Mar-April 2017

March 2017

Week 10 2017

17/00815/FUL & 17/00816/LBA – 8 Old King Street City Centre Bath  

Change of use from Use Class A1 retail (ancillary storage to department store) to 4 No. residential units (Class C3) and associated works including removal of external fire escape.

Support: The removal of the unsightly external metal staircase, the sensitive repair of this listed building, the reinstatement of sliding timber sash windows and the provision of additional housing in the form of studio apartments are all welcomed by the Trust.

17/00834/FUL – 6-7 John Street City Centre Bath   

3-storey apartment block accommodating 6 No. flats and retention of ground floor retail unit following removal of internal structures and flat roof

Object: This application has been reviewed by our architecture and planning committee, members concluded that the architectural detailing of the proposed building on the front elevation is lacking in both reference to its urban context and a finesse befitting the historic streetscene and proximity to the highly significant Queen Square and Wood Street. Whilst we understand the argument for a modern facade to distinguish modern from historic these need not be at the expense of quality and we can see no reason why the detailing of this facade could not be more refined, perhaps with the addition of carved stone work such as a key stone, plat bands and deeper window reveals. The proposed design is more akin to an office block than a domestic development. Higher quality architectural detailing would help retain and enhance the locally distinctive character and vernacular of the street and to further contribute to the repair of the streetscape that the scheme would achieve. There is also some symmetry lost in the fenestration, particularly the dormer windows, which also compromises the design quality of the street elevation.

A convincing argument has been put forward that the height of the building is a storey too high, given the ghost marks indicating the grain and height of the previous buildings here (akin to The Salamander and Firehouse Rotisserie) and that the earlier buildings in the street are all at the lower level. On the other hand, in these ‘found’ sites there is a justifiable desire to maximise the development potential for housing in the city centre, and repair the street at a level compatible with the later buildings flanking the site itself. It would be useful to understand whether the light within the street will be materially different at the higher proposed height than at a height one storey lower, and therefore whether the proposed scale will affect negatively the amenity and enjoyment of the historic street.  We would urge the case officer to be satisfied that all planning considerations in relation to light as well as height have been fully assessed in relation to this element of the proposal.

The proposed scheme, by virtue of a lack of architectural detailing and designed presence, harms the setting of multiple listed buildings, would neither preserve nor enhance the character and appearance of Conservation Area, would be detrimental to the visual amenity of the street scene and would detract from the special qualities of the World Heritage Site.  The scheme would be contrary to Section 12 (Conserving and enhancing the historic environment) of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), policies; B1,B2, B4 and CP6 of the B&NES Core Strategy and saved polices; D4, BH1, BH2, BH6 of the B&NES Local Plan, and emerging policies CP6, D1, D2, D5, and HE1 of the Placemaking Plan. We would therefore recommend that the application be amended or refused.

17/01002/AR19 Milsom Street City Centre Bath

Replacement of existing fascia signage with a new non-illuminated Bravissimo signage logo formed in 3mm thick metal fret cut letters powder-coated in Pink Pantone 191c with letters applied to 5mm white frosted acrylic and a new non-illuminated hanging sign painted heritage grey

Object: The Trust objects to this application on the basis of materials and the proposal for the hanging sign. Our position on hanging signs in Milsom Street is detailed in our position statement which has been uploaded to the documents section of this submission. Given the architectural rhythm of this historic street, and the relative lack of hanging signs cluttering the elevations, we strongly object to the addition of any hanging signs on Milsom Street.  Given the character of the street as a prestigious shopping destination, we do not see the proposed use of acrylic based lettering to be appropriate as this has a low quality appearance. Whilst we do not have an in principle objection to good quality pin mounted metal lettering we would prefer, given the sensitive historic location, to see traditional hand painted lettering on this attractive shop front.

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

17/00955/FULWansdyke Business Centre Oldfield Lane Oldfield Park Bath  

Demolition of the existing buildings and structures (partial retention of façade fronting/adjoining Monksdale Road) and mixed-use redevelopment to provide 126 student studios (Sui Generis), commercial units (B1, B8), fitness centre (D2), coffee shop (A3), with associated access, parking and servicing space, landscaping and associated works. (Re-submission)

Object: We acknowledge the significant revisions to this proposed scheme, including design, height and scale changes. Whilst these assist in making the scheme sit a little more comfortably and respectfully within its surroundings, we maintain our objection to the scheme on the principle of the primary use (student accommodation), though we welcome the addition of further employment space to the mixed use.

