Mar – Apr 2016

April 2016

Week 15 2016

16/01526/AR & 16/01527/LBA – Central Bar 10 Upper Borough Walls City Centre

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

Object: The Trust objects to this application on the basis of inappropriate materials and external illumination. Bath is a low illuminated city, and cumulative external illumination can harm the character and appearance of the conservation area and therefore the special qualities of the World Heritage City. The proposed signage to this building appears to be overkill and we have concerns about the size of the hanging sign, the proposed use of vinyls, and the use of external illumination and neon; all of which will serve to clutter and devalue the facade of the listed building.

The proposed scheme, by virtue of the means of illumination and materials, would neither preserve nor enhance the special interest of the listed building, would harm the character and appearance of Conservation Area, be detrimental to the visual amenity of the street scene, and would detract from the special qualities of the World Heritage Site. The scheme would be contrary to Section 12 (Conserving and enhancing the historic environment) of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), policies; B1,B2, B4 and CP6 of the B&NES Core Strategy and saved polices; D4, BH1, BH4, BH6, BH17, BH19 and BH22 of the B&NES Local Plan.  We would therefore recommend that the application be refused.

16/01539/LBA – 21 – 22 Union Street City Centre Bath

External and internal alterations to facilitate repair works and redecoration on a like for like basis including replacement of failed materials.

Comment: The Trust welcomes this application which is well documented and seeks to provide a bespoke renovation and sensitive repair of this commercial listed building using best practice conservation methods.  We support many of the measures proposed, however we are concerned at the proposal to limewash over masonry paint. Paint is often not a breathable surface treatment and so limewash over it would have no real effect other than to add to an impermeable layer. We would recommend that further investigations and discussions are held on this element of the scheme to ensure that the current paint treatment is not damaging to the Bath stone (and if necessary whether it should be removed via poultice) and whether lime wash would be a suitable treatment on the already painted facades.

16/01664/FUL – 2 – 3 Queen Street Bath

Change of use from cafe/restaurant (use class A3) to a Gin bar (use class A4) with ancillary use (Regularisation).

Comment: The Trust does not object to the proposed change of use however we are very concerned by the lack of any AR or LBC applications for the large black banner displayed from a hanging bar on the upper floor which we feel is harmful to the historic and architectural interest of the listed building and the character and appearance of this historic street within the conservation area and World Heritage Site.

16/01629/FUL & 16/01630/LBA – 52 Sydney Buildings Bathwick Bath

Erection of traditional iron and glass canopy to side elevation following removal of entrance porch; Removal of concrete path replacing with pennant flags.

Comment: The Trust is concerned at the lack of detailed justification for the proposed new canopy and any assessment of its impact on the character of the building.  We are not opposed to the canopy in principle if it can be justified as preserving and enhancing the special historic and architectural interest of the listed building. We are though concerned that the canopy roof cuts across the stone door arch in an awkward way and that we do not regard chemical stripper as an appropriate treatment to remove paint from Bath stone; this element of the work should be subject to a stone cleaning survey and works schedule by a specialist stone cleaning contractor.

16/01584/RES – Castle Farm Barn Midford Road Midford Bath

Approval of reserved matters with regard to outline application 15/03325/OUT, for the approval of access, appearance, landscaping, layout and scale of proposed agricultural workers dwelling.

Object:  The Trust objects to this proposed scheme on the basis of size, design and materials. Whilst we accept that the principle of development has been approved and that there has been an improved location of the dwelling on the site though negotiation, the Trust finds that at 240m2 this dwelling is too large and dominant on the site and constitutes overdevelopment of the site. In our last submission we emphasized the need for the dwelling to be modestly sized and one storey to reduce the impact on the site and the AONB and Green Belt. We would recommend that the dwelling size is decreased to lessen its impact on the landscape and long views and to comply with the outline permission for an agricultural workers dwelling for the modest business (at the outline stage this was described as ‘a ground floor area of 140m2 to provide adequate living accommodation for a full time agricultural worker’), not a large family house over 3 storeys (with 4 ensuite bathrooms).

We also do not support the proposed use of render and would expect to see rubble stone and possibly high quality timber cladding as an exterior treatment in this location. We are also concerned at the lack of design detailing in the application and regard the design of the dwelling to be contrary to the condition detailed in the officer report that the ‘dwelling should be designed in accordance with other developments in the locality particularly in keeping with other traditional construction in the Midford/Southstoke areas’. We would expect to see some form of local contextual analysis of character and materials to inform the design of this dwelling.

In our view, the proposed scheme due to its size, design and materials would harm the AONB and Green Belt and the character of the nearby conservation area. It would therefore be contrary to Section 7 of the NPPF (Requiring Good Design) and Local Plan policies NE.1 (it does not enhance the character and local distinctiveness of the landscape), N.E2 (it does adversely affect the natural beauty of the landscape of the AONB), policy GB.2 (it will be visually detrimental to the Green Belt by reason of its siting, design and materials), and policies B4 and CP8 of the Core Strategy. We would therefore recommend that the application be refused.

