Jul – Aug 2016

August 2016

Week 32 2016

16/03484/DLPAOHampton Row Footbridge Lane Hampton Row To Grosvenor Bridge Bathwick Bath  

Prior approval for the removal, and reconstruction of the footbridge to provide gauge clearance for the forthcoming electrification of the railway line (Hampton Row Footbridge – MLN1 105M 65Ch)

COMMENTS

The Trust understands the need for the replacement of this footbridge and welcomes the fact that a replacement will maintain a public right of way and access to Cleveland Pools, something that will become more important following the renewal and refurbishment of the Pools. We are, however dismayed and surprised by the failure of the design of the replacement bridge to take account, as the applicant is bound to do, of its impact on nearby important listed buildings and the character of the conservation area and World Heritage Site. We believe that NR should consider this bridge in the context of the overall design responses to the electrification of the railway through the City of Bath World Heritage Site railway structures as a group.

Specific comments are:

Lack of ability to assess impact and harm

The quality of the drawings provided for the existing footbridge and the new footbridge is poor. There is a lack of context elevation/section drawings to note the relationship of the footbridge with Hampton Row Terrace, the sections of Brunel’s embankment wall with its fine parapet detail, and the historic canal which is located on higher ground. Visual assessments to demonstrate the importance of the site and its sensitive wider surroundings also appear absent. The new footbridge due its much increased height and overall length will clearly have a significantly increased visual impact on the setting of heritage assets. The footbridge appears also to be realigned more to the north in some areas, closer to the listed Hampton Row terrace which is a Building at Risk. In addition the considerable extension of access steps into Hampton Row affects the setting of listed terrace and the very nearby historic Cleveland Pools. We question whether these issues have been adequately examined.

Design quality and heritage assets

We are not opposed to a functional metal structure however there is scope for this bridge to be far more locally distinctive and sympathetic to its environment than the proposed structure. It is difficult to judge from the general arrangement drawings but if the bridge is similar to the bright green steel footbridge built near Box this would represent a high level of visual harm to the amenity and character of the local area. It is not clear from the application either what colour is proposed for the bridge which is a key consideration.

We would be keen to engage with Network Rail to further discuss the issues and options for the bridge, so that we can understand better the imperatives behind this design solution and to provide support and advice for a more appropriate solution to this footbridge.

Because of the lack of information we are unclear about the full impact of the arrangement of the current scheme, and the potential harmful impact of the appearance, siting and design. However, it seems clear that its appearance, siting and design (as submitted) cannot do other than have a potentially harmful impact on its immediate and wider surroundings. There little evidence to demonstrate that the proposals would enhance local distinctiveness and preserve or enhance the character of the conservation area, or would cause less than substantial harm to the setting and special interest of nearby listed buildings. Therefore the proposals for the bridge in their current form risks injury to the amenity of the neighbourhood under Part 18 Class A of the GPDO

16/03789/FUL & 16/03790/LBA – Garfunkels Orange Grove City Centre Bath

Change of use to mixed A3/A4 use and refurbishment works to ground floor bar and restaurant including the provision of new zinc ornate canopy, Edwardian style wrought iron veranda and fabric awnings over the ground floor windows of the bay and the RHS elevation.

Comment: BPT generally supports alterations to remove the conservatory and expose the fenestration which will unify this façade with the Grand Parade elevation. We can understand there are potential aesthetic benefits to the removal of the porte cochere. This would allow for the original entrance to be exposed, revealing the arched door and the fanlight. We are aware that this addition to the building in itself is of architectural, historic and aesthetic value. The ironwork was added to the building very early, within 10 years after its construction. It adds to the layers of historic interest and has evidential value in its reminder of the building’s designed use as a hotel. However, this building has been much altered and the accumulation of additions creates a rather chaotic appearance. We can understand the justification for removing the porte cochere, which would help simplify the façade, and reveal the historic entrance. If permission is granted for its removal, we would ask that the LPA takes steps to ensures that a suitable alternative location in Bath is found for the ironwork.

Furthermore, if permission is granted for the removal of the port cochere is should be on condition that the buildings original main entrance should be retained as the main entrance, providing access to the ground floor, and the historic hierarchy of access should be retained.

We have reservations about the proposed awnings. While there is historic precedent for awnings on this building, we would like to see further details of options for the location of fixing. Rather than wall mounted, the box mechanism for the awnings should be discretely located in an architectural recess.

We do not consider that flood lighting is at all appropriate for commercial or residential buildings. Floodlighting should only be permitted on significant public buildings and historic landmarks, such as the Abbey. If floodlighting is to be considered the LPA should request a detailed lighting strategy and impact assessment.

With regard to the proposed veranda we have concerns about the proposed ‘mock lead’ materials and would wish to see a traditional lead roof in this prominent location. If imitation materials are to be considered we would wish to see samples of materials on site prior to determination.

We are firmly opposed to any advertising on the balustrade or barriers. Further details of all signage, including the hanging sign should be requested as there is not enough information within this application to make a proper assessment. Alternatively all signage should be specifically excluded from any permission granted and subject to a further listed building consent application.

Whilst we do not usually comment on interiors we are concerned that the lack of evidence or proper impact assessment for the internal alterations may risk harm to the significance of the building. We would therefore suggest that the application should be asked to submit a photographic survey of the interior, and room data sheets which date the joinery details and plasterwork and identifies the impacts.

In summary this application currently lacks adequate details to make a proper assessment of the impact, we urge the LPA address all of the above points in further negotiations with the applicant.

