Oct – Dec 2015

December 2015

Week 51 2015

5/05518/FUL & 15/05519/LBA – 23 Royal Crescent City Centre Bath

Replace existing flat roof with lead proof slated pitched roof to summer house with alterations to parapet (Revised proposal)

Object: The Trust objects to this scheme on the basis that the proposal to increase the height of the parapet to offset the appearance of the roof does not remedy the overall issue, which is that the roof as built – contrary to the approved scheme – is at odds with the classical form and scale of the orangery and sits uncomfortably upon it. The raising of the parapet creates a further incongruous element to this building and represents a departure from the harmonious proportions of Palladian principles upon which the Royal Crescent is based. The higher parapet wall combined with the bulky mansard style roof is over-dominant and top heavy on the garden building and sits uncomfortably within the setting of the Grade 1 listed buildings. 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 continue to be concerned about the proposed use of this building. 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 (we note currently it is used for ‘storage’).  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 effect the developer has created a dwelling rather than a garden room though obviously any change of use should be the subject of a new planning application.

We continue to be very concerned about the precedent of a building of this size and dominance (it is no longer a subservient garden building) being built in such a sensitive setting within the conservation area and World Heritage Site.  We feel its over-dominance in terms of roof bulk and the loss of harmonious classical proportion created by the roof and proposed high parapet harms the very significant historic and architectural setting of the listed buildings and therefore represents unacceptable development and precedent. In particular the building is visible from above from a number of properties on the Royal Crescent and the we would suggest that the roof/high parapet combination when viewed from above would again look out of proportion and ‘odd’.

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.

15/05546/FUL – Public Toilets Dominion Road Twerton Bath

Erection of first floor extension to facilitate the conversion of former public convenience to 1 no dwelling (resubmission).

Object: The Trust continues to object to this proposal on the basis that it appears to be a resubmission of a previous proposal and therefore our concerns regarding inappropriate materials and visual appearance still stand. Whilst the principle of developing this empty structure is commendable as is the desire to create a modern low carbon dwelling, 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. We would prefer to see a scheme that took reference from the local, admittedly mixed, vernacular material and colour palette and did not introduce an alien material such as timber cladding into this urban space.  Section 9 of the Twerton Character Area Appraisal gives details of the local materials and detailing and could be used to inform the choice of proposed materials.

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.

Week 50 2015

15/02402/AR – 4 Abbeygate Street City Centre Bath 

Display of new pin mounted lettering with led trough lighting.

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 sensitive sites in the heart of the World Heritage city.  Bath is a low-illuminated city, and 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 also object to the use of acrylic, aluminium and vinyl, and feel that more appropriate traditional materials for this location within the World Heritage Site would be hand painted timber signage. In addition the strident red colour over the whole shop front is harmful to the character and appearance of the listed building, we would propose a more muted colour in keeping with the palette of Bath.

Finally, and importantly, following a site visit, we note that the proposed works to this shop front have already been completed prior to permission being granted.  The Trust has seem numerous examples of this type of transgression recently , and we are particularly concerned that applicants are so confident of their (in our view unacceptable) proposals that they complete the work in advance of a decision. This disrespect for the planning system which exists to protect the historic environment is deplorable and we hope the planning authority will deal appropriately with this issue.

The proposed scheme, by virtue of the means of illumination and materials, would harm the significance of the listed building, neither preserve nor enhance 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; B, B2, B4 and CP6 of the B&NES Core Strategy and saved polices; D2, D4, BH4, BH6, BH17, BH19 and BH22 of the B&NES Local Plan.  We would therefore recommend that the application be refused.

15/04877/AR –  Sole Trader 9 Stall Street City Centre Bath 

Display of new non-illuminated pin mounted signage at the same height and colour as existing.

Object: The Trust objects to the use of illumination (from the overhead spotlights) 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 the centre of our World Heritage city.  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 also object to the use ofsteel, and feel that a more appropriate material for this location within the World Heritage Site would be hand painted timber signage.

The proposed scheme, by virtue of the means of illumination and materials would harm the significance of the listed building, neither preserve nor enhance 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; B, B2, B4 and CP6 of the B&NES Core Strategy and saved polices; D2, D4, BH4, BH6, BH17, BH19 and BH22 of the B&NES Local Plan.  We would therefore recommend that the application be refused.

15/05127/LBA – 8 Vineyards Walcot Bath 

Internal and external alterations for the general property repair and internal accommodation adjustments of kitchen and bathrooms.

Support:  The Trust welcomes and supports the proposal to relocate the unsightly SVP away from the front elevation as this will enhance and further reveal the heritage asset.  We would recommend that the renewed rainwater pipe be in lead to reference the traditional material for rainwater goods.  If this is not possible the piping should be of high quality and in a recessive stone colour to blend in with the Bath stone façade.

15/02765/LBA – Royal Oak 8 – 10 Summerlays Place Widcombe Bath 

External alterations to repaint render, installation of 1no externally illuminated brass lantern and 5 internally illuminated floodlights. Display of 2no. externally illuminated fascia sign, 1no. externally illuminated hanging sign and 4no. hoarding signs.

Object:  The Trust notes that the associated advertising application (15/02670/AR) was refused and that also, the works to this building have been completed despite the absence of listed building consent AND the refusal to grant advertising consent.  We hope that the planning authority is dealing with this transgression in a suitable manner bearing in the mind the actual harm that has occurred to this listed building.

The Trust repeats its initial objection the advertising application: 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.

15/05478/ODCOU – Unit 2 Riverside Court Westmoreland Bath 

Prior approval request or change of use from offices (Use Class B1) to dwellings (Use Class C3) of second and third floor of two office blocks to create 26 no. flats.

Comment: The Trust appreciates that it would be possible to make better use of the Riverside Court site but is concerned about PD for the change of use from office to residential use distorting the market in Bath further towards residential use. If this space is currently in active office use we regret the further loss of office space in the enterprise to area. We believe that B&NES council must urgently consider Article 4 directions in central Bath to ensure that all small office space is not lost. Furthermore would welcome any means to ensure that new residential development is not immediately converted into holiday lets or student accommodation. 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.

Week 49 2015

15/05156/REG03 & 15/05157/REG13  – 7 – 8 Abbeygate Street City Centre Bath 

Installation of wireless broadband network access points to; No 7/8 Abbeygate Street; No 3 Abbeygate Street; No 5 Abbey Green; Abby Chambers; 12 Kingston Buildings; Guildhall; The Roman Baths Complex; Bath College, Avon Street; Avon Street Car Park and Lewis House, Manvers Street.

