green and wooded setting and  Beckford’s Tower.  We feel an opportunity has been lost here to create an innovative and integrated place.

We continue to have concerns about the fact that there is only one access road into the site, and that the harsh grid road pattern of the proposed development means that cars will have to drive around residential areas to access and exit the site. We question the strong linear street form and terraced dwellings and ask whether a more topographic, curvilinear response to this area of the site would have been more appropriate.

15/03381/FUL3 Claremont Terrace Camden Road Beacon Hill

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

Object: The Trust objects to the excessive use of inappropriate materials and illumination proposed in this application and we do not feel it is appropriate for a World Heritage City.  Whilst we understand the applicants need to advertise the services on their premises, the use of aluminium and acrylic fascia treatments will visually intrude upon and stand out from the local street scene and will clutter and detract from the local visual amenity.  We would always recommend traditional timber fascia with hand painted signage. In addition, we continue to resist the unnecessary use of illumination.  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 from within the building and the street lighting should be sufficient to illuminate the shop fascia.  We would argue that this proposal is an in inappropriate response for a business in an elevated suburban position in the World Heritage Site.

The proposed scheme, by virtue of the means of colour, illumination and materials would 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 National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), policies; B, B4 and CP6 of the B&NES Core Strategy and saved polices; D2, D4, BH6 and BH22 of the B&NES Local Plan.  We would therefore recommend that the application be refused.

Week 32 2015

15/03058/FUL & 15/03059/LBAGarden Flat 3 Darlington Street Bathwick Bath

Replacement stairs from street level to flat entrance; internal alterations and refurbishment; erection of single storey rear extension with localised areas of demolition. Internal and external alterations for the replacement stairs from street level to flat entrance; internal alterations and refurbishment; erection of single storey rear extension with localised areas of demolition.

Object: The Trust wishes to object to this application on the basis of unacceptable loss of and harm to historic fabric and plan form of the listed building. The applicants are proposing a radical redesign of the ground/basement floors of the building, and one which will involve removal of significant amounts of historic fabric and subsequently loss of the original plan form and hierarchy of the building. Whilst the Trust understands the current fashion for open plan living, we strongly resist the proposed irreversible damage to an historic building. We also have concerns regarding the structural damage this scheme may inflict on the building. In addition some of the materials proposed do not fit in with the Bath palette.

The vaults proposals are also problematic. Various methods of damp proofing are proposed, none of which sound well thought-through. There is a suggestion of cementitious tanking, of installing a Delta system but only to the lower walls, of simply cleaning, repairing and lime washing the vaulted roofs. Cementitious tanking should never be proposed as a solution to damp vaults as impermeable treatments do not allow the building fabric to breathe and leads to further problems of moisture trapping.  The Trust is opposed to the use of historic vaults as habitable spaces (as this was never their original purpose or character) and the proposal that the vaults are used as a reception room and bathroom are unacceptable.

The proposed scheme by virtue of the demolition of significant historic fabric and unsympathetic design, would substantially harm the historic, architectural, aesthetic and evidential value of the listed building and would be contrary to the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas Act) 1990, Section 12 of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), policies B1, B4 and CP6 of the B&NES Core Strategy and saved polices, BH2, BH4 and BH6 of the B&NES Local Plan.  We would therefore recommend that the application be refused.

15/03273/LBA12 Springfield Place Lansdown Bath

Internal and external alterations to insert flue for gas boiler in basement wall.

Comment: The Trust regrets the poor quality of this application and questions whether it should have been accepted for submission on the basis of scant information.  It appears as if the boiler flue is proposed to be inserted into the front elevation of the property but this is by no means clear. The proposed ventilation terminal should be discreetly located and be of a colour to match the stonework – a recessive grey or stone colour rather than white. We would also expect that due consideration should be given to the mitigation of harm to historic fabric where possible in these works to relocate the ventilation opening.

15/03327/FUL& 15/03328/LBA – St Marks Community Centre St Mark’s Road Widcombe Bath

Provision of bike shelter to house approximately 20 bicycles.

Comment: The Trust understands the need for the proposed bike shelter and appreciates the fact that it would be a reversible addition to the graveyard. However we are concerned about the quality of design and materials of the ‘off the shelf’ bike shelter, and wonder whether a bespoke solution would be a more appropriate solution in this sensitive historic location. Whilst we understand the separation needs which require more iron railings carving up the churchyard, we would encourage further thought and detail on this issue as we feel this is not aesthetically the best solution, and given its fixings/foundations, would be less reversible than the freestanding bike shelter.