16/01464/LBA – 15 Camden Crescent Lansdown Bath

External alterations to include the installation of a commemorative brass plaque.

Object: The Trust objects to this application on the basis of cumulative clutter on the facade of the listed building, the design of the proposed plaque and the harm to historic fabric caused by its fixings. Bath has an historic series of bronze plaques to distinguished residents erected in the early 20th Century but has since resisted any further plaque scheme since the number of famous residents and visitors to virtually every significant Georgian property in Bath would result in an undesirable ‘rash’ of such plaques to the detriment of the group and its special architectural and historic interest. In this case the symmetrical rhythm of this grand set piece architectural composition would be interrupted and cluttered by this plaque and its one-off design would also be out of place. We would recommend that more is done to utilise the opportunities offered by the internet (such as the Bath app) to allow for historic and cultural information and education, and that B&NES issue a policy document to deal with ad-hoc requests for such commemorative plaques.

The proposed scheme, by virtue of its position and design would fail to enhance the historic and architectural interest of the 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, BH2 and BH6 of the B&NES Local Plan. We would therefore recommend that the application be refused.

16/01525/FUL – 53 Hansford Square Combe Down Bath

Erection of 1 no. detached dwelling and proposed access from Hansford Square

Comment: Whilst the Trust is mindful of the need for additional brownfield housing supply in the city, we have serious concerns about the principle of development within this square on the basis that we see this scheme as harmful to the special historic interest of the overall mid 20th century development.  In our opinion Hansford Square is a very good (and remarkably intact) example of a planned low density garden suburb community incorporating a connective accessible layout with characteristic long back gardens that display strong connections to the Garden City movement of the early 20th century. We do not believe, given the current unspoiled nature of the ‘group composition’, that this historic character and original planning intent should be lost. In particular the garden city ethos that inspired the wave of garden suburbs in this period, stressed the importance of green space and connection to nature and this is seen in the emphasis on long back gardens in this square. This openness and verdant rural quality contributes to the distinct sense of place in this area.

This development would constitute an unwelcome precedent that would harm the significance and distinctive garden suburb 1930’s and 40’s character and legibility of this area and in this specific instance we would recommend that the application be refused in order to ensure the historic grain is preserved. We draw the case officers attention to para 53 of Section 6 of the NPPF regarding the undesirability of development in residential gardens where there is potential to harm the local area.

16/01366/FUL – Site Of 15 And 16 Hampton Row Bathwick Bath  

Erection of 1no four bed detached dwelling.

Object: The Trust strongly objects to this scheme on the basis of a lack of appropriate planning detail, siting, design and materials. In particular the Trust is concerned at the lack of a Design & Access Statement, nor any kind of contextual analysis of local and longer views, nor an impact assessment on the setting of the listed Hampton Row, the conservation area, and the historic canal and railway. The principle of development has not been justified. The scheme fails to respond to the local context and grain nor to the site itself and its design fails to reinforce local distinctiveness and character. It appears too big for the plot, access appears awkward and unresolved and in general the proposed materials are completely inappropriate for the WHS and fail again to respond to the local palette.  In our view this scheme should be withdrawn until the applicant can substantially improve the quality of the application detail and assessment, and to revisit the design, materials and massing of the proposed dwelling.

The proposed scheme, by virtue of its siting, massing, design and materials would fail to enhance the setting of the 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 7 (Requiring Good Design), 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, BH1, BH2 and BH6 of the B&NES Local Plan. We would therefore recommend that the application be refused.

Week 14 2016

16/01294/FUL – University Of Bath University Of Bath Campus Claverton Down Bath

Erection of three storey extension to the rear of Eastwood 20/21.

Object: The Trust understands the applicant’s desire to improve the amenity of students living in this block but is very concerned at the precedent this development would set on the edge of the campus. Abandoning the established building line and encroaching into the green wooded north screening belt of the campus would be harmful to the Bath skyline and the AONB. The Masterplan is clear in that the green wooded zones around the campus are a valued part of the university campus and its setting (Landscape Strategy) and this is underlined by the intention to maintain and enhance the parkland setting as outlined in the Strategy.  In our view the green wooded belt acts as an important buffer zone between the protected landscape and the built environment of the campus. The Trust is in favour of intensification of student accommodation on campus given the pressure on city centre sites and housing and in this case we would recommend that development to provide further student facilities should be achieved through lateral infill development along this building line rather than outward development into the green campus belt. There is no mention in what is surprisingly brief Design & Access statement that this, or any other solutions have been investigated or that anyway awareness of the importance of this wooded zone has informed the design process. We would also expect to see a coherent development plan for this area of the campus instead of a piecemeal approach.