Comment: The Trust welcomes measures to increase the popularity of Bath as a shopping destination and innovative approaches to enhance the visitor experience. Whilst we understand the Economic Strategy identifies wi-fi as an ‘opportunity’, we would be interested to learn more about how this will actually bring specific economic benefit to the city (given that it is a service that businesses and shoppers already have via their own providers, be it mobile 4G or business broadband). At this stage the level of public benefit is not clear and therefore it is difficult to assess whether it outweighs the potential visual harm to the historic environment.

As the planning authority B&NES has a responsibility to lead by example and we have a concern about the cumulative impact of these boxes and antenna on the special architectural and historic interest of listed buildings and this historic townscape and the associated harm to fabric. We are particularly concerned by the Guildhall antenna equipment located where it will be visually prominent and where it detracts from the appearance of this historic listed building. We would ask whether the effectiveness of this antenna would be affected if it was located on a roof platform further within the roof structure and therefore less visible in the public realm?

We would like to see the duration of this pilot be determined by condition and that other pilots (mentioned in the paperwork but with no detail) be used for visual comparisons before a final solution is applied for.  We would also expect that the review of the pilots would include the use of clear criteria (including the criteria of minimal visual impact) so that they can be compared to one another in a meaningful way.

15/01343/AR – 9 Frome Road Odd Down Bath 

Display of 1 no. externally illuminated fascia sign and 1 no. externally illuminated hanging sign. (Regularisation)

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.  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 also object to the use of aluminium and vinyl and the strident colours of the proposed signage, and feel that a more appropriate material for the World Heritage Site is a hand painted timber sign in a calmer colour more in keeping with the Bath palette.  The overall effect of this shop front and signage is low quality and not in keeping with the character of Bath and its suburbs.

The proposed scheme, by virtue of the means of illumination and materials would 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 policies; B1 and CP6 of the B&NES Core Strategy and saved polices; D2, D4, BH17, BH19 and BH22 of the B&NES Local Plan.  We would therefore recommend that the application be refused.

15/05344/LBA – 10 Victoria Buildings Westmoreland Bath 

Internal and external alterations to install a balanced fan assisted flue condensing boiler to bathroom.

Comment: The proposed flue should be of a colour to match and blend in with the stonework – a recessive grey or stone colour rather than white or black. We would also expect that due consideration should be given to the mitigation of harm to historic fabric where possible in these works to locate the flue apparatus.

15/05305/FUL & 15/05306/LBA –  Somerset House 1 Church Street Widcombe Bath   

Erection of single storey garden extension to the basement flat.

Comment:  whilst we are not opposed to the principle of a high quality modern extension to this listed building, we have some concerns regarding the size, design, siting, and massing of the proposed scheme. Firstly we find it hard to assess the impact of the proposal on the views from the wider landscape to the south and we would suggest that a small number of context drawings are included in the application (the drawing at the back of the Design & Access Statement is somewhat helpful but is limited in perspective).

We are concerned about the overall plan size of the scheme in that we feel it is not subservient enough to the listed building and the master bedroom element adjacent to the terrace juts out too far into the garden. The extension should be set back from the building line of the principal listed building to minimise its impact on the setting of the building. We are concerned about the large zinc fascia which we feel is too wide and will have a semi industrial appearance that is at odds with the classical details of Somerset House; the large expanses of glass with thin metal frames is also worrying for the same reasons. We do not feel the current design has enough gravitas and merit to complement or enhance the rather grand Somerset House nor does the design appear to take any references from it or respond to its architectural rhythms.  We believe further design work is needed to ensure that this modern extension sits more comfortably and respectfully within its context.

Week 48 2016

15/05044/AR 1 – 2 Bartlett Street City Centre Bath  

Display of 3 no. non illuminated hanging signs, 2 no. non illuminated facia signs and fabric awning.

Comment: The Trust acknowledges and welcomes the overall positive changes to the proposed signage for the Boston Tea Party site including the use of painted timber signage and non-illumination. However we continue to feel that the number of hanging signs is excessive, in particular the sign on Alfred Street could potentially harm the architectural and historic interest of the listed building and clutter and thus 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 have reservations about the fact that the sign on Alfred Street is proposed to be located on the first floor of the facade. We propose that if signage is agreed a more appropriate location would be further down at fascia level to mitigate harm to the piano nobile section of the facade. We note the precedent set by Woods’ signage but would comment that ‘two wrongs do not make a right’. We would also comment that the fabric awning should be of a traditional style without excessive written advertising and that fixings should be of high quality to ensure the least possible harm to historic fabric in their installation.

15/05055/LBA The Porter 15 George Street City Centre Bath

Installation of temporary Christmas decorations to the south elevation at basement level (retrospective).

Object: The Trust objects strongly to the works which were carried out without first obtaining permission, or undertaking any proper assessment of the impact on the historic fabric or character of the listed building.  We are disappointed by the response of the owners of this distinguished and significant heritage asset, in that seemingly any respect for the historic building (which has been in the main sensitively refurbished and forms part of the attraction of the overall business offering), is overrided by short term commercial gain; jumping onto the Christmas chalet bandwagon.  The chalet style timber addition to the basement level facade has most likely damaged historic fabric, even with the reuse of historic fixings, and though temporary, still harms the special architectural and historic character of this listed building and the overall visual amenity of the conservation area. Of course also we note with further concern that the timescales for this application means the cladding will be removed before determination of this application, and the fact that this business has repeatedly submitted applications after works have been completed should be dealt with strongly by the local planning authority.

We also note that Christmas decorations have also been installed around the windows on the first floor of the building and we can only guess that some harm to historic fabric has occurred in the fixing of these garlands. In addition these decorations significantly alter the character and appearance of the listed building and we would have expected to see some form of permission being sought for this alteration.

The proposed scheme, by virtue of materials, design and location harms the architectural and historic interest of the listed building, damages the historic fabric, is detrimental to the character and appearance of the Conservation Area and the visual amenity value of the street scene, and detracts from the special qualities of the World Heritage Site. The scheme is 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; D2, D4, BH2, BH6, BH17 of the B&NES Local Plan.  We would therefore recommend that the application be refused.

15/05057/LBA The Porter 15 George Street City Centre Bath

Installation of external lighting to South and West elevations.

