May – Jun 2015

June 2015

WEEK 25 2015

15/02495/FUL – Revolution Bar 2 York Buildings George Street City Centre

Change of use of public highway for the siting of 5 tables and 20 chairs along George Street frontage in connection with Vodka Revolution Bar.

Comment: Bath Preservation Trust regrets the retrospective nature of this application.  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 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 do not consider the planted barrier to be necessary – this adds excessive clutter to the street and detracts from the street scene and setting.

 

15/02537/AR – 4 Princes Buildings City Centre

Display of 6 no. applied vinyl sign to shop front glazing, 1 no. internally illuminated lantern, 1 no. internally illuminated menu box, 1 no. applied sign to fabric awning, 1 portable A board, 1 no. branded tiled threshold and miscellaneous external branding associated with restaurant.

Object: The Trust is aware that the restaurant has opened with all of these proposals already in situ, therefore we regret the retrospective nature of this application and the fact that the supporting heritage information regarding the listed building is very scant. Whilst we appreciate the applicant’s desire to advertise their premises, we continue to resist the unnecessary use of external 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 signs and shop fronts.  The Trust also objects to the proposed use of an A-board.  We have serious concerns about the proliferation of A-boards in the city centre; they cumulatively clutter and devalue the character and amenity of the World Heritage Site as well as providing hazards to highway users. We consider that the brand advertising on the fasica, menu box, 6no on glazing, fabric awning and threshold is sufficient (if not ‘overkill’) to advertise the premises to passers-by.

The proposed scheme, by virtue of the means of illumination and materials, would neither preserve nor and enhance the character and appearance of conservation area and be detrimental to the visual amenity of the street scene, and would detract from the special qualities of the World Heritage Site.  The scheme would be contrary to Section 12 (Conserving and enhancing the historic environment) of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), policies; B1, B2 and CP6 of the B&NES Core Strategy and saved polices; D2, D4, BH1, BH2, BH6, BH17 and BH22 of the B&NES Local Plan.  We would therefore recommend that the application be refused.

 

15/02663/FUL- 15/02664/LBA- 15/02665/AR – 17 New Bond Street City Centre

Installation of new shop front and internal alterations to existing retail unit to form art gallery. Internal and external alterations to existing retail unit to form art gallery and installation of new shop front. Display of 1no. internally illuminated fascia sign and 1no. externally illuminated hanging sign.

Object:  The Trust welcomes the refurbishment of the listed building and the proposals to repair, reinstate and protect internal historic features and the traditional style timber shop front.  However we must object to the proposed use of steel fascia lettering and the associated lighting, and the proposed projecting sign. 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 signs and shop fronts. In addition the use of steel as a lettering material is not appropriate; we promote the use of traditional hand painted timber fascia signage as more keeping with the Bath palette of materials and traditions. With regards to the projecting 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 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 are also very concerned about the use of blue engineering bricks on the shop front, as these would clash with the palette of colours to be found in buildings within the conservation area and World Heritage Site. The use of such an incongruous material and colour would significantly harm the visual harmony of the historic facade and those adjacent and the appreciation of the listed building and its setting. We would recommend Bath stone or possibly tiles.

The proposed scheme, by virtue of the means of illumination and materials, would neither preserve nor and enhance the character and appearance of conservation area and be detrimental to the visual amenity of the street scene, and would detract from the special qualities of the World Heritage Site.  The scheme would be contrary to Section 12 (Conserving and enhancing the historic environment) of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), policies; B1, B2, B4 and CP6 of the B&NES Core Strategy and saved polices; D4, BH1, BH2, BH6, BH17, BH19 and BH22 of the B&NES Local Plan.  We would therefore recommend that the application be refused.

 

15/02216/FUL – Miles House Dunsford Place Bathwick

Extension to existing car park and erection of fence.