16/03363/FUL & 16/03364/LBA – Basement   14 Grosvenor Place Lambridge Bath

Internal and external alterations including the erection of rear extension

Comment: Whilst the Trust understands the applicant’s desire to improve the ‘flow’ of their property, we are concerned at the proposed loss of some original walling between the current kitchen and the proposed new kitchen. This wall appears to be an original external wall and the provision of a large doorway through this fabric risks harm to and loss of historic fabric. Whilst the date of the existing two storey extension is not detailed in the Design & Access Statement it is perhaps more appropriate to lose more of the fabric of this part of the building between the proposed new kitchen and new glazed extension (i.e a wider opening between the new kitchen and new dining area), than fabric from the original building. We are not sure also of the date and importance of the internal wall proposed for demolition (i.e whether it is a modern stud wall) but will leave this to the case officer’s assessment.

Week 31 2016

16/02391/LBA9 Clarence Street Walcot Bath

External alterations to re-route soil stack and the relocation of boiler flue

Comment: The Trust would recommend as usual that any ventilation equipment should be a recessive grey or cream colour to blend in with the Bath stone of the elevation.

16/03479/FULLongacre House Snow Hill Walcot Bath

Replacement of defective copper roof seam with zinc coated aluminium seam

Support: The Trust welcomes this application and commends Curo on the detailed pre-application work they have done to explore the issues and options relating to the upgrading of the Snow Hill roofs. We support the proposal to re –roof Longacre House in the proposed material. Our only recommended proviso being that samples are provided prior to approval and not left to Condition. The samples should include a pre-aged panel that shows how the material patinates and appears after time.

16/03772/FUL130 Lower Bristol Road Westmoreland Bath

Conversion of loft with installation of rear and front dormers

Object: The Trust objects to the incongruous and harmful front dormer proposed for this traditional terraced house. Whilst we can see that there is precedent for this type of dormer on the row, we cannot see how ‘two wrongs make a right’. The dormer is overly large and top heavy and bears no relationship to the bay fronted Victorian styling of the front elevation. In our opinion this is overdevelopment that does not respond to its local context nor reinforce local distinctiveness, and would result in harm to the heritage asset and its associated group composition and to the character of the local area.

The proposed front dormer would detract from the appearance of the non designated heritage asset, fails to reinforce local distinctiveness and harms the character of the Conservation Area, and would detract from the special qualities of the World Heritage Site. Therefore the proposal would be contrary to the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas Act) 1990, Section 12 (Conserving and enhancing the historic environment) of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), policies; B1, B4 and CP6 of the B&NES Core Strategy and saved polices; D2, D4 and BH6 of the B&NES Local Plan.  We would therefore recommend that the application should be refused.

16/03710/LBA & 16/03709/FUL – 27-28 Stall Street

External and internal alterations to paint an existing shopfront and removal of internal wall to allow access between two shops (27-29 Stall Street)

Object: The Trust objects to this application on the basis of inadequate documentation, the proposed materials of the signage and the proposed internal alterations. The buildings in question are probably c.1806-10 by John Palmer completing plans by Thomas Baldwin to widen Stall Street as part of the Bath Improvement Scheme of 1789. As such they are of high architectural and historic significance.  The application is missing a Heritage Statement confirming that applicant’s understanding of the significance of the buildings and a Heritage Impact Assessment justifying the proposal to demolish an internal wall. The application should be withdrawn or placed on hold until the applicant can provide the necessary documentation to adequately support their proposals. We strongly object to the demolition of this wall on the basis that it is important historic fabric which preserves the legible plan form of the buildings at No. 28 and No.29 and should not be irrevocably sacrificed for commercial reasons.

We also object to the use of acrylic pin mounted lettering on the basis that it acrylic is a low quality material not in keeping with the character of Bath, hand painted lettering is much more preferable  in this location and especially given the historic 1900’s fascia to no. 29. We are also concerned by the proposal to remove the crest on the corner fascia.

The demolition of historic fabric would cause irrevocable actual harm to the listed heritage asset, and the proposed signage would detract from the special interest of building, harm the character of the Conservation Area, and would detract from the special qualities of the World Heritage Site. Therefore the proposal would be contrary to the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas Act) 1990, Section 12 (Conserving and enhancing the historic environment) of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), policies; B1, B2, B4 and CP6 of the B&NES Core Strategy and saved polices BH.2 and BH6 of the B&NES Local Plan.  We would therefore recommend that the application should be refused.

16/03722/FUL1 5 Chantry Mead Road Moorlands

Erection of a single storey rear extension and provision of hard standing to the front to provide off street parkin.

Comment: The Trust is concerned by the fact that the loss of most of the grassed apron and tree in front of this modern house would be deleterious to the local street scene (long green views) and set a dangerous precedent for other houses and terraces in this pleasant ‘open plan’ estate.

Week 30 2016

16/03151/LBABasement Flat   16 Norfolk Crescent Kingsmead

Internal and external alterations for the replacement of existing boiler and provision of a new flue.

Comment: The Trust would recommend as usual that any ventilation flue should be in a recessive grey or cream colour to blend in with Bath stone and therefore not intrude onto the elevation of the listed building.