The primary issue of the provision of a large block of student bed units in this already crowded student area continues to concern us. The application submitted contradicts itself in that in the Evidenced Need for Student Accommodation document an argument is put forward for the need for student units such as the proposed to alleviate demand for HMO’s in Bath’s housing market. However the Design & Access Statement states that they are aiming for luxury accommodation for the ‘discerning student, not the usual stereotype’. There is specific feedback from Bath’s universities that many normal students, who make up the vast majority of the student community and who would live in an HMO, would not be able to afford the expensive fees for this type of bespoke accommodation, and that this has been seen with some of the student developments already built having a good proportion of unoccupied bedrooms.  Therefore we question the veracity of the statements made in the application that this scheme would contribute towards alleviating a shortfall in student accommodation. As mentioned in our previous objections, the housing in this area is already heavily skewed towards student accommodation and this scheme would assist in the further domination of transient student groups that would undermine the vitality, stability and amenity of the resident local community.

In addition to our concerns above, we are concerned about the impermeability of the site, designed as it is with a narrow entrance and internal courtyard. The extent of reflective glazing effectively closes off the corner of the development and contributes to the sense of impenetrability. Whilst the sketched street scenes are useful, there are no Landscape Visual Impact Assessment images giving a formal assessment of the impact of the revised scheme on the setting and dominance of the listed St. Alphege’s Church or in longer views, given that this site is located on a visible hill side. In the context of the previous refusal, the building is still of a scale, massing, materiality and design that is alien to the distinctive local suburban grain.  Whilst we welcome the retention of the gable ends of the Griffin Works non-designated asset, we feel the proposed saw tooth roof form to be inappropriate in this specific location on this building, as it would have a visually awkward relationship with the pitched gable end.

In our view the proposed student accommodation within the scheme is unacceptable; much needed residential units should be provided on this site. The proposed scheme fails to enhance the local distinctiveness of the locality, 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.

Week 09 2016

17/00504/REG03 – Private Parking Area East Of Horstman Defence Building Locksbrook Road Newbridge

Provision of vehicle parking and erection of 2no secure storage containers, office & staff amenity building, road sweeper & street litter bay, waste storage skips, vehicle wash down area and associated landscaping, lighting and security fixtures following demolition of existing buildings on site

Comment: Given the proximity to the nearby Edwardian terrace and Locksbrook Place, we question whether the position and utilitarian portacabin styling of the depot office is optimum and whether a better location and design to this building could be achieved which would be less visually discordant and therefore less harmful to the setting of the nearby residential quarter.

17/00810/AR – Display of 2No. Internally LED illuminated Fascia signs.

Unit 1 Proposed Development Site Between Lidl And Waterside Court Lower Bristol Road Westmoreland Bath

Comment: We note that signage appears to have been removed from the rear river elevation of the building which is a welcome change.  On review of the plans we have no objections to the proposed SW sign though we would suggest a consistent approach to the lighting of these signs, and so that which has been agreed for Carpetright should be agreed for the other units. The consistent approach to the size, shape and appearance of the signs on the overall building would be supported. We note on passing the site that Carpetright has a large amount of entrance signage (vinyls etc) and freestanding paraphernalia by the doors and we hope that the case officer can instruct for this to be rationalised to allow the building to appreciated without too much clutter to the elevations.

17/00863/LBA30 Lyncombe Hill Lyncombe Bath

Internal and external alterations for the change of use from a house with multiple occupation to a single family dwelling. Provision of guest accommodation at basement level. Alterations to modern partitions at basement, ground, first & second floors. Removal of a modern staircase & associated works. Addition of sanitary accommodation to basement, ground, first & second floors. Provision of timber framed conservatory. Replacement of services. Making good poorly executed renovation work. Removal of existing concrete slabs to basement level accommodation. Alterations to the fenestration of the west elevation. Addition of roof lights at first & second floor levels.