Comment:  The Trust has no objection in principle to the proposal however the Trust notes that there is no Listed Building Application attached to this application. Listed Building permission is required as the proposed works would affect the character of the setting of both the Grade II house and the Grade II wall/gates; therefore we believe that the application is incomplete and a Listed Building application should be submitted. We would also recommend a best practice approach within the Heritage Statement that would include an assessment of how the development would impact on the setting of the listed building (i.e a Heritage Impact Assessment). Photographs would be a helpful addition to the application in order to assess the impact of the proposed works on the setting of the listed structures.

 

15/02619/LBA- 2 Sion Hill Place Lansdown

Internal alterations including removal of shelves and provision of new doors. Replacement of two windows, alterations to wall linings and floors and other minor alterations.

Comment: The Trust welcomes the principle of repair and reinstatement to this significant listed building, however we would draw the applicant’s attention to the position of both the Trust and B&NES on the use of vaults as habitable spaces.  Vaults were intended as ancillary storage areas and as such were never meant to be habitable, hence their authentic damp condition, and the use of these spaces for modern life is against conservation principles. In particular the legibility of the historic hierarchy and use of the building is lost if vaults are ‘renovated’ and this is particularly key in important ‘status’ dwellings such as those found in Sion Hill.  In addition the Trust does not support any kind of cementitious or impervious membrane style ‘tanking’ as this restricts the intended breathability of the vaulted structures and can cause more serious problems elsewhere as water is displaced.  Whilst the tanking at this property is historic and predates this current applicant, we would urge the applicant to consider our recommendation in relation to this part of the repair programme (for more information: http://www.bath-preservation-trust.org.uk/campaigning/vaults-in-bath/) and to perhaps seek further specialist advice on the issue of ‘like for like’ repair of the tanking system.

 

15/02414/LBA – Maisonette Flat   40 Grosvenor Place

External alterations to include erection of a new larger garden shed following demolition of existing garden shed and Installation of kitchen extractor fan on the exterior wall at the front of the property, below street level.

Objection: The Trust objects to this application because we are concerned about the impact on the setting of the Grade I listed buildings in the vicinity of the proposed shed and the character of the conservation area.  Regardless of the precedents set along the rear of the terrace, the Trust feels that the proposed new shed is overly large and agricultural in design, and will sit intrusively and incongruously in the setting of the grade I listed buildings. We also have a concern about the inappropriate materials suggested, in particular the apex felt roof, which at the proposed height will dominate the views of this section of the rear of Grosvenor Place. It is difficult to judge the application because of the poor quality information and drawings submitted, and we feel that more substance and detail should be required as proportionate to the high significance of the heritage assets. We would suggest that a more sympathetic and thoughtful style, size and placement of shed should be encouraged, perhaps with a roof ridge height as existing and a gable roof to the wall. The proposal to place doors on the rear of the shed to the parking area suggests that the shed will have a purpose similar to a garage or working space.

We have concerns about the location of the flue and vent and the harm to historic fabric such works would cause.  The proposed location of the vent is highly visible to the front of the property and would have a harmful impact on the aesthetic value of the listed building. In particular the size of the proposed extractor unit, at nearly .5m wide and .17 deep would be an unsightly and highly visible addition to the archway entrance to the basement flat.

The proposed extractor and shed vent by virtue of  their size, position and materials would be visually intrusive and harm the fabric and setting (respectively) of the listed buildings; 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 the special qualities of the World Heritage Site.

The proposal is contrary to Policies D2, D4, BH1, BH2 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.

 

 

15/02540/FULBeaufort Cottage, London Road, Bath

Construction of new boundary wall to the rear of the property. Final height approx. 2.4m with gate.

Support: The Trust supports this application on the basis that it proposes to use traditional materials and finishes, including Bath stone rubble walling with lime mortar and Bath stone coping stones and quoins. The proposed wall would in appearance be in keeping with the character and appearance of the listed building and the conservation area and should therefore be permitted.