The proposed scheme, by virtue of its location would set a worrying precedent and would fail to protect the openness of the green belt and AONB and would detract from the special qualities of the setting of the World Heritage site. This would be contrary to policies NE.1, N.E2 and GB.2 of the Saved Local Plan and policies B1 and B4 of the Core Strategy and therefore we recommend this application be refused.

 

16/01352/TELFormer Bath Police Station Manvers Street   

Proposed rooftop telecommunications instillation upgrade and associated works.

Comment: The Trust is concerned that there is the possibility that the wide band antennas will be significantly higher than the currrent flag pole antenna and would urge the case officer to consider the impact of this element of the application to ensure that there is minimal visual harm to the WHS and CA.

Week 13 2016

16/00899/FULFlan O’Briens 21 Westgate Street City Centre Bath

Change of use of highway for the siting of tables and chairs.

Comment: The Trust cannot make a proper assessment of this application as there is inadequate detail on the scheme.  Not only, as Highways points out, is there a question mark as to the pavement clearance space, but there is also no detail on whether these tables and chairs are proposed to be bounded by barriers or any other type of street furniture such as planters, umbrellas etc.  This is a significant historic location and the exact details of the proposed furniture is an important requirement to be able to assess the cumulative impact on the street scene and the setting of listed buildings.

16/00944/FULBath Recreation Ground, Pulteney Mews, Bathwick Bath

Partial demolition of existing West Stand (retaining rear wall and concrete slab), and replacement of existing roof and seating with new roof and seating, including associated works.

Comment: Our understanding is that this application is an ‘academic exercise’ to secure a fall-back position from the current temporary application and was requested to be submitted by the Council. In our last submission we questioned whether such a fall-back application were actually needed; and why that at the end of this temporary planning permission period the ground would not, by condition of temporary permission, return to ‘status quo ante’ or ‘former condition’ which would appear to be the current stand, rather than any pre-1954 arrangement, particularly in light of the retention of the concrete slab and wall, without the need for a new application.

We would prefer to see the Club requesting a separate outline application only with reserved matters for the 2019 proposed stand; this would mean that the legal position of the applicant might be secured but that the contentious issues of design, materials  and dimensions could be the subject of a further full reserved matters planning application nearer the time.

We believe there are challenges in considering this as a full planning application in its own right.  We have always considered that the current West Stand arrangement represents an unsatisfactory response to the setting and therefore it is difficult to agree to an application which reinstates these. There is inadequate description of materials for a full planning application in such a setting, and given the old seating will have been removed it is unclear what the fall-back seating position will be.

16/01314/FULSt Johns Rc Primary School Pulteney Road Bathwick

Redevelopment of former St John’s School following demolition of former school building including refurbishment of 33/34 Pulteney Road in order to build student accommodation, occasional event parking and associated landscaping.

Comment: The Trust is generally supportive of the proposed scheme which is at an appropriate scale, massing and general design for the location and we appreciated the opportunity to have been involved at pre-application stages. We commend the applicant on the provision of contextual elevations and views analysis. The retention and refurbishment of the villas (33-34 Pulteney Road) is welcomed; these undesignated heritage assets make an attractive contribution to the character of the conservation area.

Proposed use

We have made our concerns regarding oversupply of student housing in the city well known, and we continue to be concerned that student accommodation schemes dominate large scale planning submissions at the moment. We see this issue as being critical to B&NES’ ability to deliver much needed housing supply in Bath as per the forecasts provided in the Placemaking Plan.  We strongly encourage the delivery of student accommodation that is flexible construction-wise and can be sustainably and easily renovated into city apartments (for families, couples and professional workers) should student housing oversupply competition affect this development and lead to a shortage of room take up.

Design and materials

We generally support the form and massing of the development, gabled elevations and pitched roofs. We do however have some observations primarily regarding the glazing and window treatments. There is a predominance of grey metal panelling on the windows and in particular the dormer windows. This provides a predominance of a visually low quality material and we would recommend that the amount of grey metal panelling be reduced, and perhaps replaced with some Bath stone reveals or bronze work (as per the garden pavilion). We also have a concern regarding the large blank ‘chimney’ like structure on the gable of the North Parade building as this is visually dominating and intrusive. We find the height of the dormer windows to be quite overbearing on the roof elevation and wonder if these can be scaled down somewhat from full height to provide some subservience. As per our last comment, we have concerns about the extent of glazing to the large gable end windows, both in terms of visual impact and light emission.