Week 31 2015

15/03307/AR 1 – 2 Bartlett Street City Centre Bath   

Display of 2no. externally illuminated fascia signs and 4no. externally illuminated hanging signs

Object: The Trust objects to the use of illumination and materials proposed in this application.  Whilst we understand the applicants need to advertise their premises we continue to resist the unnecessary use of illumination, particularly in historic and characterful locations such as Bartlett Street.  Bath is a low-illuminated city, so this form of advertising will add to unnecessary light levels in the World Heritage Site and Conservation Area.  Street lighting and light spill from general internal lighting from within the building should be sufficient to illuminate the shop front.  We feel the number of hanging signs is excessive, as is their proposed size and these could potentially harm the architectural and historic interest of the listed building and the group value of the street, as well as harming the fabric of the listed building with the additional fixings that would be required.  We also object to the use of steel, and feel that a more appropriate material for this location (and given the treatments of the fascia) is a hand painted timber sign.

The proposed scheme, by virtue of the means of illumination and materials would harm the architectural and historic interest of the listed building, be detrimental to the character and appearance of the Conservation Area and the visual amenity value 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 National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), policies; B1, B2 and CP6 of the B&NES Core Strategy and saved polices; D2, D4, BH2, BH6, BH17 and BH22 of the B&NES Local Plan.  We would therefore recommend that the application be refused.

Holburne Museum Of Art Great Pulteney Street Bathwick Bath

15/03305/FUL Re-surfacing works to existing car park.

COMMENT: We acknowledge that the location of the car park is relatively screened from views of the Holburne in its street setting – however it does form part of the registered gardens and impacts upon the setting of the listed building from within the gardens. The Trust would comment that the general colour of gravel surface should harmonize with the soft verdant character of the Sydney Gardens and the traditional palette of Materials in this setting. We have concerns about a grey appearance and would prefer the finish to be more buff/Bath stone in colour.  We will assess the materials samples on site, in wet and dry conditions if possible, and will provide any further comments accordingly.

15/03306/FUL Provision of gravel paths, stone paving and steps to rear garden of The Holburne Museum.

OBJECT: Whilst we acknowledge that this proposed scheme has been endorsed by Eric Parry we deeply regret that the design intention, of a pavilion rising from the garden, will be completely lost in the creation of hard landscaped setting around the building.

We understand the justification, however we consider that the extent of hard landscaping and gravel is excessive and that the proposed York Stone is an inappropriate material. We are particularly concerned about the reflection of the hard surfacing in the elevations, and how this might alter the appearance of the building.  For this reason we would like to see the extent of gravel reduced and grass retained closer to the building – possibly even reinforced fibre-grass as is already used. The extent of gravel could be further reduced by extending the paved area.

The use of Pennant paving is appropriate here and should be insisted upon. York stone is a material alien to Bath, and its use sets and extremely undesirable precedent.

The Trust would comment that the general colour of gravel surface should harmonize with the soft verdant character of the Sydney Gardens and the traditional palette of Materials in this setting. We have concerns about a grey appearance and would prefer the finish to be more buff/Bath stone in colour.  We will assess the materials samples on site, in wet and dry conditions if possible, and will provide further comments accordingly.

The proposed scheme in its current form, by virtue of inappropriate stone materials, would harm the architectural and historic interest of the grade I listed building, 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 National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), policies; B1, B2 and CP6 of the B&NES Core Strategy and saved polices; D2, D4, BH2, BH6, of the B&NES Local Plan.  We would therefore recommend that the application be refused.

 

15/03323/LBA – 11 Darlington Place Bathwick Bath

External works to carry out stone cleaning to front facade.

Comment:  The Trust is supportive of the proposed stone cleaning work as it will enhance and improve the facade of the listed building and would unify and enhance the overall appearance of the architectural group that is Darlington Place. We would always insist that works are done to the highest standard, including detailed pre-work survey, and that the most gentle methods of nebulous spray are used, in line with the advice contained the publication The Cleaning of Bath Stone Publication.  We would also strongly advise against over cleaning; maintaining some patina of age is always preferential.

15/03293/FUL – 18 Bloomfield Grove Bloomfield

Erection of two storey rear extension and external garden steps following demolition of existing rear extensions.