 

15/02627/FUL  – Closed Public Toilets North Parade Road Bathwick

Demolition of dilapidated former public convenience, and construction of new artist studio building (B1 Use)

Object – the Trust strongly objects to this proposal on the basis of its inappropriate size, design, fenestration and materials.  This is a very visible site within the World Heritage Site and conservation area and as such it is an important ‘gateway’ site to get right in terms of high quality design and materials. We consider this proposal to be a mediocre design response and one which sits awkwardly and over-dominantly on this busy corner with no active frontage or connection to its surroundings. The fact that the 3 storey building would be built directly onto the pavement with no set back or softening vegetation means that it would sit prominently and incongruously with no relationship with its context, creating a visually jarring impact on passers-by in both cars and on foot. The proposed designs do not appear to have been informed by any assessment of the character of the local area (beyond the railway bridge), or the wider townscape, nor by any consultative process.

We do not see any suggestion of the idea of an inspired ‘gateway’ form as detailed in the Design and Access Statement. We question the use of an irregular hexagon as being an appropriate shape for a building in a city where classical symmetry and simplicity of architectural form are a highly valued part of the townscape. We are particularly concerned by the small shape and number of the irregular and blank windows (which does not reflect in anyway the prevailing character of fenestration in the vicinity). We also have a general concern about the poor visual impact of the proposed materials, especially the proposal to use timber cladding, which is not an appropriate material for urban sites. We doubt this site would be an appropriate place for artists to ‘create’, both from a noise, pollution and light point of view, and we do  not regard the building itself as inspiring in any way.

In conclusion we argue that the poor quality design, inappropriate size, form and materials of the proposed building and its lack of connection to its setting would detract from and harm the special qualities of the World Heritage Site and the character of the conservation area, nor would it reflect local detail or strengthen local distinctiveness and character. We would prefer that the site became a green space within the city, rather than have a large poorly designed building ‘shoehorned’ into the space.

The proposed scheme by virtue of its size, massing, design, position and 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,B2, 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.

 

Week 24 2015

15/01843/AR & 15/02475/LBA – Francis Hotel 6 – 11 Queen Square City Centre Bath

Display of 2 no. painted lettering fascia signs and grey canvas canopies with cream text.

Object: The Trust wishes to strongly object to this application. The proposal attempts to justify its case using examples of historic chiselled or painted lettering on Bath street junctions, however these historic street signs are protected evidence of Bath’s craftsman heritage and street sign tradition and should not be mimicked or used to justify a modern commercial need to advertise premises. The simple classical Georgian facades of this important Grade I listed building and the clean lines of the horizontal plat band would become visually cluttered with lettering which would have a detrimental effect on the intentional visual harmony and aesthetic quality of the building’s elevations. The proposed lettering would substantially harm the aesthetic and architectural character of the listed building, its setting and the overall visual amenity value of the highly significant Queen’s Square vicinity. In addition, there is the issue of setting a precedent; under no circumstances should any of Bath’s historic building stock be physically defaced by inappropriately placed and applied modern advertising or signage.  We consider there to be adequate opportunity to advertise the applicants premises on the proposed window blinds and canopied entrance foyer.

The proposed signage by virtue of its position and method of application would be visually intrusive and harm the architectural value and significance of the listed building; 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 the special qualities of the World Heritage Site. The proposal is contrary to Policies D2, D4, BH1, BH2, BH6, BH17 of the B&NES Local Plan, B, B2 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.

15/02431/AR – Combe Down Express 100 Midford Road Odd Down

Display of 2no externally illuminated Acrylic Wave signs, 2no externally illuminated Acrylic Blade signs, 4no non-illuminated Acrylic koala signs and 8no non-illuminated Acrylic pump number signs.

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 harsh red acrylic nature of the ‘waves’, ‘koalas’ and ‘blades’ will visually intrude upon and stand out from the local street scene and will clutter and detract from the local visual amenity.  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 waves and blades.  We understand that ‘standing out’ is the exact result the applicant wishes to achieve however we would argue that this is an in inappropriate response for a special city such as Bath and particularly in an elevated ‘city gateway’ location such as this.

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; B1 and CP6 of the B&NES Core Strategy and saved polices; D4, BH6 and BH17 of the B&NES Local Plan.  We would therefore recommend that the application be refused.