16/01242/FUL3 Bloomfield Avenue Oldfield Park Bath

Installation of replacement windows

Comment: The Trust objects to this application on the basis that we do not support the replacement of original timber windows with uPVC. Whilst the Trust understands the benefits of uPVC in terms of thermal performance, it is a material which is harmful in its manufacture and disposal and is not a material in the traditional palette of materials in Bath. We regret the cumulative loss of traditional Victorian/Edwardian timber sashes in Bath’s 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 pressure treated timber frames with integral glazing bars, which have similar maintenance requirements and longevity as uPVC. We also do not understand why it is proposed to replace some of the timber windows wholesale (with new timber windows) rather than repairing these original windows and reglazing with slimlite double glazing.

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.

16/01245/FUL – 19 Bloomfield Avenue Oldfield Park Bath

Installation of replacement windows

Comment: The Trust objects to this application on the basis that we do not support the replacement of original timber windows with uPVC. Whilst the Trust understands the benefits of uPVC in terms of thermal performance, it is a material which is harmful in its manufacture and disposal and is not a material in the traditional palette of materials in Bath. We regret the cumulative loss of traditional Victorian/Edwardian timber sashes in Bath’s 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 pressure treated timber frames with integral glazing bars, which have similar maintenance requirements and longevity as uPVC. We also do not understand why it is proposed to replace some of the timber windows wholesale (with new timber windows) rather than repairing these original windows and reglazing with slimlite double glazing.

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.

16/01052/ARKing Edwards Pre-Prep School Weston Lane Lower Weston

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

Comment: The Trust has no objection to the siting of a temporary banner, however we note that the empty scaffold structure is already in situ and we comment that when not being used this scaffold should not be erected in order to avoid cluttering and harming the setting of the listed building and the conservation area.

Week 12 2016

16/01237/FUL – 16 Frys Leaze Charlcombe Lane Larkhall Bath

Erection of timber cladding on front and back elevations of existing extension

Comment: the Trust is concerned at the proposed use of vertical cedar timber cladding to the front elevation as we do believe this to be an appropriate material within the urban area of Bath as it would look incongruous and out of context; introducing a new material and verticality to the street elevation which is at odds with the overall palette centred on Bath stone and the character of this suburban area.

16/01123/ARAndrews Estate Agents 9 Wellsway Bath

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

Objection: The Trust objects to this application on the basis of the proposed illumination of the signage and the fascia materials. The Trust is opposed to illuminated signage on the basis that Bath is a low illuminated city and illuminated signage produces a low quality aesthetic that is potentially harmful to the character and appearance of the conservation area. We also object to the use of aluminium and acrylic fascia materials as neither are an appropriate material for a fascia treatment in Bath; we would recommend a hand painted timber fascia with traditional sign writing. We always recommend that national businesses adopt a thoughtful bespoke approach to signage in Bath.

The proposed scheme, by virtue of its appearance and illumination 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, BH6 and BH22 of the B&NES Local Plan. We would therefore recommend that the application be refused.

16/01248/LBA & 16/01247/FUL5 Cambridge Terrace Widcombe Bath

Internal and external alterations, replacement of the existing conservatory with a single storey garden room to the rear and construction of a single storey detached garden studio.

Comment: The Trust has concerns regarding the proposed works to the near vault; we cannot support a concrete and lino floor as this is an impermeable floor covering that will not assist with the normal functions of breathability within the historic fabric of the vault. We would recommend the use of a limecrete floor as a suitable conservation treatment. Similarly there is no detail of the type of render to be used in this vault and we would recommend that a lime mortar to be used.

16/01020/FUL35 Calton Gardens Lyncombe

Replacement of current balcony sliding doors with two sets of full width doors and replacement of current brick balcony balustrade to a full-width cantilevered glass balustrade

Comment: The Trust has a general concern regarding the cumulative impact of changes to this terrace. For information, we understand when these buildings were built a covenant existed that precluded changes to the windows, we are not aware that this covenant has been rescinded. The insertion of a glass balustrade and increased glazing will, along with other incremental changes along the terrace, disrupt the intended rhythm and architectural unity of the scheme when viewed from a distance across the city and there will also be associated reflectivity and glare of the increased glazed elements.  Whilst we understand the applicant’s desire to make the most of the views from this dwelling, our point of view is concerned with the overall cumulative harm to these highly visible examples of modern post war housing in Bath. It would be interesting to know the views of the urban design officer on this proposal.

16/01205/FUL & 16/01206/LBA8 Bladud Buildings City Centre Bath

Erection of a single storey rear extension and internal alterations to enable conversion of building to hotel.

Comment: The Trust regrets the amount of harmful unauthorised work that has been done to the building prior to the stop notice and our first recommendation would be to ensure that all historic fabric and finishes stripped from the building should be reinstated using traditional materials where possible, this includes any lathe and plaster walls, floorboards, plaster cornicing, outlet holes etc. Our primary concern is the preservation of important features of architectural and historic interest and the historic fabric of the listed building.