16/03627/AR & 16/03636/LBA- Pizza GoGo 4 Cleveland Place East Walcot Bath

External alterations to install new fascia sign and swan neck lamps

Object: The Trust objects to this application on the basis of inappropriate colour, materials and excessive illumination.  The use of red against the listed building is strident and dominant and does sit not comfortably against the elevation. Whilst we understand the applicant’s desire to make his business stand out, we regret the impact that this proposed signage will have on the listed building and the conservation area. Foamex is a low quality material that is in not in keeping with the Bath palette of materials.  The proposal for 8 swan neck luminaires over the fascia is in our opinion excessive and will cause further harmful clutter to the elevation of the listed building, as well high levels of intrusive luminance in the conservation area.  No aspect of this application complies with the Guidance on Commercial Signage and Tables & Chairs in the Conservation Area which was produced in order to protect the character and appearance of listed buildings and the conservation area.

The proposed signage materials, colour and illumination would neither preserve nor enhance the special architectural interest of the listed building, would harm the character and appearance of Conservation Area, and would detract from the special qualities of the World Heritage Site. Therefore the proposal would be contrary to the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas Act) 1990, Section 12 (Conserving and enhancing the historic environment) of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), policies; B1, B2, B4 and CP6 of the B&NES Core Strategy and saved polices; D4, BH1, BH2, BH6, BH19, BH22 of the B&NES Local Plan.  We would therefore recommend that otherwise the application should be refused.

16/03563/FULDeep Lock House St Matthew’s Place Pulteney Road Bathwick Bath

 Construction of single storey side extension consisting of a low bike bin store undercroft with seating area above, plus bathroom, bedroom, and workshop/store following removal of existing garage roof.

Support: The Trust supports this application which proposes to creatively and sympathetically extend the internal space of this dwelling whilst ensuring that the overall external appearance retains the harmonious industrial towpath aesthetic of the original scheme which we regard as a successful development in a sensitive historic area. The materials appear appropriate and overall the relationship with the host building enables the whole scheme to continue to contribute to and enhance local character and distinctiveness.

Week 29 2016

16/03359/FULBath Sea Cadet Corps St John’s Road Bathwick Bath

Mixed use development comprising replacement accommodation for the Sea Cadets with Student Accommodation (18 No. Studios) following demolition of existing buildings

COMMENT: The Trust welcomes the opening up of the riverscape in this area and the provision of river access. As is as usual the Trust is concerned about the proposed use of the site for student accommodation rather than general and affordable housing. We question the use of this site for student units when it is eminently suitable for key worker housing being close to the city centre, which could assist in easing pressure on housing which is currently under-supplied. The character of the local area is of mixed residential, the balance of which would be impacted by a student unit of this size.

Regarding the design of the building, we see the riverside elevation as being more successful design-wise, and feel that perhaps the street elevation is a little bland and could benefit from some further design amendments, perhaps with different fenestration to break up the dominant impact of the large central window. In addition the roof of the gabled building could benefit if the pitch were less shallow, a steeper pitch would be more sympathetic to local character and distinctiveness.

To further enhance the integration of the building within its setting the building materials could be simplified to a limited palette of just one or two to complement the clean contemporary styling.

 

16/03460/AR & 16/03459/LBA5 Old Bond Street City Centre Bath

External and internal alteration to facilitate internal refurbishment and alterations to shop frontages

Display of 3 x fascia signs and 1 x internally illuminated static window lightbox.

Object: The Trust objects to this application on the basis of the proposed light box and illuminated logo. We would also prefer to see a traditional hand painted signage on the fascia of this important listed building in a very visible location, rather than pin mounted lettering. The lightbox at 4,000.0cd/m will be very bright and therefore intrude upon the historic street scene.  However more importantly it will be an incongruous and garish addition to the elevation of the listed building and in particular the Milsom Street frontage with its historic decorative niche; this will result in harmful impact on the architectural interest of the listed building.  We would recommend that the applicant re-considers their approach to signage on this prominent and important listed building and adopts a bespoke approach.

The proposed signage materials, light box and illumination would neither preserve nor enhance the special architectural interest of the listed building, would harm the character and appearance of Conservation Area, and would detract from the special qualities of the World Heritage Site. Therefore the proposal would be contrary to the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas Act) 1990, Section 12 (Conserving and enhancing the historic environment) of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), policies; B1, B2, B4 and CP6 of the B&NES Core Strategy and saved polices; D4, BH1, BH4, BH6, BH17, BH22 of the B&NES Local Plan.  We would therefore recommend that these elements are removed from the application otherwise the application should be refused.

16/03453/FUL2 St Ann’s Way Bathwick Bath

Erection of carport

Comment: The Trust finds this application difficult to assess on the basis that the drawings do not give a full picture of the possible impact of this car port on the listed cottage or on the adjacent listed villa. As it stands the car port is drawn in isolation from its surroundings and a written description in the Design & Access statement does not really help. We would recommend that further drawings are submitted which visually place the proposed car port within its wider context in order fully understand how it will relate to and impact upon its setting.

16/03320/RESFormer Ministry Of Defence Foxhill Premises Bradford Road Combe Down

Approval of reserved matters with regard to outline application 14/04354/EOUT for development of a 210 place primary school including ancillary sports facilities and floodlighting to the all-weather sports pitch, 70 place pre-school nursery, 742 sqm – 808 sqm of D1 (Community Uses) and 366 sqm – 432 sqm of B1 (Office/Enterprise Area).