 

15/02443/LBA – 1 Entry Hill Cottages Lynbrook Lane Lyncombe

External alterations to replace existing single glazed crittal and double glazed timber windows with bespoke flush histoglass timber casements.

Support: The Trust wishes to support this application. The proposal to reinstate traditionally detailed timber window casements using a bespoke approach is welcomed, as is the desire to increase the energy efficiency performance of the listed building by using discreet histoglass inserts.  This work will improve the architectural and aesthetic value of the listed building and contribute positively to the character of the conservation area.

 

15/02330/FUL& 15/02331/LBA 17 Devonshire Buildings, Bear Flat, Bath

Internal and external works to facilitate the conversion of attached lean-to garage to additional accommodation and associated works.

Comment: The Trust wishes to comment on the impact of this proposal that we are concerned about the loss of the garage. Whilst we understand the current owner does not use the garage currently for a car, we feel that the loss of the garage could potentially in the future create/contribute to more on-street parking which would be detrimental to the setting of the listed building and compromise the character and appearance of the conservation area.

 

15/02356/FUL – Former Hayesfield School Sixth Form Upper Oldfield Park Oldfield Park Bath

Erection of rear and side extensions, extension to outbuilding and associated access and landscaping works

Comment: The Trust’s only comment on this application is in relation to the proposed timber cladding on the outbuilding.  We do not support timber cladding in urban locations as it is not a material in keeping with the palette of materials in Bath’s townscape, we would suggest the use of Bath stone as a more appropriate material.

Week 23 2015

15/01611/LBA & 15/01612/AR 34 Stall Street City Centre Bath

Internal and external works to replace the existing internal ceilings and walls and display of 2no non-illuminated fascia signs and 1no other non-illuminated sign.

Object: The Trust wishes to object to this application on the basis that we are concerned about the lack of appropriately detailed information included in the application, in particular we consider the Heritage Statement to be lightweight considering the very high significance of the listed building. Further information should be requested in support of the application so that a proper assessment of the impact on the fabric and significance of the listed building can be made. We welcome the proposal to install wooden and sign written fascias to the front entrances. However on viewing the application it has been difficult to assess the detail and impact of the hanging sign in the curved window, but we feel on balance that it is too heavy in weight for its position and may harm the historic fabric into which it is to be bolted, and also too heavy visually, both in terms of inappropriate materials and its size, shape and position in a curved window arrangement and against the delicate decorative garlands above. We feel it would look chunky and incongruous and therefore harm the aesthetic value of the listed building.

On the basis of inadequate supporting information proportionate to the high significance of the building, and the inappropriate materials, position and design of the internal hanging sign causing harm to the fabric and visual experience of the listed building within the conservation area and World Heritage Site, the proposals are contrary to contrary to Policies D2, D4, BH1, BH2, BH6, BH17 and BH19 of the B&NES Local Plan, B1 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.

 

15/02374/ODCOU – Future Publishing Limited 6 – 10 Westgate Buildings City Centre Bath

Prior approval request for change of use from offices (Use Class B1) to residential (Use Class C3) to include up to 31 units

Comment: The Trust regrets the loss of office space in the city centre and hopes that if approval is granted that a condition can be imposed that prevents units being used for holiday lets. If space is released for residential units in the city centre, it is clear that these units should benefit the people of Bath and help mitigate the lack of affordable and general housing provision that B&NES is facing.

15/02408/ODCOU – The Tramshed Beehive Yard City Centre Bath

Prior approval request for change of use from offices (Use Class B1) to residential (Use Class C3) to create 15 dwellings.

Comment: The Trust regrets the loss of office space in the city centre and hopes that if approval is granted that a condition can be imposed that prevents units being used for holiday lets. If space is released for residential units in the city centre, it is clear that these units should benefit the people of Bath and help mitigate the lack of affordable and general housing provision that B&NES is facing.

15/01360/FUL – Bathwick St Marys C Of E Primary School Darlington Road Bathwick Bath

Erection of 4 external lights around junior playground.