The Trust can see that there are conservation benefits to the proposed works, particularly in relation to the repair and refurbishment of an important listed building, and the bringing back to well maintained use. Such benefits also include the reinstatement of traditional timber paned sash windows, the new shop front and fascia and the proposed new extension.

Set against this is the harm to historic fabric caused by recent and proposed works to install en-suite bathrooms. The Trust does not normally comment on internal alterations to listed buildings but in this case we would comment that we would prefer not to see any subdivision of the large principle rooms and that if the officer is minded to the permit the scheme, the rooms behind the staircases do appear to be the most appropriate and least harmful position for the proposed bathrooms. If subdivision is being considered then we would recommend that a shower and toilet is provided within a ‘pod’ with partitions that do not extend full height to meet the ceilings and that the cornice remains entirely visible.

Our recommendation would be that in a scheme such as this which is difficult to assess and in which there are heritage pros and cons, we suggest that IF the applicants’ proposals to provide en suite bathrooms are approved there must be strict Conditions on use of materials, finish, placement/location of utilities/services. We would also recommend that the applicant should be required by Condition, or through negotiation, to undertake a survey of the overall condition of the building so that any significant damage and structural defects are identified (in a repair schedule) and that urgent repair works are undertaken to ensure that the important pedimented Bath stone facades are preserved. Such works should be undertaken by a specialist stone conservator.

Week 11 2016

16/01101/LBA & 16/01140/DLPAOClay Bridge Worlds End Lane Keynsham  

Alterations to existing bridge parapets.

Comment: The Trust has liaised extensively with Network Rail regarding these and other listed bridges and we are pleased with welcome changes to the proposals. Specifically the retention of the historic parapet, and the proposed use of railings. There are still some elements of the design solution that we find regrettable, in particular the back square mesh.  We are also concerned about the steel anti climb fillets; the metal appearance would be visually incongruous and their fixings would also cause a degree of harm to historic fabric.  There is also the issue of water ingress and impermeably of steel, which may facilitate faster than average stone deterioration under and around the fillets as water circulates and pools around them.  Whilst we appreciate the argument for identifiable and honest modern materials, we would prefer to see stone fillets or coping here to preserve the appearance condition of the historic bridge and stone work.  Furthermore we recommend that the paint colour and finish of the railings is a grey or green colour which would be softer in the landscape.

16/01163/DLPAO & 16/01146/LBAPixash Lane Bridge Pixash Lane Keynsham

Prior approval for alterations to the existing overbridges parapet walls in connection with the electrification of the Great Western Main Line (Pixash Overbridge – MLN1 112M 63Ch)

Comment: The Trust has liaised extensively with Network Rail regarding these and other listed bridges and we are pleased with welcome changes to the proposals. Specifically the retention of the historic parapet, and the proposed use of railings. There are still some elements of the design solution that we find regrettable, in particular the back square mesh.  We are also concerned about the steel anti climb fillets; the metal appearance would be visually incongruous and their fixings would also cause a degree of harm to historic fabric.  There is also the issue of water ingress and impermeably of steel, which may facilitate faster than average stone deterioration under and around the fillets as water circulates and pools around them.  Whilst we appreciate the argument for identifiable and honest modern materials, we would prefer to see stone fillets or coping here to preserve the appearance condition of the historic bridge and stone work.  Furthermore we recommend that the paint colour and finish of the railings is a grey or green colour which would be softer in the landscape.

16/01031/FUL & 16/01032/LBACuro The Maltings River Place Twerton

Internal and external alterations to basement to provide additional offices and meeting areas.

Comment: The Trust is disappointed in the lack of heritage assessment in this application, including an assessment of the impact of the external works on the architectural and historic interest of the listed building. New window and door insertions into the north elevation will result in a change to the character and appearance of the listed building and will harm historic fabric. Without any assessment of the heritage issues it is difficult to properly judge the level of possible harm (though the Trust has no serious objections to the principle of the scheme to realign working space with the building). The quality of this application is surprising given other submissions made by Curo regarding their property portfolio contain the appropriate assessment detail that is missing in this application.

March 2016

Week 10 2016

16/00997/FUL28 Gay Street City Centre Bath

Change of use from Office (Class B1) to a single dwelling (Class C3)

Comment: The Trust is concerned by this application in that we doubt that no internal alterations to the Grade II listed house will be necessary in order to the return the house to a family dwelling, particularly in relation to bathrooms and kitchen. We could assume that the current inadequate office style arrangements of these facilities would need changing and that historic fabric will be disturbed as the result of these works and others to reinstate rooms to their original plan form. We recommend the Case Officer investigates the detail of the internal alterations and if necessary requests a Listed Building application.

We also have concerns that, given the lack of detail regarding internal alterations, that this house may be earmarked as an HMO or ‘party house’. We would not support such a use as there are already many such houses in Bath, particularly in large Georgian buildings, and we would prefer to see a true residential use contributing to the housing undersupply crisis in Bath. We would recommend that that a condition is placed on this application to prohibit a HMO or holiday let use.