Comment: As indicated in our pre-application comment, in general the Trust supports the vision and underpinning values of the Hub building and the associated public space. We also welcome the proposal to create a flexible series of buildings that can absorb and adapt to change in the future. We find the proposed design of the building to be acceptable in principle with an architecturally bold treatment which will make an appropriate ‘stand out’ statement within this large estate commensurate with its desired role as a community ‘beacon’. We note the creative use of materials and would only comment that as usual a full sample panel should be erected on site for review by the case officer and community.

Lighting

As this scheme is in an area where light pollution and light overspill is a key issue, we recommended some detailed thought and analysis on this topic. The proposed ‘luminosity’ of the Hub upper floor is considered acceptable on the basis that it is designed to be a soft glow rather than any sort of strong luminescence, and that internal lighting will be switched off at night. We note the detailed lighting report which is welcome however we have a concern about the curfew for the Astroturf pitch (when used) being 11pm and would recommend that this is conditioned to be earlier for reasons of light pollution.

School access arrangements

The Trust has raised concerns in the past about the possible problems related to school drop off and pick up. Whilst we recognise in an ideal world many of the children would walk or cycle to school, the reality is that a significant proportion may be driven by parents who would want to park their car to accompany their child into school, especially in younger year groups. There is also a ‘catch 22’ that if parents don’t perceive the area is safe for child to walk they may prefer to bring a car, thereby potentially making the area less safe. We understand the limitations and that 30 free spaces have been provided for parents, however we still have concerns that this area could become a possibly dangerous traffic jam at 8.50am and 3.15pm.  We wonder whether the option of having children arrive via a side gate near the nursery car park and path to staff car park into the rear of the school (in order to avoid both vehicle and pedestrian congestion at the front of the building) has been considered?

16/03184/FULBasement   100 Lower Oldfield Park Oldfield Park Bath

Replacement of existing wooden sash windows in bay in rear lower ground floor with Upvc of the same

Comment: The Trust regrets the proposal to install uPVC windows in this traditional Victorian building. We are generally concerned at the cumulative loss of traditional timber sashes in Bath’s Victorian and Edwardian suburbs. uPVC as a material is harmful in its manufacture and disposal and is not a material in the traditional palette of materials in Bath. We suggest a more thoughtful conservation-focused approach would be the refurbishment and draught proofing of the original windows. When timber frames are beyond repair we would encourage the use of pressure treated timber frames with double glazing, which have similar maintenance requirements, thermal performance and longevity as uPVC but are visually more authentic.

Week 28 2016

16/02496/LBALloyds Tsb Bank Plc   16 Lower Borough Walls City Centre Bath

External and internal alterations to remove external signage, external ATMs and filling of apertures and the re-division of property to form two separate units.

Comment: The Trust welcomes the repair of the facade and the removal of bank accretions, however we would comment that a better approach to the repair of the ATM holes would be for the window in this location to be reinstated to match the window adjacent. This arrangement can be seen in older images of this building and would return a welcome symmetry to the elevation.

16/03167/LBA144 Walcot Street Bath

Internal and external alterations to include replacement of windows, reinstatement of blocked light wells, and installation of internal partitions (Regularisation).

Comment: The Trust would always recommend the installation of cast iron guttering and drainage on listed buildings rather than uPVC. We would also comment that ventilation terminals should be in a recessive grey or cream colour rather than black in order to blend with Bath stone.

16/03455/FUL & 16/03456/LBAFlat 7   10 Henrietta Street Bathwick Bath

Alterations and external alterations and erection of garden shed

Comment: The Trust finds the proposal to paint the entire extension grey to be a concern given that visually it could become a striking grey expanse that would be at odds with the character and appearance of the listed building and those in the associated terrace.  The variations of tone centred around the cream colour of Bath stone provide a certain rhythm and harmonious quality to the townscape which an entirely grey building would interrupt and intrude upon. We would recommend the dutch barn extension is painted a Bath stone colour to provide some unity with the character of its location. Grey windows would be acceptable but we would recommend a cream colour for rainwater goods.

16/03350/FUL8 Monmouth Place City Centre Bath

Erection of 3 no. townhouses following partial demolition of existing doctor’s surgery.

Object: The Trust opposes this application as we feel that the design of the scheme is relatively poor; it does not add anything of interest to the eclectic local street scene and could be improved, especially given its prominent location on a main route into the city centre. The proposed building sits assertively between the listed building to the west of the site and the non- designated heritage asset to the east and could be considered to the harmful to these assets on the basis of its height and the associated impact on the character of the local setting.

Our main concern however centres round the incongruous design of the roof area. On adopting a traditional approach for the front elevation we do not think the modern roof line then sits happily on the building or in the context of the traditional roofscape found in this area. We are not opposed in principle to considering contemporary or traditional approaches in the design of a new build, however, in this case the cut off gambrel roof and the juxtaposition between traditional and contemporary does not work well. In addition we have concerns about human activity at the high balcony level of the front of the building as this is not generally part of the character of the townscape within Bath.

The proposal would benefit from a reduction in height to ensure some unity and connection with the surrounding buildings, and a redesign of the roof arrangement to eliminate the out of place stepped back balcony to the front elevation. It is perhaps possible that this could accommodated at the rear of the building? We also recommend some thought is given to the design of the 2 over 2 pane windows as they are ‘neither one thing nor another’ at the moment. If a traditional scheme is being proposed then cues should be taken from the other windows within the street, which are either multi paned or large sash arrangements.