Objection: The Trust is concerned about the proposals contained in this application as there is insufficient information to make any judgement about the impact of the proposed lighting.

Whist we understand the need for lighting the school site for safety reasons the Trust is concerned in general about light spill and pollution and feels that this application may set a precedent which would encourage other primary schools to apply for additional lighting (beyond that which is necessary) that would contribute to the proliferation of superfluous light sources cumulatively harming Bath’s highly significant historic townscape, the setting of this townscape and the World Heritage Site.

The only fact we are given is that the columns out of the 4 m high, we do not know which of the many fittings described in the brochure is to be used nor the wattage and whilst the scale of the plan is given it would have been helpful if the dimensions of the playground were given.  It is usual to provide a lighting design calculation that demonstrates that the solution complies with the Institute of Lighting Professionals – Guidance for the Reduction of Obtrusive Light. The applicant should be obliged to provide lighting design before any decision can be made.

In addition there is no information as to why the school requires extra lighting (and in particular floodlighting) in the playground (out of hours use?) and what the hours of operation would be.  At the least we would expect the school to be aware of the need to restrict the use of any lighting to mitigate the damage from light overspill into the surrounding areas and to include this information in the application.

The proposed scheme, by virtue of the proposed floodlight illumination, would neither preserve nor enhance the character and appearance of the World Heritage Site and conservation area and be detrimental to the visual amenity of the street scene. The scheme would be contrary to Section 12 (Conserving and enhancing the historic environment) of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), policies; B1, B4 and CP6 of the B&NES Core Strategy and saved policies D4, BH1 and B22 of the B&NES Local Plan.  We would therefore recommend that the application be refused.

 

Week 22 2015

15/02228/FUL & 15/02232/LBA – 1 Princes Buildings City Centre Bath

External alterations to include the formation of shop front to replace existing.

Support:   The Trust supports this application to replace a modern shop front with a traditional style arrangement, utilising appropriate and sensitive materials and detailing, especially in a building on such a prominent junction within Bath city centre. Our only concern is the red corporate colour proposed for the fascia; whilst we understand the applicants desire to advertise their premises, red does not sit well in the Bath palette of colours and fails to harmonise with the local street scene.  We would encourage the applicant to consider using the lighter Andrews colours used in the lettering as the main fascia colour in this prominent and sensitive historic location.

15/02278/FUL – 7 Miles’s Buildings City Centre Bath

Erection of single storey rear extension following demolition of existing single storey extension, installation of new second floor window and internal alterations.

Comment: There is not enough information submitted in order for the Trust to make a proper assessment of this application.  In addition to the lack of a Heritage Statement, it appears that the applicant is unaware the building is Grade II listed and has not submitted a Listed Building application.  We consider this application incomplete would urge the LPA to encourage the applicant to submit a listed building consent application and further documentation in support of this application.

15/01953/AR – Kingswood School Lansdown Road Lansdown Bath

Display of 4no non-illuminated banners

Comment:  The Trust understands the applicants desire to erect temporary advertisements on their site.  However the Trust is concerned about the 5 year permission period, and the amount of time banners would be on display.  We would encourage the application of conditions to discourage banners being left up for long periods of time.  In addition we have concerns regarding the proposed banner on the front gates of the school, this banner would intrude into the view of the attractive historic gates and harm the setting of the listed building. We would suggest a temporary mounted structure adjacent to the wall by the gates would be a more appropriate solution.

15/02210/LBA – 2 Clarendon Villas Widcombe Hill Widcombe Bath

External work to replace door to front lightwell, replacement of UPVC rain water and waste pipe to cast iron to rear elevation and replacement of UPVC guttering to cast iron to rear bay window.  Removal of soil and vent pipe from front elevation.

Support:  The Trust is supportive of this application which seeks to remove unsightly UPVC pipes from the front elevation and to replace UPVC pipes with cast iron on the back elevation.  The Trust welcomes the ‘decluttering’ of the front elevation, and the reinstatement of traditional cast iron waste goods. This work will improve the architectural and aesthetic value of the listed building and contribute positively to the character of the conservation area.