Comment: BPT commends the sympathetic restoration of this interesting and important building and we support the applicant’s intentions to repair and refurbish with appropriate materials and methods. We do not comment on internal alterations generally but hope that in this case the case officer is satisfied that the justification to remove the Edwardian back staircase and relocate the ogee arched doorway in the kitchen (both of which help narrate the story of the history of this heritage asset) is robust and in line with best practice thinking.

We have a concern regarding the proposed changes to the round windows, which in our view would be detrimental to the special architectural interest of the building. These windows are a positive feature of this elevation and the intention to elongate them makes them appear incongruous, being an ‘art deco’ styling at odds with the Tudor Revival and Edwardian architecture of the rest of the building. We hope that this element of the proposals can be revisited and a different approach to providing more light to the kitchen can be adopted.

Week 08 2017

17/00704/ARBluecoat House Sawclose City Centre Bath

Erection of a flag pole over the entrance portico, the addition of a non-illuminated directional sign, some banner demarcation signs, an advertising jumbrella sign and 2no free standing menu boxes

Object: The Trust objects to the provision of a flag to the front elevation of the listed building. Not only would this intrude upon and detract from the special architectural interest of the elaborately crafted facade but it is an inappropriate unnecessary feature and could also harm historic fabric. We have a general concern regarding the amount of written signage proposed by the applicant, and would urge that this is rationalised somewhat in order to declutter the facades and entrance, this could include some plain and some branded banners enclosing the tables & chairs.  The two menu boxes seem somewhat awkwardly placed on the pavement and we object to their illumination, perhaps a better solution would be an A-Board or menu box placed close to the blocked door way which can then be put away when the business is closed (thus negating the need for signage on the blocked doorway).  We note boxes are suggested in the outdoor area, and that these are not included in the drawings.

The proposed flag would harm the special architectural interest of the listed building and is therefore contrary to Section 12 (Conserving and enhancing the historic environment) of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) and saved policy BH2 of the B&NES Local Plan. We would therefore recommend that this element of the application is refused and that the applicant is required to ‘tone down’ their proposals with regards signage in accordance with principles contained in the SPD Guidance on Commercial Signage and Tables & Chairs in the Conservation Area.

Week 07 2017

17/00188/FUL & 17/00189/LBASpecsavers Opticians 17 – 18 Westgate Street City Centre

Remove existing shop front lobby entry and replace with a window and stall riser to match existing

Comment: Whilst we understand the applicant’s intentions in blocking off the first shop entrance and also whilst we understand that with the modern shop front the change is easily reversible, we question whether the loss of symmetry to the two shop fronts is harmful to the architectural balance and symmetry of the elevations of the two listed buildings and therefore to the historic streetscene?

17/00651/FUL & 17/00652/LBA14 Union Street City Centre Bath

Conversion of existing ancillary retail upper floors to form 4 No. flats; erection of a roof extension to form 1 No. flat; associated internal and external works including a new shop front to No.14; replacement upper storey windows; and new external door and railings to the Union Passage elevation (re-submission)

Object: BPT does not see any reason to change the objection we submitted to the original scheme. In our view the set back corner roof terrace imposes the same harm to the listed building as the previous proposal, and perhaps even more as it oriented on the corner of the principle elevation looking down on the street in an elevated position. Whether or not it is visible from the street level is not relevant, it will be visible at higher level viewpoints from around the city, and will constitute an intrusive, incongruous element to a traditional mansard roof form. Whilst the roofscape of Bath is diverse, it tends to retain a historic character when faced towards principle streets, and the juxtaposition of a traditional mansard roof form interrupted by a modern roof terrace will be discordant and harmful to its historic setting. Setting such a precedent would risk cumulative harm to the traditional rhythm and character of the roofscape of the Georgian city.

It is our view that the proposed roof terrace would harm the special interest of the listed building, it would neither preserve nor enhance the character and appearance of the Conservation Area, would be detrimental to the visual amenity of the street scene, and would detract from the special qualities of the World Heritage Site. The scheme is contrary to Section 12 (Conserving and enhancing the historic environment) of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), policies; B1, B2, B4 and CP6 of the B&NES Core Strategy and saved polices; D4, BH1, BH2, BH4, BH6 of the B&NES Local Plan. We would therefore recommend that the application be refused.