Comment:  The Trust wishes to comment that we believe that timber cladding is not an appropriate material for an urban environment.  It creates a ‘faux’ rural aesthetic which is at odds with the character and appearance of this early/mid 20th century area of Bath which is characterised by the Bath palette of traditional materials, including stone and slate. These traditional materials harmonise better with the character and local distinctiveness of the surrounding adjoining conservation area.

15/02764/FUL – 2 Grosvenor Park Lambridge Bath

Erection of single storey side extension with rear decking

Comment:  The Trust wishes to comment that we believe that timber cladding is not an appropriate material for an urban environment.  It creates a ‘faux’ rural aesthetic which is at odds with the character and appearance of this early/mid 20th century area of Bath which is characterised by the Bath palette of traditional materials, including stone and slate, and harmonises better with the character and local distinctiveness of the surrounding conservation area.

 

15/03263/FUL39 Crescent Gardens Kingsmead

Engineering works to front garden to form level terracing.

Comment: The Trust comments that there is insufficient information contained in this application. In particular it is not clear whether the existing boundary walls and gateposts of this terrace are to be retained and repaired, which the Trust would expect.  We stress that the current repetition of gateway widths and retained gateposts is crucial to retain the character and rhythm of the streetscene in this important gateway location to the city centre.

15/03189/FUL – Vineyards Farm Claverton Hill Claverton

Erection of an agricultural building following demolition of existing agricultural building

Comment:  Given the historic and evidential significance of the remains of the 16/17/18th century wine making barn which underlies the modern barn, we would advise that a watching brief for archaeology would be necessary during works to this building, and we would also request that the Archaeology Officer is advised of the proposed works.

Week 30 2015

15/02967/FUL  & 15/02968/LBA – 6 Johnstone Street Bathwick

Internal and external alterations to facilitate conversion of the ground and upper floors from a house in multiple occupation (HMO) to a single private dwelling to include refurbishments and reinstatement of the original layouts, construction of a roof terrace to the rear and rear window replacements and alterations.

Comment: The Trust broadly welcomes the proposed works to the listed building, including the reinstatement and repair of historic features and plan form as well as the appropriate use of traditional materials and skills.  We have concerns about the roof terrace proposed, as this would alter the rear elevation of the building and therefore could potentially harm the character and historic significance of the building. In particular there would be harm to, and loss of historic fabric as we note the lowering of the landing window to accommodate a doorway to the proposed roof terrace and the addition of railings to the parapet.

In addition such a feature could impact on the adjacent listed buildings as it would intrude on the overall architectural composition of the rear of this terrace, and introduce human activity at an inappropriate and dominating level given the height of the building.  We are not objecting to this proposal on the basis that there are several heritage benefits to the overall proposed works but we would hope that the roof terrace element is not permitted on the basis of residential amenity and it being an inappropriate and potentially harmful addition to this significant building.

15/03144/AR & 15/03143/LBA – 9-10 High Street

Comment: The Trust considered that 2 hanging signs on this building, as existing are too many. The excessive amount of signage contributes to a cluttered elevation and harms the significance of the listed building. We would encourage the officer to negotiate the removal of one of the hanging signs. We do not consider that listed building consent should not be granted for the retention of two hanging signs if this application seeks to regularise consent for these signs.

15/03027/FUL – Freedom House  Lower Bristol Road Westmoreland

Erection of auditorium with associated facilities and parking.

Comment:  The Trust considers that this new building would benefit from reduction in scale, height and size. The shoulder height of the proposed building should be aligned with the eaves of the adjoining buildings, in accordance with the Bath Building Heights Strategy.

The position of the building could be reviewed to allow for more breathing space between the new build and the existing frontage of the principle listed building.

The  proposed building has a very large square footprint in the context of the listed building, and it appears in a very cramped location between the listed building at the frontage facing the road and the river Avon. Perhaps a better location for  this building could have been further to the north of the site? We have concerns about the large expanse of flat roof  because of the characteristic pitched roof development in the immediate vicinity.

Although not wishing to object to bronze cladding in principle we have reservations about the timber weather boarding proportions, which may not be a correct proportion to adopt in this case.

We would encourage the provision of access for the public to walk along the river edge, and the avoidance of ranks of parked cars proposed on the riverside.

JULY 2015

Week 29 2015

15/03054/FUL – Street Record Stall Street City Centre

Use of highway for the siting of a temporary wooden structure to be utilised as a temporary entertainment venue during the Bath Christmas market.