 

 

15/02241/OUT – 43 Belgrave Crescent Walcot Bath

Erection of 1no. three bed dwelling with hard-standing and new vehicular access following demolition of existing garage.

Comment: The Trust has no objection in principle to the concept of a dwelling on this site as we encourage development within the city to meet local housing needs and prevent development on greenfield sites. We consider that a continuation of the terrace is appropriate and would maintain the view from Belgrave Cottage. The development proposed would generally be of a form that is in-keeping with its host building and the overall terrace in which it is located. However we feel that the specific design details of the proposed dwelling will be require close scrutiny in the full application. For example large scale eaves, windows and door details should be submitted to and agreed by the Planning Officer. In particular the proposed materials are an important element in this sensitive location, and we would expect to see the use of natural ashlar limestone, natural slate roofing materials, cast iron rainwater goods, and the windows and doors should be constructed in timber, not upvc, and painted.

We would also comment on this outline application that the proportions of the sash windows on the side and rear elevation appear incorrect when compared to the traditional proportion of windows found on the rear elevation of the historic bays in Belgrave Terrace and we would encourage further review of these details. In addition the detail of the prominent side elevation would also merit further thought to help break up its scale and add interest. We would have hoped to see a well detailed natural stone chimney stack with pots to add interest to the building and roof scene and we would suggest that this is added to the scheme. The detail of the full height bay window needs further thought and clarification by larger scale drawings/details which should then be agreed by the Planning Officer.

15/02000/FUL 41 Rockliffe Ave, Bathwick

Erection of a two storey side extension, one storey rear extension and a loft conversion

Objection: The Trust objects to this application on the basis that it encroaches onto the setting of the listed building Rosemont Cottage, specifically in relation to the side return area.  We consider 900mm to be too narrow for realistic access to the side elevation of the listed building and that this proximity may cause cumulative harm to the fabric of Rosemont Cottage (as well as possible structural harm issues when laying foundations for the proposed side extension).  We are also concerned by the narrowing of the gap between the applicants’ 20th century property and the listed building; the spaces between buildings of differing ages, and glimpses between them are a characteristic of the conservation area.  The proposed rear extension scheme appears disordered and incoherent, and this may impact on views from the river, this is relevant due to the proximity of the highly significant Cleveland Pools which will eventually cause this section of the river to open up in terms of public access and views.

The proposed scheme by virtue of unsympathetic design and proximity to the listed building, would  harm the setting and fabric 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 D4, BH2 and BH6 of the B&NES Local Plan.  We would therefore recommend that the application be refused.

 

 

Week 21 2015

15/01999/LBA & 15/01998/FUL22 Daniel Street Bathwick Bath

Change of use from 2no. maisonettes to a single private dwelling; replacement and alterations to roof; replacement of windows and internal alterations and refurbishment.

Internal and external alterations facilitating the change of use of 2 no. maisonettes to a single private dwelling to include replacement and alterations to roof, replacement of windows and internal alterations and general refurbishment.

Support:  The Trust welcomes this well documented and detailed application to sensitively and comprehensively repair and reinstate a good number of correct historic features to this listed building. In particular we welcome the reinstatement of the small paned sash windows to the front elevations and the fan light in the front elevation. We are also supportive of the proposal to refurbish the roofs with natural slate and lead, and to reinstate pennant slabs to the front path and a stone staircase to the basement area. We note that in pre-application discussions it was advised not to propose any substantial refurbishment of the vaults and we fully support this advice.  Stone vaults are historic spaces which should be retained in their original state to maintain the original legibility of the historic building. We can see no proposals relating to the vaults beyond repair and shelter coating and this is supported by the Trust.

 

15/01950/FUL & 15/01951/LBA – Southstoke Hall Packhorse Lane South Stoke Bath

Renewal of external ironwork canopy. External alterations to include the renewal of external ironwork canopy.