16/00057/FULBailbrook House Hotel Eveleigh Avenue Lower Swainswick Bath

Conversion of existing all-weather tennis court to tarmac-surfaced overflow car parking, with associated access road and lighting, together with conversion of existing gravelled overflow car park to tarmac-surfaced overflow car parking with associated lighting within the grounds of the hotel.

Comment: The Trust is concerned by the lack of any heritage impact assessment of the proposed car parks on the setting of the listed building and we wonder whether listed building consent should be sought? Our main concern however centres on the use of black tarmac in this location. We believe an opportunity to enhance and better reveal the Grade II* 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.

The lighting plan for this car park is also a key consideration in the assessment of harm to the listed building. On review of the lighting plan it is difficult to gauge the how the lighting will appear and therefore how much light spill and sky glow will be created, and how this will affect the setting of the listed building and the elevations of the building itself. We would recommend that further assessment is provided on this element of the application to ensure that the car park illumination is appropriate and non-harmful.

16/01018/OUTLand At Rear Of 161 To 171 Englishcombe Lane Southdown Bath  

Erection of a maximum of 8no. dwellings at Land to Rear of 161-171 Englishcombe Lane. (Outline application with access to be determined and all other matters reserved)

Comment: The Trust understands that this is an outline proposal to establish the principle of development of this site however we would comment that in order to fully understand the impact of development on this important and visible suburban green hill side in the World Heritage site, more detail is required. This includes information on the proposed siting and orientation of the dwellings, and their proposed scale, and the submission of context elevations and long views analysis of the proposed scheme.  With this information the degree of impact on the character of the suburban grain of the green hillside and therefore the visibility and appearance of the scheme in long views can be established and a proper judgement made as to the principle and amount of development.

16/00901/ARMarks And Spencer Unit B Weston Lock Retail Park Lower Bristol Road Westmoreland Bath

Display of 3no. internally illuminated fascia signs and the display of 12no. Vinyl adverts

Object: The Trust objects to this application on the basis of the proposed illumination of the signage. The Trust is opposed to internally illuminated signage on the basis that Bath is a low illuminated city and internally illuminated signage produces a low quality aesthetic that is potentially harmful to the character and appearance of the WHS.  We always recommend that national businesses adopt a thoughtful bespoke approach to signage in Bath.

The proposed scheme by virtue of illumination would be harmful to the architectural interest of the listed building and to the visual amenity of the local area. 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, BH1 and BH22 and should be refused.

16/00661/LBA – Royal Oak 8 – 10 Summerlays Place Widcombe

External alterations to erect illuminated and non-illuminated signs to building and painting of exterior render (retrospective) (resubmission)

Object: The Trust objects to this scheme on the basis that it is not discernibly different to the application submitted in 2015 which was refused on the basis of excessive illumination and signage and harmful impact on the 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 signs and illumination would be detrimental to the visual amenity of the street scene, would harm the architectural and historic interest of the listed building and the character and appearance of the conservation area, and would detract from the special qualities of the World Heritage Site. The scheme would be contrary to Section 12 (Conserving and enhancing the historic environment) of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), policies; B1, B2 and CP6 of the B&NES Core Strategy and saved polices; D2, D4, BH6, BH17 and BH22 of the B&NES Local Plan.  We would therefore recommend that the application be refused.

16/00923/FUL – Withycombe House, South Stoke Lane, Bath

Erection of a replacement dwelling with associated landscaping works and parking following demolition of existing dwelling.

Comment: The Trust has no objection to the principle of a modern dwelling in this location in-line with green belt policy considerations.  Our only concern centres on the extent of glazing (and possible roof solar panels?) on the south elevation and the possible associated amount of reflectivity, glare and light spill into the valley. We would recommend further consideration of this issue and perhaps exploration of anti-reflective glass options.

Week 09 2016

16/00818/AR25 – 26 High Street City Centre Bath

Display of 2no internally illuminated static and 1no non-illuminated fascia signs.

Object: The Trust objects to this application on the basis of inappropriate materials and illumination. Whilst we appreciate the applicant’s desire to advertise their premises, we continue to resist the unnecessary use of internally 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.  We also object to the use of aluminium, acrylic and vinyl signage as these are low quality materials which are inappropriate for use in the conservation area and WHS.

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, B2, B4 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.

16/00825/LBAThe Pig & Fiddle   2 Saracen Street City Centre

Internal and external works for an extension to form bar area including removal of existing wall, external decorations and new cold store and shed in courtyard.