Object: The Trust wishes to object to this proposal on the basis of the placement of the chalet in a highly sensitive and visually constricted historic location in the heart of the World Heritage Site.   The chalet would sit incongruously within its formal and elegant Georgian set piece surroundings. The position, size and massing would harm the views and setting of this significant historic building. Whilst the Trust understands that the proposal is for a temporary structure, we strongly believe that a more appropriate site could be found for the Christmas Lodge, and one where highway issues and the jarring juxtaposition created by this proposal would be less of an issue.

The proposal would be and harmful to the significance of  adjacent listed buildings (and their overall setting), and detrimental to the character and appearance of the conservation area and special qualities of the World Heritage Site, 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, policies of B1, B, B4 and CP6 of the Core Strategy and Local Plan Policies D2, D4, BH1, BH2 and BH6 and should be refused.

15/03085/FUL & 15/03086/AR – Street Record Brunel Square Bath

Erection of an outdoor digital screen and associated enclosure with signage for a temporary period (5 months).  Display of 9no. Vinyl signs attached to Visual Display Unit

Object: The Trust wishes to object to the nature and placement of this temporary structure. We question the need for such a structure on a busy car and pedestrian highway adjacent to the listed railway station.  More importantly, we believe that it would be an incongruous and inappropriate addition to Brunel Square (which essentially celebrates and respects Brunel’s structure) and would impact harmfully on the character and significance of the station, its associated buildings and archways, as well as the conservation area.  The addition of (in all likelihood garish) vinyl signage will only exacerbate the problem of this intrusive structure. Whilst we understand the desire to enliven this area of the city, we feel if such a large screen was necessary within the public realm then it should be placed within Southgate itself where its impact on the historic environment would be significantly reduced.

The proposal would be and harmful to the special architectural and historic interest and significance of  adjacent listed buildings (and their overall setting), and detrimental to the character and appearance of the conservation area and special qualities of the World Heritage Site 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, policies of B1, B, B4 and CP6 of the Core Strategy and Local Plan Policies D2, D4, BH1, BH2 and BH6 and should be refused.

15/03140/FUL – Land Between Lambridge House And River Avon London Road West Lower Swainswick

Erection of a two storey dwelling.

Object:  The Trust wishes to object to the proposed development on this site. This greenfield site characterises the riverside setting and gives a verdant identity to the land between the house and the river which is part of the character and no doubt historic setting to the house. The fact that the site has been ‘blitzed’ to remove Japanese knotweed is no excuse for development which would compromise this identity. Indeed, a swift return to pasture should be encouraged.

A new building of the height and style proposed, would be visually intrusive in this green space and thereby harm the character of the setting of the listed building (Lambridge House) as well as the important landscape setting to the World Heritage City. It is the issue of cumulative encroachments to this setting over time that is of great concern to the Trust.  We believe that, even without the useful inclusion of a views analysis in the planning application, this proposed building would interrupt the views to and from the listed building, as well as to and from the green space and river surrounding it, and would therefore create a harmful and inappropriate addition to the attractive local riverscape and green space which is a part of local amenity in this area.  We note the applicants have ignored pre-application advice that discourages the application on the grounds of impact on the sensitive location.

Secondly, we would expect to see a heritage statement and impact assessment given the proposed location of the building, and in general the application paperwork is poor.  The thin design statement refers to heritage commentary but does not give any.

Thirdly we have serious concerns about the appearance and design quality of the proposed building. It is essentially a poorly detailed grandiose pastiche design which does not harmonise with or refer to its surroundings. If this  house is designed as a ‘150 year old vicarage’ we would expect to see much finer detail within the application, and more traditional elements included, such as timber windows (not upvc) and doors (not composite). In addition we would expect some kind of contextual character analysis of the locality, including any Victorian buildings, and for this to inform the design of the proposed building.  The Trust feels that IF the principle of development on this site is agreed, then there is the potential opportunity to create a high quality building that sits within and complements the surrounding green countryside and riverscape.

The proposed dwelling would be and harmful to the significance of  the nearby listed buildings and  setting, and detrimental to the character and appearance of the Bath conservation area and would fail to protect the special qualities of the World Heritage Site and therefore contrary to S16 and S72 of the Planning (Listed Buildings & Conservation Areas) Act 1990, Section 7, ‘Requiring Good Design’ and 12 ‘Conserving & Enhancing the Historic Environment of the NPPF, policies of B1, B, B4 and CP6 of the Core Strategy and Local Plan Policies D2, D4, BH1, BH2 and BH6 and should be refused.