Comment: The Trust would comment on this proposal that there should be a full method statement in relation to the proposed ironwork and canopy, including a full specification of works, materials and finishes. All work should be conducted by specialist contractor in the repair of historic ironwork. Any additional new metalwork should be in ‘like for like’ material. We are concerned at the use of copper as a canopy material unless there is historic precedent here.

 

14/04160/AR – King Edwards Pre-Prep School Weston Lane Lower Weston Bath

Display of 1no non-illuminated banner on a non-fixed structure to school boundary for a maximum of two weeks per year.

Comment: This application is confusing:  it is not clear whether the banner will be displayed on a non-fixed structure (e.g. in the photo outside KES North Road) as per the application title or fixed to the boundary wall on Weston Lane as per the application form? If a banner is to be fixed to the wall on Weston Lane as suggested in the application form, we question the method of fixing. We comment that there is insufficient information and clarity relating to this application, and that some of the confusion relates to the fact that the applicant is requesting permission for 3 separate sites and the details have become muddled.

 

 

15/02121/FUL – 23 Queen Square City Centre Bath

Internal and external works to the garage at rear of No.23 Queen Square to include erection of conservatory, re-instatement of roof lantern, roof lights and mezzanine.

Comment: The Trust understands the applicants desire to create extra amenity and living space and refurbish and enhance the current unprepossessing building.  However we feel that the proposals are over-elaborate for this ‘rear’ location, adjoining the very simple Sedan Chair House.  The garage is essentially a modest building but the proposals intend to add grandiose classical flourishes and features that would appear out of place in this location. Pilasters and niches tend to adorn large grand buildings with classical proportions, not subservient garage buildings.  In addition the roof light, whilst an original feature, is overly large (larger than the original) and would be visually intrusive, both from views along the street adjacent and from the listed buildings behind. The overall development, which is close to a rebuild, would not be subservient to the Grade I listed host building and would sit incongruously in its location, compromising the authenticity and integrity of the highly significant historic context.  We would prefer to see proposals incorporating a smaller roof light, and a simpler more authentic architectural treatment to the street elevation.

 

15/01989/LBA& 15/01988/FUL – Flat 1   10 Percy Place Lambridge Bath

External alterations for the erection of an open glazed roof canopy to the rear. Erection of an open glazed roof canopy to the rear

Object:  The Trust objects to this proposal which in which it is intended to fix a bulky steel and glass structure to an historic listed building.  Whilst we appreciate the applicants desire to shade their premises we feel a better more bespoke solution should be proposed. We are particularly concerned at the damage to historic fabric such a bulky and heavy structure could inflict on the building facade and fabric.  We would also comment that there is a lack of detail accompanying the application, in particular a heritage statement assessing the impact of the proposed work.  The Trust would suggest that a free standing patio structure would be a better solution, such as a pergola or gazebo style structure.

The works, by virtue of inappropriate and damaging fixing treatment and the lack of detailed information and analysis are considered to cause harm to the listed building 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 and CP6 of the Core Strategy and Local Plan Policies BH2 and should be refused.

 

15/02162/EFUL – Former Bath Press Premises, Lower Bristol Road, Westmoreland, Bath

Demolition of existing buildings and redevelopment of the site to provide a residential-led mixed-use development comprising 244 dwellings (Use Class C3) and 1,485.2 square metres (GIA) flexible employment space (Use Class B1), basement car park, substation, associated landscaping and access

COMMENT                                           

General

BPT appreciates the early and continued opportunity to engage with the development team. We recognise that some of the issues we raised in the previous consultation have been address.

The principle of developing this brownfield site for residential use is welcomed, especially as family homes are to be included. We applaud the use of more generous than average space standards, shown in the adoption of ‘Parker Morris’ for the residential units. However, a greater proportion of affordable homes would be desirable.

Although we have a number of concerns about the proposed development we consider that on balance it would meet local housing need, preserve the appearance of at least part of this locally important heritage asset and maintain sense of place and local distinctiveness.

In our earlier comments we encouraged the greater use of the terrace form. We are, therefore, pleased that the scheme now includes more terraced housing.