Object: The Trust strongly objects to the retrospective nature of this application and the very poor justification provided. We would at the very least expect a more detailed heritage report which would examine the history of the building and explain in more detail the evidence for choosing the lights that have already been installed. We would expect that the Conservation Officer should really have been involved in the choice of lighting equipment and their positioning. We urge the planning authority to ensure that the applicant is aware of the implications of undertaking unauthorised work to a listed building.

The Trust objects to the use of illumination and materials proposed (and already installed) in this application. We continue to resist the unnecessary use of illumination, particularly in historic and characterful locations such as George St.  Bath is a low-illuminated city, so this form of advertising adds 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 lights is excessive, as is their proposed design; there is actually very little justification for providing Victorian style lights (though we doubt the swan neck design is particularly Victorian) to a  Georgian facade, whatever the date of the shop front (and in actual fact that shop front is 20th century). These lights clutter the facade and harm the architectural and historic character of the listed building, as well as physically damaging the fabric of the listed building with the installation of the lights and associated wiring.

The proposed scheme, by virtue of materials, design and location substantially harms significance of the listed building, damages the historic fabric, is detrimental to the character and appearance of the Conservation Area and the visual amenity value of the street scene, and detracts from the special qualities of the World Heritage Site. The scheme is 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; D2, D4, BH2, BH6, BH17 and BH22 of the B&NES Local Plan.  We would therefore recommend that the application be refused.

Week 47 2015

15/04939/LBA – Flat 2   41A Great Pulteney Street Bathwick Bath

External and internal alteration to facilitate installation of boiler and flue.

Comment: The proposed flue on the Darlington Street elevation should be of a colour to match and blend in with the stonework – a recessive grey or stone colour rather than white or black. We would also expect that due consideration should be given to the mitigation of harm to historic fabric where possible in these works to locate the flue apparatus.

15/05019/LBA – 7 Widcombe Crescent Widcombe Bath

External and internal alteration to include erection of single storey rear extension together with internal layout amendments.

Objection: 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 (sash window) and harm to the appearance, fenestration, and composition of the facade and the overall character of the rear elevation of the listed building and those adjacent. We note also that the applicant has not presented any form of heritage impact assessment in order to fully evidence the case for such an addition to this significant set of buildings. 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 addition of cumulative additions to the rear of the crescent presents irreversible harm to the heritage asset in terms of the readability of its evidential, historical and aesthetic values experienced in the rear facade and this 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) and particularly para 132 (great weight should be applied to the asset’s conservation in line with the significance of the asset)), 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.

15/04985/AR11 Union Street City Centre

Display of 1 no. non Illuminated fascia sign and frosted vinyl bands on inside face of shopfront.

Object: The Trust objects to this application on the basis of inappropriate use of materials on the listed building and within the conservation area.  We also note that even though permission has not been granted the shop is open with the signage in situ which we feel shows a serious disregard for the planning regime.  The white powder coated mounted lettering is an unacceptable design and material that is not in keeping with the palette of materials and colour that is traditional to Bath. We would always recommend that signage on shop fascia’s on listed buildings are traditionally hand painted in order to enhance the significance of the heritage asset and maintain its character and special historic and architectural interest.

The proposed scheme, by virtue of materials and design would be harmful to the architectural and historic significance and fabric of the listed building, 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; D2, D4, BH2, BH6 and BH19 of the B&NES Local Plan.  We would therefore recommend that the application be refused

Week 46 2015

15/04915/FUL & 15/04916/LBA 9 The Circus City Centre

Restoration and re-organisation of a number of the internal spaces of No. 9 The Circus. Construction of a single storey glass lean-to to the rear of the house at Second Floor level to partially enclose the existing outside courtyard and provide additional internal floor space.

Object: Whilst we are mindful and supportive of the applicants desire to modernise and sensitively refurbish this important listed building, we have strong concerns about the proposed glass structure on the 2nd floor balcony and object to this element of the application.  The Trust is not opposed to the addition of high quality modern architecture when it is contextually appropriate and justified by a compelling Impact Assessment but in this case we feel the proposed structure would be too visually prominent, unsympathetic and incongruous.

Whist we acknowledge that the rear Brock Street and the Circus presents evidence of much change over the centuries, we consider that a glass structure positioned at 2nd floor level would detract from the architectural, historic and atheistic value of the listed building, and would be at odds with the overall character of this group of significant listed buildings and the general historic setting.

The structure would be highly visible from Gravel Walk and would set a dangerous precedent for discordant modern glass additions to balconies across Bath. We cannot see how the resulting increase in space in such an already large house can outweigh the harmful impact that this modern structure would have on the elegant and harmonious, typically Georgian, elevation and the overall group composition.

The proposed structure, by virtue of it’s position, height and appearance unsympathetic design and materials, would be harmful to the special historic and architectural interest of the listed building and its setting, the character of the conservation area, and the special qualities of the World Heritage City. 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 policies; D4, BH1, BH2, BH6 of the B&NES Local Plan. We would therefore recommend that this element of the application be refused.

15/04933/LBA – Flat 3   1 Johnstone Street Bathwick Bath

External and internal alteration to facilitate installation of central heating system, to include combination boiler, flue and radiators.

Comment: The proposed flue on the rear elevation should be discreetly located and be of a colour to match and blend in with 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 locate the flue apparatus.

15/04763/LBA – Shockerwick House Shockerwick Farm Lane Bathford

Internal and external alterations for repairs and maintenance, minor internal alterations, Repairs to the access road, including all other associated works.

Comment: The Trust comments that we have concerns regarding the proposals to re-tarmac the front drive to the house. We believe an opportunity to enhance and better reveal the Grade I listed asset is being lost here.  A harsh black tarmac treatment is an inappropriate material in the context of the setting of the building and that a more suitable treatment would be a bonded aggregate material in a Bath stone colour which would be visually softer and less intrusive, blending in with the colour palette of the listed building and therefore enhancing the building within its setting.

November 2015

Week 45 2015

15/04578/LBAFlat 6   20 Great Pulteney Street Bathwick Bath

Internal and external works to replace boiler and flue.

Comment:  The proposed flue on the highly sensitive front elevation should be discreetly located and be of a colour to match and blend in with the stonework – a recessive grey or stone colour rather than black. We would also expect that due consideration should be given to the mitigation of harm to historic fabric where possible in these works to locate the flue apparatus.