The height and roof arrangement of the current scheme would fail to enhance local distinctiveness, detract from the setting and harm the special interest of nearby listed buildings, would neither preserve nor enhance the character and appearance of conservation area, and would be detrimental to the special qualities of the World Heritage Site.  Therefore the proposal would be contrary to the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas Act) 1990, Section 12 (Conserving and enhancing the historic environment) of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), policies; B1, B2, B4 and CP6 of the B&NES Core Strategy and saved polices; D4, BH1, BH4 and BH6 of the B&NES Local Plan. We would therefore recommend that these elements are removed from the application otherwise the application should be refused.

July 2016

Week 27 2016

16/03198/LBA – A Plan Insurance 7 George Street City Centre Bath

External alterations to replace fascia and projecting sign

Object: The Trust objects to this application on the basis of inappropriate materials. The use of aluminium with applied vinyl lettering as a fascia covering and hanging sign is unacceptable on a listed building within the World Heritage site. We would recommend that the business retain its wood fascia and that the signage lettering be hand painted.  Aluminium is a low quality material that is not in keeping with the character of the conservation area and would potentially harm the architectural interest of the listed building.

The proposed signage materials would neither preserve nor enhance the special architectural interest of the listed building, would harm the character and appearance of Conservation Area, and would detract from the special qualities of the World Heritage Site. Therefore the proposal would be contrary to the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas Act) 1990, Section 12 (Conserving and enhancing the historic environment) of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), policies; B1, B2, B4 and CP6 of the B&NES Core Strategy and saved polices; D4, BH1, BH4, BH6, BH17 of the B&NES Local Plan.  We would therefore recommend that these elements are removed from the application otherwise the application should be refused.

16/03285/FUL & 16/03286/LBA – 113 Church Road Combe Down Bath

Erection of a first floor extension with internal alterations and replacement of a two storey rear extension with a more sympathetic single storey extension of the same footprint

Comment: Whilst the Trust understands the arguments for the protection of the group of heritage assets, we do not see that preserving the current unbalanced architectural arrangement is crucial. As is widely understood, it would not be possible to restore the group facade to its original symmetrical proportions because of the proximity of the more recent and listed Union Church. The Trust sees the proposed two storey extension as a modest improvement on the existing lean-to arrangement, providing some balance to the group composition being as it is homogeneous in architectural style and materials.  On this basis in our opinion there is a neutral to modest positive impact on the character and appearance of the listed building.  However there is an issue with the proposed windows, the top one appearing top heavy on the elevation.  This would be remedied by the ground floor window being increased in dimension to match the other ground floor windows on the overall group.  We have no concerns about a contemporary rear extension.

16/03191/AR & 16/03192/LBA – The Weston 1 – 3 Newbridge Road Newbridge Bath

Display of replacement illuminated and non-illuminated signs to the exterior of the building.

Comment: The Trust considers the proposed lettering on the fascia boards and gate to be too large and assertive and therefore harmful to the listed building. We would suggest that the lettering is reduced in size and hand painted onto the wooden fascias rather than applied as this will achieve a higher quality and more ‘gentle’ aesthetic better in keeping with the character of this area.  It is not clear to us whether the hanging sign is timber but if not we would recommend that it is, and again with lettering hand painted rather than applied. As Bath is a low illuminated city we would expect that the lighting proposed in existing lanterns is of a low luminance and a warm colour.

16/03134/LBA – 2 Lambridge Lambridge Bath

Interior and exterior alterations to refurbish two bathrooms and install 2 extraction fans

Comment: The Trust recommends that any exterior flue vents are a recessive grey or cream colour rather than black, to blend in with the Bath stone elevation.

16/02894/LBA – 19 Belvedere Lansdown Bath

Internal and external refurbishment works including roof, removal modern internal walls, removal of paint, modification of dormers and other associated works.

Comment: The Trust supports the proposals to sensitively repair and refurbish the roof and exterior of this property. We are pleased to note in particular the reinstatement of double roman clay pantiles on the roof, the removal of cement render and  re-pointing in lime render, the removal of cement cappings and reinstatement of Bath stone cappings and the removal of modern paint from the lower ground levels by a specialist contractor.

16/03302/FUL – 15 Belgrave Crescent Walcot Bath

The erection of a front extension and conversion of cellar following the demolition of existing front extension.

Comment: The application does not make clear how the cellar of this non designated heritage asset will be converted to provide a wet room.  Tanking of this room in any impermeable membrane would not be an appropriate treatment though breathable Delta membrane tanking would be an acceptable conservation focused approach, as would a simple breathable lime wash (if the cellar is currently dry). This room would need effective ventilation to ensure that stone work does not suffer any deterioration.

Week 26 2016

16/03031/ARHeadmasters   30 Westgate Street City Centre

Display of 2no. internally illuminated fascia signs and 1no. internally illuminated hanging sign

Object: The Trust objects to this application on the basis of inappropriate materials and illumination. Aluminium panelling and perspex are low quality materials not in keeping with the Bath palette of materials, we would always urge businesses to utilise the existing timber fascia and hanging signs with traditional hand painted signage in order to uphold the special qualities of the World Heritage Site.

In addition we strongly object to the proposed use of internal illumination on both fascia and a projecting sign which again is a low quality aesthetic and which is harmful to the low illumination levels of the historic streetscape in the conservation area. In addition the proposed signage and illumination would have a harmful impact on the special interest of nearby listed buildings and their settings.

In every respect this application is contrary to the guidance contained in the B&NES policy Design Guidance for Commercial Signage and Tables/Chairs in the Conservation Area. We would urge the applicant to re think their proposal and provide a sympathetic bespoke solution to their business in the World Heritage Site.