Objection: The Trust objects strongly to this application on the basis of the harmful impact to the listed building, the setting of adjacent listed buildings and the character and appearance of the conservation area. In particular we are concerned by the lack of detail contained in the application; there is no acknowledgement in the FUL application of the listed status of the building, and there is no assessment in either application of the significance of the historic building nor its sensitive setting within the centre of the World Heritage Site and conservation area and the impact of the proposals upon these elements. Our concerns are as follows:

  • The proposed timber clad finish to the lean-to extension is not an appropriate finish or material for a building within this historic central location.
  • We find the proposals for significant alterations to the external courtyard/garden to be the most worrying aspect of the application. Notwithstanding the associated increase in noise and disturbance resulting from an increase in the amount of tables and chairs etc in this location, we feel the proposed suite of high and low level furniture, various lighting, TV screens, gazebos, planters, jumbrellas, barriers, awnings and heaters would cumulatively clutter and intrude upon the public realm, creating an untidy, unsightly and low quality aesthetic that would be at odds with the character and appearance of this historic location. Whilst we recognise that some level of refurbishment in the ‘garden’ and plant screening to bins would be welcome, we find these proposals for what is essentially a ‘beer garden’ to be unacceptable and harmful overdevelopment.

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

16/00883/LBA – 27 Sydney Buildings Bathwick

Internal alterations and cleaning and repair of stone to street facade.

Comment: The Trust comments that we would always recommend that a full cleaning survey and report is produced by a specialist contractor and the most appropriate gentle cleaning methods are adopted. Importantly the building should not be over-cleaned and that a gentle patina of age should be retained.

16/00880/LBA & 16/00877/FUL73 Great Pulteney Street Bathwick

Internal alterations to convert self contained flats into single family dwelling.

Comment: The Trust comments on the poor quality of the submission for this proposal.  The NPPF is clear that the level of detail submitted with proposals should be proportionate to the significance of the listed building.  This is a Grade 1 listed property, of very high significance.  In this case the Design, Access and Heritage Statement is very sparse and contains little heritage research, heritage impact assessment of the impact of the proposed works on the historic fabric nor any assessment of the significance of the specific affected elements.   We have no objection to the principle of returning the house its original hierarchy but would expect a stronger and more detailed justification case to be put forward.

16/00841/LBA33 Park Street Lansdown Bath

Internal and external alterations including damp proofing in sub-basement level, erection of external timber staircase, new boiler & flue, replacement doors & windows and various changes to internal walls.

Comment: The Trust welcomes the proposed best practice conservation treatments to the vaulted areas of the heritage asset. The use of delta membrane is limited to basement areas and the use of lime mortar pointing and lime wash in the vaults are conservation measures that will ensure the architectural and historic interest of the listed asset and its historic hierarchy and readability is preserved and enhanced.

16/00844/FUL  – 15 Belgrave Crescent Walcot Bath

Erection of a front (infill) extension and conversion of cellar to wet room following the demolition of existing front extension. (Resubmission).

Comment: The Trust recognises that precedent for this type of proposal exists within the street, however we regard the basement void areas as intrinsic to the character of the streetscene in this part of the conservation area and are part of the historic and architectural interest of the undesignated historic asset.  We regret the loss of historic fabric, plan form and street character that this proposal would create should it be permitted.

16/00758/LBA & 16/00757/FUL – Flat   23 High Street Upper Weston Bath

Erection of two flats on land to the rear of 23 High Street.

Comment: The Trust has concerns about this proposal and has already commented on the Kip McGrath application 16/00426/LBA and 16/00425/FUL. This seems to be over-development/’shoehorning’ of the site that will have a detrimental effect on the listed building and the overall character of the conservation area. We question the issue of the lack of amenity space for the proposed flats, and the dominance and overbearing impact of this tall development on the listed cottage (already incongruously overdeveloped itself).

16/00864/FUL – 26 Lower Oldfield Park Oldfield Park Bath

Change of use from 5 bed dwelling to 5 bed House in Multiple Occupation

Object: The Trust objects to this proposal on the basis that the area has over 25% concentration of HMO’s and as such (should this street be included in the >25% area), this application would be contrary to the Article 4 Direction covering Bath and the adopted HMO SPD.

16/00679/FUL3 New Street City Centre

Change of use from A1 (Retail) to A3 (Restaurant and Cafe)

Comment: The Trust has no objection the change of use application as we acknowledge this area to be a ‘cafe culture’ destination.  However we are concerned to note that the listing description notes a ‘C19 pilaster shopfront with door to right to No.3’ whereas the image of No.3 shows an apparently modern shopfront without pilasters and door to the left (when looking at the shop). Either the listing description in 1975 is incorrect or the shop front has been changed since then, possibly without permission as we cannot see any planning applications for this work. It is also possible the pilasters mentioned are now covered up as seen in the image but this would not account for the left hand door. In any case we would recommend this issue is investigated as the loss of a 19th century listed shop front is a serious issue.

Week 08 2016

16/00658/AR – 10 Northumberland Place Bath

Display of illuminated fascia panel sign and 2 no. illuminated projecting signs.