15/04690/ARVacant Shop 49 Southgate Street Bath

Display of 1 no. illuminated fascia sign & 1 no. illuminated projecting sign

Whilst we appreciate the applicant’s desire to promote their commercial premises, we object to elements of the proposal that are unsuitable to this location within the conservation area and World Heritage Site.  The use of aluminium, perspex and vinyl are not materials that are appropriate within the natural palette of Bath.  Hand-painted timber signs would be much more suitable reflecting the traditional prevalent materials and character of the city.  We continue to maintain our position of objection to illuminated signs, as Bath is a low-illumination city and as such we object to the proposed illuminations.  The proposed signs should be adequately visible via illumination from other sources of light such as street-lighting, especially as Southgate is a well illuminated shopping area. The proposed scheme, by virtue of the materials and illumination, would neither preserve nor and enhance the character and appearance of the World Heritage Site 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, B2, B4 and CP6 of the B&NES Core Strategy and saved policy; D4, BH6, BH19 and BH22 of the B&NES Local Plan.  We would therefore recommend that the application be refused.

15/04822/LBA – Flat 1 14 Grove Street Bathwick Bath

Internal and external alterations for the insertion of boiler flue through rear elevation wall.

Comment:  The proposed flue should be discreetly located and be of a colour to match and blend in with the stonework – a recessive grey or stone colour rather than black. We would also expect that due consideration should be given to the mitigation of harm to historic fabric where possible in these works to locate the flue apparatus.

15/04810/FUL- Herman Miller UK Locksbrook Road Newbridge Bath

Change of use from furniture production (Use Class B2) to an academic space comprising technical workshops, studio space, teaching space and office accommodation (Use Class D1).

Support:  The Trust welcomes this well-justified application which seeks to develop the next exciting and creative phase of use for this important 20th century factory building. The application would bring direct employment to the site, assist start-up SME’s and house cutting edge industrial processes.  We note that no offers have been made for the site for industrial use and that in any case the site is zoned light industrial (i,e warehousing) which is low density employment.  We feel such a change of use is highly appropriate both in the context of the proposed users (a distinguished art and design faculty) and in relation to the original cutting edge design of the factory that was explicitly multi-functional space made to be conversion flexible to the needs of users. This use would ensure the future occupation and maintenance of the listed building and would potentially both enhance and better reveal the heritage asset. The Trust strongly supports the principle of change of use from B2 to D1 – this use will bring employment and the nature of the workshops and studio spaces would harmonise with the industrial character of the location. As yet no detailed design proposals relating to the fabric of the building are presented therefore we reserve judgement on the associated alterations to the building until the submission of a listed building application which should be considered in parallel to this planning application.

15/04738/LBA71 Prior Park Road Widcombe Bath

Internal and external alterations to install replacement boiler flue on external wall at requisite height above ground level.

Comment:  The proposed flue on the elevation should be discreetly located and be of a colour to match and blend in with the stonework – a recessive grey or stone colour rather than black. We would also expect that due consideration should be given to the mitigation of harm to historic fabric where possible in these works to locate the flue apparatus.

15/04824/FULBeechen Cliff School  Kipling Avenue Bear Flat Bath

Erection of two storey 8 no. classroom block following demolition of existing temporary ‘Pratten’ classroom block. Altered access to the existing science block and associated landscaping works.

Comment: The Trust has concerns over the reflective qualities of the zinc roof and predominance of glazing on the playing field elevation especially as the roof is monopitch angled towards Wellsway and this building would be visible from long views.  Bearing this in mind we also have concerns over the absence of long views analysis and contextual elevations to the overall site which the Trust has asked for in the past for any application concerning this prominent and visible site.  Without such analysis it is difficult to judge the impact of the building on the overall school site and the adjacent important green spaces which form a part of the setting of the World Heritage Site. We are also wondered about the white flag like additions to the entrance area, and are unsure as to what they are.   We would also comment that careful attention must be paid to the issue of external lighting in terms of sky glow and light spill given the prominent elevated position of the site and the continuing local concerns about the lighting of the all weather pitches.

 

15/04760/AR – Harvester Vacant Premises Gloucester Road Lower Swainswick

Erection of 5 x flagpoles with banner flags, 3 x Stack Board Signs, Hoarding (2.4 metres high) and Temporary Sales Cabin.

Objection: Whilst the Trust understands the need for the developer to advertise the development, we feel the proposed number of flags and hoarding signs are excessive and would stridently intrude upon and therefore harm the character of the conservation area and the local street scene, especially in this gateway location to the World Heritage City. The exact measurements (and therefore the overall impact) of the banner flags is difficult to ascertain from the application but in any case we would recommend that the banner numbers be reduced and hoarding signs limited to two close to the sales cabin.

The proposed scheme by virtue of excessive advertising would be harmful to the character of the conservation area and 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, B4 and CP6 of the B&NES Core Strategy and saved policy; D4, BH1, BH6 and BH17 of the B&NES Local Plan.  We would therefore recommend that the application be refused.

Week 44 2015

15/04617/AR & 15/04741/LBA – Marthen Ltd 11 Westgate Street City Centre Bath

Relocation of existing non-illuminated sign higher up building frontage.

Objection: The Trust objects to this application on the basis that it would be entirely unacceptable to move the hanging bracket to the first floor section on the facade.  Such an addition would be visually intrusive to the façade, therefore harm the architectural composition of the listed building and also cause harm to the fabric of the building, namely the historic ashlar stonework. We regret that there are several signage additions to first floor elevations located nearby, none of which have permission (though the business at No.33-35 does have consent to use the historic bracket located at first floor on their building). Should this scheme be permitted it would add to an undesirable precedent that would ultimately lead to further harmful clutter on listed buildings and the public realm. We feel sure it would be possible to think of a different solution to the problem of vehicular damage to the fascia sign, such as a pavement bollard.

The proposed scheme, by virtue of proposed position of the hanging sign, would be harmful to the architectural and historic significance and fabric of the listed building, 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; D2, D4, BH2 and BH6 of the B&NES Local Plan.  We would therefore recommend that the application be refused.

15/04633/REG03 – Playing Field Former Ministry Of Defence Ensleigh Granville Road Lansdown Bath 

Erection of 1 Form Entry Primary School building and associated works including hard and soft play areas and staff parking.