The proposed scheme, by virtue of its appearance, illumination and materials would fail to enhance the historic and architectural interest of nearby listed buildings, and would detract from the special character and appearance of the conservation area and therefore the World Heritage site. The scheme would be contrary to the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas Act) 1990, Section 12 (Conserving and enhancing the historic environment) of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), policies; B1, B2, B4, CP6 of the B&NES Core Strategy and saved polices; D2, D4, BH6, BH17, BH19 and BH22 of the B&NES Local Plan. We would therefore recommend that the application be refused.

16/03121/ARMcdonalds Restaurants Ltd 40 Southgate Street

Display of 1no internally-illuminated fascia sign.

Object: The Trust objects to this application on the basis of inappropriate materials and illumination. Aluminium and acrylic are low quality materials not in keeping with the Bath palette of materials, we would always urge businesses to utilise the existing timber fascia with traditional hand painted signage in order to uphold the special qualities of the World Heritage Site.

In addition we strongly object to the proposed use of internal illumination (at a high luminance level) which again provides a low quality aesthetic and which is harmful to the low illumination levels in the conservation area.

In every respect this application is contrary to the guidance contained in the B&NES policy Design Guidance for Commercial Signage and Tables/Chairs in the Conservation Area. We would urge the applicant to re think their proposal and provide a sympathetic bespoke solution to their business in the World Heritage Site.

The proposed scheme, by virtue of its appearance, illumination and materials would fail to enhance the historic and architectural interest of nearby listed buildings, and would detract from the special character and appearance of the conservation area and therefore the World Heritage site. The scheme would be contrary to the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas Act) 1990, Section 12 (Conserving and enhancing the historic environment) of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), policies; B1, B2, B4, CP6 of the B&NES Core Strategy and saved polices; D2, D4, BH6, BH17, BH19 and BH22 of the B&NES Local Plan. We would therefore recommend that the application be refused.

16/03146/FUL20 Southbourne Mansions South Parade City Centre Bath

Construction of a raised terrace and steps within garden

Comment: The Trust has no objection in principle to the proposed terrace and the materials proposed are appropriate. We are surprised however not to see a Heritage Statement incorporating an impact assessment on the possible impacts of the new terrace on the special interest of the listed structures of Whitehall Steps and the associated retaining wall and the historic riverside setting of nearby listed buildings.

16/03160/ARAndrews 1 Camden Road Beacon Hill Bath

Display of 2no externally-illuminated fascia signs and 1no internally-illuminated projecting sign

Object: The Trust objects to this application on the basis of inappropriate materials and illumination. Aluminium panelling and acrylic are low quality materials not in keeping with the Bath palette of materials, we would always urge businesses to utilise the existing timber fascia and hanging signs with traditional hand painted signage in order to uphold the special qualities of the World Heritage Site.

In addition we strongly object to the proposed use of internal illumination on the projecting sign which again is provides a low quality aesthetic and which is harmful to the low illumination levels in the conservation area. In addition the proposed signage and general illumination would have a harmful impact on the special interest of nearby listed buildings and their settings.

This application is contrary to the guidance contained in the B&NES policy Design Guidance for Commercial Signage and Tables/Chairs in the Conservation Area. We would urge the applicant to re think their proposal and provide a sympathetic bespoke solution to their business in the World Heritage Site.

The proposed scheme, by virtue of its appearance, illumination and materials would fail to enhance the historic and architectural interest of nearby listed buildings, and would detract from the special character and appearance of the conservation area and therefore the World Heritage site. The scheme would be contrary to the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas Act) 1990, Section 12 (Conserving and enhancing the historic environment) of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), policies; B1, B4, CP6 of the B&NES Core Strategy and saved polices; D2, D4, BH6, BH17, BH19 and BH22 of the B&NES Local Plan. We would therefore recommend that the application be refused.

16/02998/FULThe Chapel Argyle Terrace Twerton Bath

Conversion from existing offices (Class B1) to 4 No. residential maisonettes (Class C3) including external alterations

Comment: The Trust welcomes the significant changes to this development which result in a scheme which is sympathetic and respectful of the non-designated heritage asset.  Our only comments are that we are concerned about the use of the front railed area for bin storage and would assume that if bins are to be visible they should be designed in such a way to ensure they do not detract from or excessively clutter the simple front elevation of the chapel. We also recommend that a timber Interpretation board is placed externally on site to explain the important history of this chapel as part of the Twerton Methodist tradition and that the building was used as a community medical dispensary prior to the establishment of the NHS.

16/02571/LBA10 Wellington Buildings Upper Weston Bath

External alterations to replace the concrete roof covering with brown clay pantiles, remove the lead soakers, insulate the roof, renew the soil stack ventilators, replace the roof lights, remove the cementitious pointing, replace the PVCu soffits, fascias and rainwater goods, replace all external doors and windows, remove stone from railings and introduce paving to the front of the building

Comment: The Trust generally welcomes this application which broadly proposes sensitive conservation- led repair and refurbishment in appropriate materials.

16/03092/FUL1 Thornbank Place Westmoreland

Proposed Loft Conversion

Comment: The Trust has no in principle objection to the application though we question the addition of two pitched dormers to the side elevation which may produce a top heavy effect. We consider that an application for change of use to a large HMO (sui generis) should  be made and whether given the >25% concentration of students in this area of Bath already the addition of 2 further student rooms should be permitted.