Week 28 2015

15/02158/AR – Octagon Hall 25 Milsom Place City Centre Bath

Display of 2no suspended internally illuminated metal signs, 1no internally illuminated hanging sign, 1no internally illuminated metal sign and 1no internally illuminated LED sign.

Object: The Trust objects to the use of inappropriate materials and illumination proposed in this application.  Whilst we understand the applicants need to advertise their premises, and particularly so for the Octagon in its discreet location with the concealed Green Street entrance, we have an in principle objection to inappropriate materials and colour. And in addition, we continue to resist the unnecessary use of illumination on listed buildings.  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 and well placed internal lighting from within the building should be sufficient to illuminate the entrances.

Specifically we object to the proposed hanging sign on Green Street, which is sited above fascia level and appears too high on the facade and therefore adding to the cumulative effect of cluttered street elevations. We also object to the use of red led chain lighting (Green Street) and neon lighting x2 (Milsom Place) which is not at all in keeping with the palette of Bath in terms of materials, colour or general effect. The fact that an external neon sign is proposed for Milsom Place is also of concern as the garish and low quality effect of neon is not in keeping with the overall character of the either Milsom Place or the  finely detailed Octagon space. We would recommend that any signage be placed internally to the bi-fold doors and lit by discreetly located internal spotlights. In view of the Burger and Lobster bespoke approach to some elements of the building (e.g chandelier) we are sure that such a bespoke approach could inform the design of signage with equal visual impact but with higher quality materials in keeping with the Bath palette (for example gold colour brushed metal effect).  Whilst we understand that uncomfortable juxtaposition creates brand impact we would argue that Burger and Lobster has shown a high level of respect for the listed building in their plans, and it would be a shame to devalue this collaborative approach with garish signage that creates a disconnect between the Octagon space and the restaurant brand.

The proposed scheme, by virtue of the means of illumination and materials would be detrimental to the visual amenity of the street scene, and character and appearance of the Conservation Area 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 National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), policies; B1, B2 and CP6 of the B&NES Core Strategy and saved polices; D2, D4, BH6, BH17 and BH22 of the B&NES Local Plan.  We would therefore recommend that the application be refused.

15/02585/FUL & 15/025856/FUL & 15/02578/LBA– 8 – 9 New Bond Street City Centre Bath

Installation of 4 no. external A/C condensers at the rear of the shop and redecoration of shop fronts. Display of hand painted lettering to existing fascia at shop front (New Bond Street) and hand painted lettering above door at shop rear (Barton Court).

Comment: The Trust welcomes the hand painted signage approach but we question the purple colour proposed for the large and imposing double shop front. The depth of colour may have a dominant impact on the local streetscape and therefore on the character of the conservation area and the significance of the listed building. We would recommend a lighter main colour be used.

15/02835/FUL – Abbey Hotel 1 North Parade City Centre Bath

Use of public highway for the siting of 12 tables and 48 chairs with planters and parasols. (Retrospective).

Comment: The Trust has no objection in principle to the siting of tables and chairs in this pedestrian location, and it is acceptable providing that it is strictly restricted to the amounts stated, as any more furniture would create additional visual and street clutter and therefore harm the amenity of the street scene and the setting of nearby listed buildings. We are concerned that it is proposed that the tables and chairs will not be stored away every evening but we understand the logistical reasons for this. To counteract this seasonal addition to street clutter we would recommend that the hotel does not place any items of other street furniture such as A-Boards in this location.

15/02963/AR – 50 – 53 Southgate Street Bath

Display of 1no. Internally illuminated aluminium projecting sign to 53 Southgate Street.

Object: The Trust objects to the use of illumination proposed in this application.  Whilst we understand the applicants need to advertise their premises, and note that this shop is in the modern Southgate development, Southgate remains in the conservation area and its appearance should therefore reflect the character of the conservation area. The use of aluminium is not in keeping with the traditional palette of Bath, we would recommend the use of timber fascia boards with handwritten signage. In addition, we continue to resist the unnecessary use of illumination.  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 from within the building should be sufficient to illuminate the shop front.