Comment: The Trust continues to regret that this application is not part of a site-wide masterplan that would ensure the successful integration of the school buildings into the overall character of the two designed housing schemes for this large development. Given that this is school will be a focal part of the Ensleigh community, the requirement to consider the proposed building in isolation from the (to be) built and landscaped environment surrounding it sits uncomfortably and it is possible that this approach could result in the school failing to respond to and harmonise with its surroundings. It is impossible to gain a full understanding of the school within its visual context as there are no contextual images or long views displays/analysis included in the application, despite our pre-application request that the applicant undertake a Views Study. On reviewing the planning application we have a number of comments to make:

  • We pleased to note that there are no solar panels proposed within the application. Whilst we are supportive of sustainable energy measures in this case we would be concerned about the harmful impact of panels on long views of the school from Beckford’s Tower and the AONB, and the effect on rural character and setting of the World Heritage Site.
  • How will the area including mature trees & wall along the site boundary (which is outside the school grounds), be managed/maintained and by whom?
  • We are concerned at the content of the small ‘habitat area’. Given the semi rural nature of the site we would have expected it to contain at least one mature tree.
  • We welcome the detail on the proposed external lighting, however we do not understand why some lights, especially those towards open space (and the bat line), are 40 lux instead of 20.
  • We are concerned regarding the polyester powder coated aluminium roof material as this may present a blank and reflective surface in long views and would recommend further thought on this element, perhaps with a view to incorporating a more creative approach to roof materials with the intention of adding better articulation and interest to the roofscape. In our pre-application submission we suggested the addition of ‘green’ roofs which may still be an option worth considering should it be considered logistically possible.
  • We would comment on the lack of finer detail on the suite of materials being proposed for the school, as they this type of information is fundamental in order to fully visualise the finished building. For example we would expect to know which type of timber cladding is proposed and its weathering qualities as the weathered colour and finish of this cladding will have a significant impact on the look of the school in years to come. Similarly the detail as to which recon stone and render products are proposed as the quality and weathering performance of these materials can differ widely. With regards to the recon stone, we have concerns that it tends to be a poor quality material and that rubble stone could be a more appropriate material especially given the semi-rural location of the building (as suggested in our pre-application submission). We would expect a materials sample panel to be erected on site with full details of the colour, specification and future performance of the proposed materials.

15/04695/FUL – Land Rear Of Dixon Gardens Upper Lansdown Mews Lansdown Bath  

Provision of access and gate following demolition of part of the boundary wall.

Object: The Trust strongly objects to this application on the basis of the actual harm to a historic structure of architectural and historic significance and to the group value of structures within an important heritage landscape. We are also concerned at the very poor detail contained within the submission given the significance of this landscape. The walls of Beckford’s Garden are important historic structures that, in our opinion, are curtilage listed by being part of the land, in creation, function and use, of Beckford’s Gate and we assert that listed building consent should be required in addition to planning permission. The works to demolish the wall in order to create a gateway and gain access have resulted in considerable damage to the historic fabric of the garden wall and harm to the wider historically important setting of Lansdown Crescent and its back lands, including the Mews and Dixon Gardens. We do not accept that using the justification of access needs outweighs the significant level of harm to the heritage asset, especially given that we can see no reason why a vehicle would need to access the upper terraces of Beckford’s nationally important planned landscape garden. We would contend that horticultural maintenance could be undertaken on foot utilising the pedestrian gateway that currently exists.  We note the report by IMA Transport Planning which specifically concludes that it is not logistically feasible to provide vehicular access to the site from Upper Lansdown Mews, given the restrictions and topography of the land.

The proposed scheme would substantially harm the special historic interest of a highly significant heritage asset and landscape, 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, BH4, BH6 and BH7 of the B&NES Local Plan.  We would therefore recommend that the application be refused.

15/04715/FUL & 15/04716/LBA – Hope House The Royal High School Lansdown Road Lansdown Bath

Residential development for the erection of 54 no. dwellings, including the conversion of Hope House, and associated infrastructure and parking following demolition of existing school buildings

Comment:  The Trust recognises that this application represents some minor adjustments in unit number and details to the extant scheme and welcomes the additional information contained within the application. The Trust has made a number of comments on this development in the past, some of which still stand. Our comments and concerns are noted as below:

  • We continue to regret the broken stepped down roofline of Block C which does not successfully achieve the palatial aesthetic so clearly intended by the design. The newly arranged larger fenestration and doors on the projecting bays do appear somewhat over-dominant on the facade but the overall impact is difficult to judge from the drawings.
  • The Trust continues to regret that Hope House does not stand alone as it once did and we still feel that the arched link from Block D to Block E is reminiscent of a linked institutional building, though we acknowledge this arrangement is preferable to the approved scheme. We note that this link now incorporates terraces with railings for Block E which are an incongruous addition to the overall scheme so close to Hope House. The blocks D and E in general are awkwardly juxtaposed the terraces in particular give the impression of being ‘shoe horned in’ and added over a period of time (rather like the school buildings they are replacing) rather than a creative solution that sits more comfortably within the scheme so close to the listed building. We would prefer to see these buildings sit on their own rather than linked in this way.
  • The Trust has concerns regarding the mansard roof now proposed for Block D which we feel is overly bulky in this prominent location and may have a harmful impact on long views to the site from above. We would suggest that further work is done to analyse this impact.
  • The rebuilding of Block E to a more traditional rectangular form that sits well with, and is subservient to Hope House, is welcomed however we have concerns regarding the side hung casement windows at the rear which sit incongruously when viewed as a whole with Hope House and the wider character area. We would expect that these windows (and those at the front) should be larger and would mirror those of Hope House, perhaps with similar glazing bar arrangements. At present the 1/1 arrangement presents a blank face that does not relate to local character or to the fenestration pattern of Hope House.
  • We welcome the fact that changes to the landscape plan have addressed concerns regarding the relationship between the setting of Hope House and the overall scheme.15/04668/AR – 44 Moorland Road Oldfield Park Bath Object: Whilst we appreciate the applicant’s desire to advertise their premises, we continue to resist the unnecessary use of illuminated signs. Bath is a low-illuminated city, so this form of advertising will add to light levels in the World Heritage Site and Conservation Area. Street lighting and light spill from general internal lighting from within the building should be sufficient to illuminate signs and shop fronts. The proposed use of acrylic is also objectionable, as it is not a material in keeping with the traditional palette of the city. We would recommend hand-painted timber fascias and signs. 
  • The proposed scheme, by virtue of the means of illumination and materials, would neither preserve nor 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 and CP6 of the B&NES Core Strategy and saved polices; D4, BH6, BH17 and BH22 of the B&NES Local Plan. We would therefore recommend that the application be refused.
  • Display of 1no internally illuminated static fascia sign and 1no internally illuminated static hanging sign

Week 43 2015

15/04693/AR – 1 Princes Buildings City Centre Bath Bath And North East Somerset BA1 2ED 

Display of one new non-illuminated sign written timber fascia sign.