Week 25 2016

16/02838/AR3 Seven Dials Sawclose City Centre Bath

Display of 4no.non illuminated banner adverts to the front of 3-4 Seven Dials (Regularisation)

Object: The Trust objects strongly to this application on the basis of the impact of these banners on the setting of nearby listed buildings and the character and appearance of the conservation area. There seems to be conflicting information about whether the site is in private ownership (it is detailed in the Planning Statement but a representative of B&NES repeatedly claimed otherwise at a consultation on the wider Sawclose public realm scheme). We understand these bollards are to be removed in the forthcoming public realm improvements to Sawclose, and we welcome this action.  We are particularly concerned by the ‘annexing’ of public space for private commercial gain.

In terms of the enclosure banners, these provide an unwelcome sense of enclosure, solidity and exclusivity which is at odds with the character of this public space (especially given the overall plans for a high quality new public realm in the Sawclose area). In addition the banners clutter and intrude onto the street scene and neither preserve nor enhance the special interest of the adjacent listed buildings. The Trust has no objections to a vibrant ‘cafe culture quality’ to this area of public realm, however we object to the lack of openness and the gaudy low quality aesthetic that these plastic banners create. They would specifically harm the character and appearance of the conservation area and as such they are contrary to the B&NES Design Guidance policy ‘Commercial Signage & Tables and Chairs in the Conservation Area’.

We would also suggest that listed building consent should be sought for these banners given they intrude into, and impact on the setting of the Theatre Royal; an important listed building.

It would appear that the tables and benches outside this restaurant may not comply with the existing planning consent; the industrial scaffolding theme is entirely at odds with the character of the local area and fails to respect the historic setting of listed buildings. We refer to Condition 5 of the Change of Use application 15/03512/FUL: ” Prior to the provision of outdoor tables, chairs, umbrellas, parasols, barriers or other outdoor furniture, details of location, appearance and the management (including hours of use and storage details) of such items shall be submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority and provided in accordance with the approved details unless otherwise agreed in writing by the Local Planning Authority” and we question these details have been approved?

The proposed scheme, by virtue of its appearance and materials would fail to enhance the historic and architectural interest of nearby listed buildings, and would detract from the special character and appearance of the conservation area and therefore the World Heritage site. The scheme would be contrary to the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas Act) 1990, Section 12 (Conserving and enhancing the historic environment) of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), policies; B1, B2, B4, CP6 of the B&NES Core Strategy and saved polices; D2, D4, BH4, BH6, and BH17 of the B&NES Local Plan. We would therefore recommend that the application be refused.

16/02810/FUL & 16/02811/LBAThe Towers Rivers Road Walcot Bath

Removal of existing rear and side extensions and construction of proposed 2-story rear extension and single story side extension.

Object: The Trust objects to this application on the basis of harm caused to the listed building and its setting by the overbearing size and positioning of the proposed kitchen extension. The Trust has no concerns regarding the two storey rear extension but in our view the modern extension fails to respond to its context in a comfortable and respectful way.  The extension is too large and prominent with a strong horizontal emphasis and buts up aggressively against the listed building. it is not subservient and therefore causes adverse harm to the special architectural interest of the building.  We would recommend that the building is stepped back away from the frontage of the main house (perhaps to the line of the current extensions), and that it is given some elevational articulation to break up the massing. We also recommend that further design work is done on the junction between the old building and the new to create some kind of a visual detachment or break which would help ease the uncomfortable juxtaposition.  This could take the form of a shadow gap, or a glazed detail that would enable the extension to appear more independent .  We are also concerned by the extent  of the glazing to the kitchen elevation and we would expect to see further assessment on the impact of daylight reflective glare and night time light spill in long views over and from the city and to housing on the slopes below. It is possible that a more detailed planting and landscaping plan could help mitigate the possible impact of glare and light spill on the surrounding views and areas.

We also object to the proposed use of dry stone walling in uneasy juxtaposition with the Bath stone ashlar of the main building. We are not opposed to high quality contemporary design within the setting of heritage assets but the use of appropriate materials is always key to the successful homogeneity of the overall scheme. There is no tradition of this ‘rural, Cotswold’ approach in the urban fabric of Bath and in the rare contemporary uses (such as Cavendish Lodge) it appears discordant and intrusive. In this case it enhances the unsympathetic nature of the overall kitchen building within its context. We would recommend that perhaps a more traditional ashlar block work or possibly a mortared random rubble stone would be appropriate and would help this extension become less dominant against the host building as long as it were further set back as proposed above.

The proposed kitchen extension element of the proposed scheme would neither preserve nor enhance the special architectural interest of the listed building, would harm the character and appearance of Conservation Area, and would detract from the special qualities of the World Heritage Site. Therefore the proposal would be contrary to the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas Act) 1990, Section 12 (Conserving and enhancing the historic environment) of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), policies; B1, B4 and CP6 of the B&NES Core Strategy and saved polices; BH1, BH2 and BH6 of the B&NES Local Plan.  We would therefore recommend that this element of the application should be re-worked to produce a more sympathetic extension scheme otherwise the application should be refused.

16/02675/LBA – Basement Maisonette   1 Grosvenor Place Lambridge Bath

Internal and external works for the installation of new boiler including external flue to basement courtyard.

Comment: The Trust comments that the proposed external flue should be a recessive grey or cream colour, not black, in order to blend with the Bath stone elevation of the building.

16/02846/LBA1 Brunswick Street Lambridge Bath  

External work to restore original slate roof

Support: The Trust supports this scheme to restore an authentic slate roof covering and lead flashings to this listed building.