Detailed comments are given below. To summarise BPT is in support of the following elements of your current proposal;

  • Lower density
  • Articulated terraces
  • Segregation of pedestrians and vehicles
  • Retention of Bath Press façade and chimney

BPT is particularly concerned about;

  • Loss of historic fabric and detail
  • Massing and height of the building around the chimney

BPT has reservations about

  • Views through the portico
  • Window and balustrade design to the Lower Bristol Road elevations
  • Materials

 

Detailed comments

The Bath Press Façade

The retention and proposed use of the facade of the existing Bath Press building on the northern edge of the site is welcomed, especially its integration as a functional element of the design. However, we are very concerned that the height, close proximity and design (as presented) of the new residential blocks behind the retained façade will have an over-dominant impact on this façade.

We appreciate the retention of the historic chimney and welcome its proposed use as a flue. However, we are concerned that the prominence of the chimney is compromised by the close proximity and height of the development surrounding it (either side and the taller building behind). The heights and position of these building would dominate the chimney and detract from its value as a local landmark and harm the visual significance of the chimney in the street scene.

We agree that the existing portico on the northern edge of the site is an ideal feature to be retained and used as a natural pedestrian entrance to the wider site, forming an important feature on an articulated route between the river and the railway station. However, we regret that the view through is to be partially obscured by the projecting block behind, making the entrance appear uneven, with the central open space offset. We note that there will be some loss of historic fabric, especially the carved detailing above the door, and wonder whether this could this be reused elsewhere.

With regard to the use of clear glazing within the existing window openings we feel that this may present issues and will require regular cleaning. Perhaps, another solution might be to provide a metal balustrade to mirror the historic form of Crittal windows.

Building design and height

We welcome the omission of the higher buildings previously proposed for this site.  The use of 4-storey development on the outer edges along main roads, with 3-storey terraces abutting existing residential roads and small 5-storey apartment blocks within the site should provide an acceptable variety of building form and roof articulation, which we would generally encourage.

As indicated above, we are concerned about the design and appearance of the elevation/block positioned behind the retained wall, particularly its relationship with the chimney and the window design which alternates between Crittal and plain glazing – why not Crittal on all windows? And why do the upper storey windows appear wider than the original openings below?

The ‘sawtooth’ frontage of the south-easterly terrace, reflecting the historic industrial roof of the Press, is commended, as are the references to local industrial precedents in the fenestration and window sizes/materials for some elements.

Building Materials

We would hope that materials for construction are natural Bath stone (not reconstituted) and that any brick used is of an acceptable type, colour and bond. We would encourage the early construction of sample panels on-site, prior to the determination of the planning application. In addition we would like to see a detailed materials plan submitted with this application which identifies the proposed use of materials on all elevations.

Landscaping

The positive use of the vision splay on the north-eastern corner as a pocket park visible to the passing public and containing artwork appropriate to the Press site’s history is welcomed. Provision of details about planting and wall treatments might helpfully be included within the planning application.

Landscaping generally seems appropriate, although, for example, the necessary exclusion of vehicles from planted areas might require bollards, and the height of the garden fences along Brook Street seems to require reconsideration.

The idea of roof-top allotments is commendable, but we wonder about their practicality and impact on perceived roof heights.

We would hope that the quality of the hard landscaping will match the rest of the scheme, and, in particular, that means will be adopted to ensure that the execution of the works is equally high. The current level of Council-led street resurfacing, in for example Victoria Bridge approach and Lower Borough Walls, is disappointingly poor.

Other comments

We commend the provision of predominantly underground car parking, accessed from the main site access from Brook Road.  This will free up ground level space for landscaping appropriate to its context.

We encourage on-site interpretation of the historic use and appearance of the Bath Press building, perhaps by way of an interpretation panel within the space behind the portico on the central pedestrian spine, as well as underlying the design of the pocket park and other elements of the scheme.

The Trust therefore encourages the LPA to review elements of the design and obtain further information and detail as described above in support of this planning application prior to determination.

 

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