Support: The Trust welcomes this well-detailed and thoughtful approach to a shop frontage in a prominent gateway location within the World Heritage Site.  We commend the bespoke approach to materials and colour and the departure from the usual corporate fascia branding of this business. We note the reinstatement of Bath stone and a traditional shop window arrangement in timber, with well considered details such as pilasters. The application provides a very good example of when a national organisation adopts a bespoke approach to refurbishment that illustrates a respect for, and understanding of, the special qualities of Bath and its streetscape.

15/04600/FUL – 10 Beaufort West Lambridge Bath Bath And North East Somerset BA1 6QB 

Removal of raised lawn area in front of house & replacement with decking & flint chippings (retrospective).

Object:  The Trust objects to this application on the basis of significant harm to the setting of the listed buildings and the character of the conservation area.  The Trust also regrets the retrospective nature of the application.  The timber decking box-like structure situated close to the heritage asset, and the raised beds form incongruous and intrusive and overly large additions to the intentionally planned green front gardens of this group composition. The structures dominate the garden setting and impact negatively upon the visual appearance of the listed building and those adjacent. The gardens were specifically designed to compliment the host buildings and provide an exterior framing device for the restrained late Georgian architecture and therefore are an important historical element of the overall terrace. Timber decking and cladding is also not an appropriate material to be used within this specific local context as it is not considered part of the palette of materials that are acceptable within the Georgian terraces of the city. Whilst we have sympathy with the applicant’s wish to utilise his/her garden, we suggest that more thoughtful structures for usage and vegetable gardening could be devised, such as ground level beds and a small Cotswold gravel or paved flat terrace.

We feel that Listed Building Consent should be sought for this proposed work, given the harmful impact that the proposal has 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.

15/04506/FUL & 15/04576/LBA  – Doric House Sion Hill Lansdown Bath

Erection of extension to garage, extend patio, replace rooflight, replacement of hall floor and replacement of grille to window. Provision of new vertical bars to sitting room window.

Object: The Trust objects to this application on the basis of the very poor detail contained in this application. We would expect with a house of this significance in its visible and prominent location that at the very least a historic report with heritage impact assessments would be included in the application. In addition to the complete lack of detail regarding the building and the proposed works, the drawings are difficult to decipher and do not include context elevations and therefore it is hard to make a judgement on the visual impact of the proposed works.  In particular we have concerns regarding the proposed glass balcony on the street elevation which would be an incongruous and inappropriate modern addition which would harm the setting and views of the fine Georgian Doric facades of this important building (though we feel it could be acceptable on the hidden garden elevation of the garage). In any case we cannot properly judge the architects’ intention or justification in designing this addition or the visual end result of the proposed balcony. It is perhaps worth considering the raising of the garden wall in matching materials if some sort of street boundary treatment is required.  Similarly the addition of astroturf is a disturbing concept which we do not feel, even with the absence of visuals, would be appropriate or enhance the architectural and historic interest of the building. We would suggest a more appropriate addition would be lead or lead substitute material.

The proposed scheme is not supported by sufficient detailed information that is proportionate to the significance of the heritage asset. This is contrary to Section 12 of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) and the application should therefore be refused or the applicant requested to withdraw the application until appropriate detail can be supplied. In addition, on the basis of information that is supplied, the unsympathetic design and materials of the proposed works would harm the special architectural interest 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  BH2 and BH6 of the B&NES Local Plan.  We would therefore recommend that the application be refused.

15/04347/FUL – 40 Bloomfield Park Bloomfield Bath

Erection of eight apartments with associated parking and landscaping following demolition of existing detached house and garage.

Comment: The Trust comments that we have concerns about the proposed use of concrete double roman tiles, a more appropriate material in keeping with the character of this area (and the intention of the building to blend in with the adjacent Victorian villas) would be slate tiles. We would also recommend the addition of chimney stacks as they are a prominent feature of the historic villas in the area and add interest to the roofscape of this part of the conservation area.

15/04681/FUL – 17 Foxcombe Road Newbridge Bath

Installation of new white uPVC windows to replace existing timber windows

Objection: Whilst the Trust understands the benefits of uPVC in terms of thermal performance, it is material which is harmful in its manufacture and disposal and isn’t a material in the traditional palette of materials in Bath. We regret the cumulative loss of traditional Victorian/Edwardian timber sashes in Bath’s terraced suburbs and suggest a more thoughtful conservation-focused approach would be the refurbishment and draught proofing of the original casements. When timber windows are beyond repair we would encourage the use of either pressure treated timber frames with integral glazing bars, which have similar maintenance requirements and longevity as uPVC. If uPVC is to be used it should be of a design that replicates traditional sash windows with integral glazing bars.

The loss of historic timber windows and the proposed new materials would harm the character and appearance of the conservation area 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 BH6 of the B&NES Local Plan.  We would therefore recommend that the application be refused.

15/04618/FUL – 33 Park Road Newbridge

Installation of dormer and PV panels to rear and rooflights to front.

Comment: The Trust comments that we would expect frameless pv panels only to be acceptable in this location in order to ensure the least intrusive impact on the public realm.

Week 42 2015

15/04484/AR – 15/04482/LBA – Santander 6 Bath Street City Centre Bath

Internal alterations for the addition of TV screens, frames and flame logos. Installation of 2 no. 46″ televisions for the display of various advertisements.

Comment: The Trust is concerned about this application on the basis of the intrusion of the televisual displays onto the elevation of the listed building and into the street scene, which would work in much the same way as excessive coloured external illumination. It is not clear from the application as to whether the televisions will project images at night as this will cause further harm to the setting of the Grade I listed building.  The Trust is opposed to excessive illumination in our cityscape and would also comment that whilst we recognise the value of this form of advertising and we could accept its use in the daytime when it would be less intrusive in the busy shopping street scene, we would object to its use at night where the brand colours and moving images would stand out stridently within the sensitive historic setting and would potentially harm both the listed buildings and conservation area. We request that should this application be agreed that conditions are placed on the operation hours of the televisions.

15/04455/LBA – 11 Charlotte Street City Centre Bath

Internal and external alterations to provide new kitchenette and sanitary accommodation and installation of new extract ventilation.