Week 24 2016

16/02749/FULWansdyke Business Centre Oldfield Lane Oldfield Park Bath  

Mixed use redevelopment to provide 187 student studios (Sui Generis), commercial units (B1, B8), fitness centre (D2), coffee shop (A3) following part demolition of existing buildings and structures.

Object: The Trust objects strongly to this scheme on the basis of the proposed use and the height, scale and massing of the scheme.  This area of the city is characterised by low density Victorian and Edwardian terraces and we understand that the business centre itself is a thriving, if modest, series of small business spaces and an acknowledged positive contributor to the local community and economy.

Proposed student accommodation

We strongly oppose the proposal for any student accommodation on this site. The Oldfield Park communities have progressively been fragmented by the proliferation of HMO’s in this area which already fails the Stage 1 HMO test. We cannot see how any more student numbers in this mixed suburban community can be accommodated from an infrastructure point of view. We also note that there is no flexibility built into this scheme to allow the building to be redeveloped into key worker housing at any later stage. We strongly urge the case officer to refuse the sui generis use element of this application on the basis that further student numbers would irrevocably damage the character of this area and cause further harm to the vitality and diversity of the community.

Height, scale and massing

The proposed scheme, whilst well articulated and with some appropriate materials, is awkwardly shaped and the central courtyard is blank and enclosed. It is hard to see how such an enclosed courtyard with only one vehicular access would work in an emergency.  Most importantly,however, the excessive height and overbearing density of the scheme is entirely inappropriate in this location and in particular this massing dominates the locality and therefore harms the highly significant special interest of the St Alphege’s suite of buildings and their open setting. In addition the character of the areawill seriously undermined by the scheme, towering as it does over numerous important undesignated heritage assets such as the Old Dairy, the Moorfields Pub and numerous domestic scale Edwardian terraces. In short the scheme represents major overdevelopment on a constrained and historically/communally sensitive site and in our view the harm proposed is not outweighed by any local public benefit.

Griffin Engineering Works

We regard this Edwardian building as an important survivor of the local industrial past of this area of Bath and we regret the ‘facadism’ approach to its redevelopment. In particular we object to the loss of the gable ends, which contain some fine brick/Bath stone detailing, and historic windows.

The proposed student accommodation use of the scheme is unacceptable and ‘becomes harmful to the realisation of objectives for housing, affordable housing and employment space’ (Draft Placemaking Plan).  The proposed scheme would neither preserve nor enhance the special architectural interest of the nearby listed buildings and their setting, would harm the character and appearance of Conservation Area, and would detract from the special qualities of the World Heritage Site. Therefore the proposal would be contrary to the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas Act) 1990, Section 12 (Conserving and enhancing the historic environment) of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), policies; B1, B4 and CP6 of the B&NES Core Strategy and saved polices; BH1, BH2 and BH6, BH7 of the B&NES Local Plan.  We would therefore recommend that  the application should be refused.

We further add that we do not believe a reduced scale of similarly-designed student housing or height would meet the wider points made above and recommend that an attempt to make minor modifications to this scheme should not be encouraged.

16/02615/LBA – 14 North Parade City Centre

External alterations to include the installation of railings around existing courtyard.

Object: The Trust has serious concerns regarding the style and design of the railings and their impact on the facade of this significant listed building and the associated Delia’s Grotto. We are not convinced that some form of barrier is actually needed but if it is deemed to be with the submission of a justification, then we question whether this needs to be permanently installed or whether a temporary removable feature such as planters can provide the necessary safety barrier. The cumulative appearance of these railings with those located very close below on the riverbank would clutter and therefore harm the important architectural elevations as seen from across the river. We note that worryingly (given the Grade I status of both house and grotto), no Heritage Statement incorporating an impact assessment has been submitted nor has Listed Building Consent been sought.

Should it be agreed that railings are necessary then the utilitarian design of the railings should be reconsidered and redesigned to incorporate a more traditional styling to better connect with the classical elevations of the house and grotto and to preserve its special architectural significance. This could include incorporating the designed profile of railings elsewhere in North Parade but in the first instance should involve some research so that the special interest of these heritage assets is understood prior to any necessary solution to safety being agreed.

The proposed railings would neither preserve nor enhance the special architectural interest of the listed buildings, would harm the character and appearance of Conservation Area, and would detract from the special qualities of the World Heritage Site. Therefore the proposal would be contrary to the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas Act) 1990, Section 12 (Conserving and enhancing the historic environment) of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), policies; B1, B2, B4 and CP6 of the B&NES Core Strategy and saved polices; D4, BH1, BH4, BH6 of the B&NES Local Plan.  We would therefore recommend that the application should be refused.

16/02458/AR – Minerva Bath Rowing Club Newbridge Road Newbridge Bath

Erection of two freestanding roadside signs with 1500×1200 panels facing each direction of the road to advertise the location of Minerva Bath Rowing Club.

Comment: Whilst the Trust understands the applicant’s need to advertise this community facility, we wonder whether an aluminium V sign structure on this important entry road is appropriate. We understand there is precedent with the Boathouse signage, however we feel a more sympathetic and less intrusive signage response to a key gateway location within the World Heritage Site could be agreed, perhaps by revising the structure to a flat sign. We also wonder whether a different location on the other side of the P & R entrance road could solve the issue of visual clutter which would devalue the sign were it to be placed where proposed.

Designed by Ice House Design