The proposed scheme, by virtue of the means of illumination and materials would be detrimental to the character and appearance of the Conservation Area and harm the visual amenity value 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 National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), policies; B1, B2 and CP6 of the B&NES Core Strategy and saved polices; D2, D4, BH6, BH17 and BH22 of the B&NES Local Plan.  We would therefore recommend that the application be refused.

15/02807/FUL – Field Between City Farm And Cotswold View The Hollow Southdown

Erection of 20no. dwellings and associated works

Object: The Trust wishes to object to this application on the grounds that the proposed scheme in its current format harms the special character of this important hillside and as such will harm the setting of the World Heritage site and the Green Belt. We note that the field is within the wider Twerton Farm SNCI and has been earmarked as an Important Hillside in the emerging Placemaking Plan. In particular we are concerned about the impact of this development on views into and out of the city.  We regard this type of development with concern as if permitted would contribute to the cumulative encroachment of modern building developments onto Bath’s open green hillside spaces that provide the special landscape setting for the city.

In addition to the concern felt over the principle of development on this sensitive hillside site, we have strong concerns regarding the design merit and materials for the proposed development. We cannot see any form or suggestion of local character and distinctiveness in the designs for the C, C1, D, E, E1, F, and F1 building types.  The block like, ‘brutal’ elevations, horizontal versus vertical emphases and strange roof articulation of these proposed dwellings, in conjunction with the proposed use of reconstituted building materials and timber cladding are incongruous and inappropriate for a development in this prominent visible location immediately adjoining and affecting the setting of the City of Bath Conservation Area.  The overall architectural ensemble does not respect the contours of a hillside location nor the historic and modern precedents across Bath of flowing terrace forms respecting and aligning with the topography of the land on which it sits, these buildings appear to jut out from each other in a jumbled ad hoc manner and similarly to be dotted around the site at various orientations with no coherent appearance when viewed from other points vantage points across Bath. We have serious concerns that this development in terms of design style and building typology represents a poor quality approached that appears to be uninformed by any local or city-wide character assessments or an understanding of how development on significant space such as this must be thoughtful and harmonious, and above all must enhance and complement the overall cityscape.

We regard this proposed development in its current plan form, design and materials to represent unacceptable and unmitigated loss of significant green hillside space in Bath. By virtue of its inappropriate design and materials it would be detrimental to the setting of the conservation area visual amenity and character of the local area, would adversely affect the contribution that this hillside makes to the character and landscape setting of Bath and therefore harm the special qualities of the City of Bath World Heritage Site. The scheme would be contrary to the Planning (Listed Building 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 policies; D2, D4, BH1, NE.3 and NE.9 of the B&NES Local Plan.  We would therefore recommend that the application be refused.

15/02943/LBA- 10 Widcombe Parade Widcombe Bath

External alterations to include erection of boundary wall to rear of property; erection of bin store; installation of 1 no. glazed door to east external wall; refurbishment of damaged ashlar boundary wall and sitting of tables and chairs along the north elevation.

Comment:  The Trust has no objection in principle to the siting of tables and chairs in this pedestrian location, and it is acceptable providing that it is strictly restricted to the amounts stated, as any more furniture would create visual clutter and therefore harm the amenity of the street scene and the setting of nearby listed buildings. We would also expect that tables and chairs would be stored within the building every night.

15/01990/FUL – Somerset Villa 4 Somerset Lane Lansdown Bath

Erection of 1no two bed dwelling following demolition of existing dwelling.

Object:  The Trust still has reservations and concerns regarding the proposed development.  Whilst we commend the flexible approach that the developer has shown, our primary concern centres on the visual dominance of this building in the back-land setting of the Grade I listed crescent which is characterised by subservient traditional forms. We note the change in height and size of the balcony and welcome this amendment though our reservations about its position and prominence and overall use still stand; we understand that it is further forward on the plot than the original permitted scheme. We also feel the grey flat roof as proposed will provide a large, blank and unarticulated grey entity which will, in particular, be highly visible from the upper floors of the crescent.  Such a large flat roof would be incongruous and visually intrusive and would harm the setting of the listed buildings, and have an adverse impact on the character of the Somerset Lane area.  In addition the overall bulk and massing of the building set forward in the landscape and on the brow of the slope would be overbearing and still visually dominate the setting of the listed buildings. In our view what is proposed in is not a subservient mews dwelling but a modern house that sits perched over the terraced gardens of the flats and houses of Somerset Place; therefore impacting on the views to and from the crescent and experience of its setting. We would encourage a smaller dwelling to reflect the mews character or a dwelling that steps down in-line with the slope on which it stands and is less prominent.