Object: Whilst we appreciate the applicant’s desire to advertise their premises, we continue to resist the unnecessary use of externally 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 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, B2, B4 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.

16/00569/FULGarden Flat, 3 Darlington Street.

Creation of single storey Garden Room; opening up of wall between galley kitchen and sitting area; partial removal of wall currently forming rear door/exit into garden; and remodelling of existing garden at Garden Flat, 3 Darlington Street.

Objection: The Trust accepts that this application is the result of the re-thinking of the applicants’ original proposal and that some welcome efforts have been made to minimise harm to historic fabric and plan form. However we continue to object to the proposals to create a ‘knock through’ living space that will do away with a significant proportion of the exterior wall of the flat in order to connect seamlessly with the new extension. We are less concerned about the existence of an extension (and welcome the size, design and materiality changes to this element) and more concerned by the back wall demolition proposals which will mean that historic fabric is lost forever, and it is unlikely that the loss of historic plan form will be reversible too. The Design, Access and Heritage Statement submitted with the application is inadequate in that it does not examine (as it purports to) the significance of the building nor does it produce any form of impact assessment.  If an assessment was conducted, this could go some way to understanding how these works are thought to be justified (for example if the rear wall had modern interventions). We have sympathy with the applicants desire to produce a modern flow of space but we feel the proportion of intervention and harm to the heritage asset is still too high and will neither preserve nor enhance the architectural and historic interest of the listed building.

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

16/00708/FUL6 Church Street City Centre

Relocation of 2no. existing condenser units to the main roof, to be concealed by timber louvered screens and a new felt covered roof over the housing.

Object: The Trust objects strongly to this application on the basis that the proposed air conditioner units would be an incongruous and unacceptable addition to the low flat roof of this building, situated as it is in a highly sensitive and historic location within the World Heritage site. The units would ‘stick out like a sore thumb’ within the public realm and would harm the visual amenity of the streetscape as well as the architectural and historic interest of the multiple adjacent listed buildings (including the Grade 1 listed Abbey), the WHS and the conservation area. The proposal to hide them in louvred timber boxes further aggravates this application on the basis that timber cladding is not acceptable material for this sensitive urban area. Whilst we are sympathetic with the needs of the business for air conditioning we would strongly oppose any addition to the outside of this little building.

The proposed scheme would harm the architectural and historic interest of multiple significant listed buildings, the character and appearance of the conservation area, and therefore the special qualities of the World Heritage site and would therefore be contrary to S16 and S72 of the Planning (Listed Buildings & 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 D2, D4, BH1, BH2 and BH6 of the B&NES Local Plan. We would therefore recommend that the application be refused.

16/00762/LBA – 6 Lambridge Place Lambridge Bath

Internal and external works for the replacement of boiler in Flat 2 and installation of radiators, flue and air vent to rear wall.

Comment: The Trust comments that as usual we would expect the flue to be located in as discreet location as possible and that the flue pipe and vent should be in a discreet recessive colour to match with Bath stone, not a stark white or black.

16/00795/FUL – 12 Faulkland Road Oldfield Park Bath

Change of use from 4 bed dwelling (use class C3) to 4 bed house of multiple occupation (use class C4) (Retrospective)

Object: The Trust objects to this proposal on the basis that the area has over 25% concentration of HMO’s and as such this application is contrary to the Article 4 Direction covering Bath and the adopted HMO SPD. We feel that the agents assertion that it was ‘likely’ that there was not a >25% concentration of HMO’s in this street at the time of the change of use (2010) cannot be used as a justification because it is not a fact but more a supposition based on incomplete information and data.

16/00493/CLEU – 122A Lower Oldfield Park Oldfield Park Bath

Use of building as an HMO. (Certificate of Lawfulness for an Existing Use)

Object: The Trust objects to this proposal on the basis that the area has over 25% concentration of HMO’s and as such this application is contrary to the Article 4 Direction covering Bath and the adopted HMO SPD.

16/00660/ARRoyal Oak 8 – 10 Summerlays Place Widcombe Bath

Erection of replacement illuminated and non-illuminated signs to the exterior of the building (retrospective) (resubmission).

Object: The Trust objects to this scheme on the basis that it is not discernibly different to the application submitted in 2015 which was refused on the basis of excessive illumination and signage and harmful impact on the 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 signs and illumination would be detrimental to the visual amenity of the street scene, would harm the architectural and historic interest of the listed building and the character and appearance of the conservation area, and would detract from the special qualities of the World Heritage Site. The scheme would be contrary to Section 12 (Conserving and enhancing the historic environment) of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), policies; B1, B2 and CP6 of the B&NES Core Strategy and saved polices; D2, D4, BH6, BH17 and BH22 of the B&NES Local Plan.  We would therefore recommend that the application be refused.

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