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

15/04343/REG13 – Camden Mill 230 Lower Bristol Road Westmoreland

Internal and external works to flood wall between Camden Mill and Waterfront House.

Comment: The Trust welcomes the proposals to increase the flood defences in this sensitive riverside location which is a key development site. Our only comment would be that it if the whole river wall is to be rebuilt in concrete with the face stonework to match existing sections, we would recommend the reuse of historic stone where possible as there are some interesting striations and patina on some sections of stonework that pertain to its past use and history; it would be beneficial to retain these, albeit rebuilt.

October 2015

Week 41 2015

15/03629/LBA – 4A Argyle Street Bathwick Bath Bath And North East Somerset BA2 4BA

External alterations to include repainting signboard “Bellissima Italia” over the premises.

Object: We object to the proposed scheme, as the application and supporting documents do not provide sufficient information to enable us to undertake an informed consideration of the proposal, one which will impact on the fabric and significance of a designated heritage asset within the World Heritage Site. In particular we would wish to see some kind of brief Heritage Statement to show that the applicant has understood the status of the building (and it’s sensitive historic setting) to which works are proposed.

The application contains a number of detail anomalies and does not adequately define what colours are proposed nor whether a hanging sign is actually proposed.  We object to the proposed use of acrylic and vinyl as these are not appropriate materials for use on a listed building within the World Heritage site. We would always encourage the use of traditional hand painted timber signs in appropriate colours in keeping with the Bath palette.

The proposed scheme, by virtue of the materials would neither preserve nor enhance special architectural interest of the listed building, the character of the conservation area and the appearance of the 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, D4, BH2 and BH17 of the B&NES Local Plan.  We would therefore recommend that the application be refused.

15/04340/LBA  – Smallcombe Chapel Bathwick Cemetery Bathwick Cemetery Road Widcombe Bath

External alterations for the repair and improvement of the roof to Smallcombe mortuary chapel.

Object: The Trust objects to this proposal on the basis that we are concerned regarding the applicant’s intentions as to the use of the building (no detail has been provided on this beyond a statement that they wish to make it ‘apt for occupation’. Whilst we would welcome the conservation and repair of this significant building, we are seriously concerned that adding the roof lights would substantially change the appearance of the building and impact several of the key reasons why it is designated.  As the listing states the building is designated because it is largely well preserved example of its type and largely unaltered since its date of completion. As such any works to it should ensure that it remains in this largely unaltered state and we stress that it should be a programme of repairs like for like, not alteration or new interventions into the original fabric. The reasons of designation also refer to the fact the original scissor braced roof structure is intact, and as such should remain so.  The addition into the roof structure of both roof lights and intrusive stove chimney would sustainably change this.  The emphasis in the listing of the building being well preserved and largely unaltered is key as it shows that this building, unlike many of that date in Bath, remains as the architect designed it to be. Such a change to the roofscape, will have impact on that original design both internally and externally. We feel that details of the maintenance covenants in the deeds should be included in this application to provide further information on the obligations of the owner regarding this important ecclesiastical building.

The proposed works would be harmful to the special architectural and historic interest of the listed building and therefore is 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 policy  BH2  of the B&NES Local Plan.  We would therefore recommend that the application be refused.

 

15/04223/LBA  – 7 Cavendish Place Bath                                    

Removal of architectural features including dado, cornice, cupboards and fireplace.  Install new fireplace and shelving (Retrospective).

Comment: The Trust comments that we would encourage B&NEs to inform owners of Grade I listed properties that reinstatement and interventionist remodelling works require listed building consent.

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:  The Trust commends the team on their collaborative approach and the proposed changes to the scheme.  The Trust has reviewed these changes with interest and we are pleased to note that a significant number of our concerns have been addressed. In particular we support the:

  • Changes to roof articulation, in particular the pitched roofs to blocks A, B to D and E,F and the mansard roofs to G, I,K and M. We believe this will provide a much need variety and character to the roofscape of the scheme that references the character of the local area. The changes to the roof treatment of block G,I,K and M do appear to result in a perceived reduction in scale and therefore are less overbearing to the historic facade, though we continue to regret that the retained wall is generally dominated by the design and appearance of the residential blocks behind.
  • Proposal to retain further original fabric of the facade including the doors
  • The proposals to install Critall style windows in the retained facade instead of plain glazing
  • The revised plans for the massing and proximity of building structures around the chimney, meaning there is a greater space and contrasting materials around the chimney, though we continue to have concerns regarding the still relatively close proximity of the surrounding development to the historic asset. We acknowledge however that the revisions do go some way to better revealing the asset.
  • The detail and clarity on proposed materials for both buildings and landscaping, though we continue to propose that samples boards should be erected on site so that materials can be viewed and handled in situ. We are pleased that reconstituted stone is not being proposed.

We continue to regret the loss of view through the portico but accept that the developers have taken significant steps to address other, more serious, concerns.

The Trust is generally supportive of the overall scheme with some residual regrets and concerns however we acknowledge and commend the collaborative and consultative process that the developers and planning authority have engaged in.

Week 40 2015

15/04151/AR – 13A Manvers Street Bath BA1 1JH   

Display of 1no. non illuminated freestanding sign

Object: The Trust objects to the inappropriate colours and materials proposed in this application.  We do not regard metal sheeting as appropriate materials for an A Board within the World Heritage Site and we feel it promotes a low quality aesthetic and would fail to respond to or enhance the architectural and historic interest of the adjacent listed buildings.  Furthermore, yellow, black and red signage would not be in keeping with the appropriate colour schemes for Bath and would intrude upon the visual amenity of the historic street in its important gateway location close to the railway station. We would encourage the use of timber A boards of modest size, hand painted and hand written in appropriate colours to blend and not intrude onto the street scene. We are concerned that the proposed sign will contribute to the damaging cumulative visual clutter that is already prevalent across Bath, especially as the proposed size of the sign (1200mm tall and 600mm wide) is unnecessarily large.  No details of location have been provided, however we are aware that a board is already displayed outside this internet café, often near the edge of the pavement, a location which is contrary to the guidelines produced by B&NES.

The proposed sign, by virtue of colour and materials proposed, 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; D2, D4, BH1, BH6 and BH17 of the B&NES Local Plan.  We would therefore recommend that the application be refused.