The proposed scheme, by virtue of bulk, massing and design,  harms the setting of setting and views of multiple designated heritage assets, and would neither preserve nor and enhance the setting of the conservation area, would fail to enhance local distinctiveness of the townscape and would be detrimental to the visual amenity of the area. The scheme would be contrary to the Planning (Listed Building 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 policies; D2, D4 and BH2 B&NES Local Plan.  We would therefore recommend that the application be refused.

15/02966/AR – 4 Abbey Green City Centre

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

Object:  The Trust wishes to object to the hanging sign element of the proposal. We note that there is currently a hanging basket bracket in the location of the proposed sign, and we assume that this would need to be removed and a hanging sign bracket installed in its place, which would result in harm to historic fabric. We question the justification for a hanging sign in this highly sensitive historic location; there are few precedents in the area and such a sign would clutter the historic elevations in this corner of the square.  We also object to the use of perspex which is not an appropriate material in keeping with the traditional palette of Bath, and in particular this historic central square.  A traditional hand painted wooden sign would be more appropriate should a hanging sign be permitted.  We welcome the proposal for a hand painted and written fascia treatment.

The proposed sign, by virtue of position and materials would be detrimental to the visual amenity of the street scene, neither preserve nor enhance the character of the Conservation Area 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 National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), policies; B1, B2 and CP6 of the B&NES Core Strategy 2and saved polices; D2, D4, BH2, BH6 and BH17 of the B&NES Local Plan.  We would therefore recommend that the application be refused.

Week 27 2015

15/02659/SOLPA – Students Union Bath Spa University Campus Newton St. Loe Bath

Prior Approval request for the installation of solar PV panels on 11no buildings within the ground of Bath Spa University.

Objection: The Trust strongly objects to this application which we believe should be the subject of a full planning application.  It is proposed to place solar panels across the whole highly sensitive Newton Park site.  The scarce and highly inadequate information contained in the application makes it largely impossible to understand exactly which buildings would have solar panels, however it is clear that in any case the panels will be installed on buildings which are within the curtilage of listed buildings (in fact several highly significant listed buildings amongst 11 in total designated assets, 2 scheduled ancient monuments and a Grade II* designated Park & Garden). The following is taken from planningportal.gov.uk: ‘The panels must not be installed on a listed building or on a building that is within the grounds of a listed building, or on a site designated as a scheduled monument’.  We would strongly advocate that this application be withdrawn and a full planning application be submitted. We would expect that given the overall historic importance of the Newton Park site that a full Heritage Statement which includes a full impact assessment on the placement of panels would be submitted with this application.

In our view the proposed solar panels are not permitted under Part 43 Installation of Non-Domestic Microgeneration Equipment, policy A.1 of the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (Amendment) (England) Order 2012 and we recommend the application be refused.

14/03077/FUL – 4 Kingsmead Square City Centre Bath

Change of use of highway for the stationing of tables and chairs (Retrospective).

Comment: The Bath Preservation Trust regrets the retrospective nature of this application and the serious lack of detail submitted which means it is difficult to make an informed judgement on the application.  Given the overall historic location of the listed building at the least we would expect to see image/s of the proposed table and chairs to be used and their position outside the cafe. The Trust has no objection in principle to the siting of tables and chairs in this mainly pedestrian location, and it is acceptable providing that it is strictly restricted to a small amount, as too much furniture would create visual clutter and therefore harm the amenity of the street scene and the setting of nearby Grade 1 listed buildings. We would also expect that these tables and chairs would be stored within the cafe at night.

Week 26 2015

15/02583/AR – 6 St Lawrence Street City Centre Bath

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

Object: The Trust objects to the use of inappropriate materials and illumination proposed in this application.  Whilst we understand the applicants need to advertise their premises, and note that this shop is in the modern Southgate development we continue to resist to the use of acrylic which is a low quality material that is not in keeping with the palette of Bath and will therefore detract from the visual amenity of the street.  Southgate remains in the conservation area and its amenity should therefore reflect the character of the conservation area. We would recommend the use of timber fascia boards with handwritten signage. In addition, we continue to resist the unnecessary use of illumination.  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 from within the building and the forecourt roof should be sufficient to illuminate the shop front.

The proposed scheme, by virtue of the means of illumination and materials would 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 National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), policies; B1, B2 and CP6 of the B&NES Core Strategy and saved polices; D2, D4, BH6, BH17 and BH22 of the B&NES Local Plan.  We would therefore recommend that the application be refused.

 

15/02732/LBA – Beech House, Tadwick Lane, Swainswick Bath

External alteration to remove the render from the North wall, repair and re-point stonework.

Support:  The Trust supports the proposed removal of render from the listed building.  This will return the building to its original built form, exposing traditional and historic stone craft, and reinstate the intended breathability of the original materials.  The work will also improve the aesthetic impact of this part of the listed building.  We would recommend that samples of the lime mortar for re-pointing be agreed by the Case Officer.

15/02784/LBA – 2 Sydney Wharf Bathwick Bath

Internal and external alterations to facilitate creation of new bathroom and associated works.

Comment:  The Trust understands the need to improve the amenities of the listed building however we regret the use of upvc waste goods to the rear elevation of the property. Whilst we understand this is an inherited feature of the building, in situ when the building was purchased, we would always recommend the reinstatement of cast iron drain pipes rather than  upvc, or coated zinc as an alternative, which would improve the aesthetic impact of this elevation of the listed building.

The proposed ventilation terminal should be discreetly located and be of a colour to match the stonework – a recessive grey or stone colour rather than white. We would also expect that due consideration should be given to the mitigation of harm to historic fabric where possible in these works to relocate the ventilation opening.

15/02711/FUL & 15/02712/LBA – Abbey View, 6A St Stephen’s Road Lansdown

Creation of roof terrace to replace existing flat roof, new French doors and secondary glazing to some existing windows

Object: The Trust wishes to object to the proposal. Whilst we understand the applicants desire to create an outside space to enjoy the views from this vantage point, we question the proposed materials.  In particular our concern centres around the fact that the townhouse is clearly designed as an architectural pair with its neighbour and this proposal would force a very clear visual disconnect between the two buildings with the use of glass and steel.  If the precedent of the neighbouring balcony has been accepted in pre-application advice, then the precedent of iron railings is also accepted, and should therefore be the material of choice above the matching parapet. Glass and steel are not appropriate materials in such a prominent visual location as this, as they jar with the Bath palette and introduce a modern visual aesthetic that sits incongruously upon the main façade of the listed building and within context of the adjacent buildings and their setting, thus potentially creating harmful impact.  We also have concerns about the reflections and glare from the glass on a south-facing façade.

The proposal would be detrimental and harmful to the special architectural and historic 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, policies of B1, B2 and CP6 of the Core Strategy and Local Plan Policies D4, BH2 and BH6 and should be refused.

15/02670/AR – Royal Oak 8 – 10 Summerlays Place Widcombe

Display of 2no. externally illuminated fascia sign, 1no. externally illuminated hanging sign and 4no. hoarding signs. Installation of 1no externally illuminated brass lantern and 5 internally illuminated floodlights

Object: The Trust objects to the excessive use of signage and illumination proposed on this listed building.  Whilst we understand the applicants desire to advertise their premises, we feel the amount of proposed painted signage is ‘overkill’ and will clutter the facades of the building, depreciating the value of the heritage asset and harming the visual amenity of the street and the conservation area. There is a hanging sign in situ, and it would be preferable to retain this, and replace with a timber, sign-written one in the new style rather than attach another with consequent damage to historic fabric. Also, the existing location fits the fenestration pattern reasonably well, possibly better than the proposed.

In addition the excessive use of floodlighting is wholly objectionable to the Trust, especially in the numbers proposed by the applicant. We continue to resist the unnecessary use of illumination.  Bath is a low-illuminated city, so the form of floodlighting proposed will add to damagingly high light levels in the World Heritage Site and Conservation Area.  Street lighting and light spill from general internal lighting from within the building should be sufficient to illuminate the front elevation. We would strongly recommend that the number of sign illuminating lights be significantly reduced to protect the special qualities of the World Heritage Site and conservation area.

The proposed scheme, by virtue of the means of the number of signage and illumination would 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 National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), policies; B1, B2 and CP6 of the B&NES Core Strategy and saved polices; D2, D4, BH6, BH17 and BH22 of the B&NES Local Plan.  We would therefore recommend that the application be refused.

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