15/04111/AR – Street Record North Parade Road Bathwick Bath Bath And North East Somerset 

Display of six sheets internally illuminated advertisements in bus shelter serving bus stop (The Pavilion) along the no.18 bus route along North Parade Road

Object:  Whilst we understand the applicant’s desire to increase their revenue through advertising, we will continue to object to illuminated signs in the city and its environs, which form the World Heritage Site, a conservation area and the setting of these designated areas respectively. Many bus shelters have illuminated advertisements but these should not be a precedent for a low illuminated city like Bath. Secondary sources of light in the proposed location will emit sufficient light for the advertisements to be seen, such as the ‘courtesy light’, and there is little need for additional illumination. In addition we would comment on the excessive luminosity and glare of these internal lights that cannot be dimmed or turned off when out of date advertisements are in place. We regret the undue commercialisation of the public realm, especially by commercial agencies as opposed to local-interest information.

The proposed scheme by virtue of material, appearance, illumination and form would be harmful to the visual amenity value of the area, and neither preserve nor and enhance the character and appearance of the World Heritage Site. The proposal is contrary to, Section 12 ‘Conserving and Enhancing the Historic Environment’ of the NPPF, B&NES Core Strategy polices; B1, B4 and CP6 and ‘Saved’ Local Plan Policies D2, D4, and B22 and should be refused.

15/04009/FUL – Land Between Miller Walk And Simons Close Miller Walk Bathampton Bath  

Phased erection of four detached self-build houses and their driveways with access as existing and with new local and strategic landscaping and infrastructure following removal of Leylandii hedge.

Comment: The Trust has concerns about the possible ‘domino effect’ which will lead to the incremental loss of green space in this sensitive location which was originally a vital part of GR17 local green amenity space in the Placemaking Plan.  Whilst we have no objection in principle to the site of this development, we would expect to see specific assurances in place that no further loss of green meadow land could be considered in this area within the setting of the World Heritage site.  We also have concerns about the concept of ‘self-build’ as we were under the impression that self builds were not usually specified in terms of size and detail (including materials). We assume that these houses are more ‘bespoke’ and in actual fact the developer is slightly misleading the local authority in naming them as self build (and is exploiting the lack of this type of housing scheme within B&NES). We would also comment that we do not feel Bradstone roof tiles are appropriate roof material in this location – double roman terracotta tiles are an appropriate locally distinctive material in this location within the setting of the World Heritage site.

Week 39 2015

15/03798/LBA – Basement, 3 Alfred Street City Centre Bath

Internal alterations to install new Delta Tanking system to internal vault area.

Objection: The Trust objects to this proposal on the basis of insufficient information. Our position vis a vis the use of vaults is clearly outlined in our Vaults Statement, that is to say we are generally opposed to vaults being used for general habitation because we believe that they should remain ‘un-renovated’ (but in good repair) to maintain the hierarchy and historic readability of the listed building as well the health of the building fabric. Whilst we have no conservation objection to the use of Delta systems, we are unsure of the applicant’s intentions as to the vault space: the Heritage Statement states to make the vault ‘usable’ but no more detail is apparent, such as whether the vault is intended for habitation, storage or utility space (though we note that part of this work is ostensibly to reduce damp levels in the entrance lobby). This means that we have no choice but to object on the basis that the proposals as they stand are contrary to both the Trust and B&NES’ stated approach to the refurbishment and use of the vaults and the conservation of their fabric and significance.  Should more information be forthcoming on proposed usage we would able to review and amend our response.

The proposed scheme would harm the significance of the listed building, The application is 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 of the B&NES Core Strategy and saved policy BH2 of the B&NES Local Plan.  We would therefore recommend that the application be refused.

15/03957/FUL & 15/03955/LBA – 36 – 37 Westgate Street City Centre Bath

Internal and external alterations to facilitate repair works to retail frontage, internal fit out and installation of signage. Repair works to retail frontage, internal fit out and installation of signage.

Comment:  The Trust commends the applicant on their detailed approach to the repair of the listed building and in general we are not overly concerned by the proposed works. However we do have the following comments:

  • Following removal of the render to the side elevation, we recommend a survey of the wall is undertaken to ascertain its condition. If it is deemed feasible to repair and re-point the ashlar wall and leave un-rendered, or with a lime wash, this would in our opinion be the best course of action for the health of the fabric of the building. In addition, we would urge the applicant to infill the doorway in this wall with matching ashlar blocks to maintain the authenticity of the fabric of the building.
  • It is proposed to block one doorway and in order to maintain the integrity and visual readability of the historic shop front we would recommend it should retain its door furniture or at least that any changes made to this doorway are reversible so that future occupants have the opportunity to utilise this doorway.
  • Any works to the timber shop front including the stall riser should be completed in matching timber.

15/03958/AR (as above) – Display of 2 no non-illuminated fascia signs and 1 no projecting sign.

Object: The Trust is unsure from the submission and visuals as to whether the proposed fascia signage is to be blue acrylic board with affixed acrylic letters or whether the fascia is to be painted in blue with affixed acrylic letters. In either case we object to the use of acrylic which is not an appropriate material within the World Heritage City, and in particular a large blue acrylic panel would be entirely unacceptable.  We would always recommend that shop fascias are painted with hand painted sign writing. In addition we object to the use of powder coated aluminium as another inappropriate material in this historic context, these signs should be timber with again hand painted signage. The hanging sign should be hung on original fixings (it appears there is a retained element in the building facade) and should be of a modest size.

The proposed scheme, by virtue of the 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.

15/04168/LBA – Flat B1   23 Royal Crescent City Centre Bath

External alterations to install replacement condensing boiler flue and plume.      

Comment:  The Trust notes the proliferation of black pipe work already in this area of the building and therefore recommends that if possible the boiler flue is a regressive stone colour (not black or white) in order for it to blend in with surrounding stonework. As usual we could expect due care and attention to the mitigation of harm to historic fabric, and where holes are filled in, for this to be completed in pieced-in Bath stone or lime mortar as appropriate.

15/04090/LBA – 17 Pulteney Bridge City Centre Bath

Internal and external alterations to refurbish property following fire damage.

Support: The Trust supports this proposal on the basis that it is proposed to reinstate original lathe and plaster ceilings and lime wash finished walls.  This reinstatement is very welcome, particularly as these works will eradicate fire damaged and unauthentic modern interventions and internally restore the building to its original fabric.  As the Design & Access Statement notes, this type of conservation intervention is highly beneficial and will enhance the architectural and historic significance of the Grade I Listed building.

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