17/00576/FUL – 31 Chantry Mead Road Moorlands

Formation of hardstanding on raised grass area to front of dwelling.

Object: BPT strongly objects to this application which would be detrimental to this neighbourhood which is characterised by open green frontages to 20th century houses on both sides, which are as yet unspoilt and undeveloped. Such a precedent would irrevocably change the character of the streetscene and give it a hard urban quality that currently does not exist with the softer expanses of green front gardens.

This application is contrary to Policies D.4 and D.4 of the Local Plan as it does not respond to local context nor complement attractive local qualities (in this case the undeveloped front gardens), and the character of the public realm is not maintained.

17/00458/FUL153 Newbridge Road Newbridge

Change of use from shop on ground floor (Use Class A1) with flat above to all one dwelling (Use Class C3).

Comment: Our only observation on this application is that we feel a better treatment of the front elevation would be the addition of a bay window to the ground floor to continue with and match the local character of the terraced houses adjacent to this building. This design addition would finish the row off in a complementary fashion and preserve the rhythm of the streetscene.

Week 6 2017

17/00405/FUL & 17/00406/LBA 3 – 4 Bath Street City Centre Bath

Internal and external alterations for the refurbishment & improvement of the external access stairway comprising; new wrought iron access gate, new Bath Stone over panel and new Wrought Iron and Zinc Covered Canopy over the entrance to Flats 1-4, replacement of existing front door with Georgian pattern door and insertion of new circular window, replacement Georgian Pattern Sash Windows within existing window openings, replacement Georgian pattern sashes to dormer windows and removal of existing railings and works to existing external walling

Comments: BPT understands the rationale behind the proposed works to this Grade I listed building, however we are concerned regarding the insertion of the circular window as this would involve the loss of historic fabric and is not easily reversible or legible as a modern intervention. In addition, we question the detailing of the canopy; the regency styling has no particular relevance to the history of the building and would not have been an original feature of the building, so we wonder whether a more contemporary addition may be more readable as a modern intervention and therefore more authentic?

16/06192/AR4 St Lawrence Street City Centre

Display of internally illuminated two fascia signs and one A1 Menu case

Comment: The information held in this application appears to be inadequate to properly judge the proposals. We note that the application does not request permission for the logo contained on the timber planter style fencing. We also assume that a separate application will be forthcoming for the swan neck lights and outdoor furniture/fencing?  In our view the application site is excessively lit (with both internal illumination at 800cd/m on signage and the multiple swan neck lights) and cluttered by furniture. We understand that advertising, furniture and illumination tolerances are different in Southgate to the historic centre, but we are still concerned regarding this application.

17/00122/LBABath Building Society 3 Wood Street City Centre

External alterations to install a grab rail either side of the entrance door (two in total) and a gate latch to secure the gate

Object: In our view the grab rails for this foyer of the listed building cannot be off the shelf and must be bespoke ‘blacksmith made’ to match the existing wrought iron gate. Modern fittings are totally out of place here.

The modern utilitarian grab rails as proposed do not accord with national legislation and in particular Policy BH2 of the Local Plan as they would fail to preserve the special architectural or historic interest of the listed building. For this reason we would recommend the application is amended to include a bespoke response to the need for grab rails.


17/00509/FUL1 Windsor Cottages Sham Castle Lane Bathwick

Erection of side conservatory

Comment: The information contained in this application appears to be inadequate to properly judge the impact of this conservatory on the character of the local conservation area. Whilst the house is not listed, it is nevertheless an attractive cottage close to the historic Kennet & Avon Canal and this undistinguished grey aluminium addition is highly visible on the side elevation and does not appear to enhance the street scene or the cottage.  It is adjacent to John Rennie’s listed wall.  At the very least we would recommend that the case officer consult the historic environment team to consider any issues relating to the impact of the scheme on the wider historic area.

17/00407/ERESPlaying Field Former Ministry Of Defence Ensleigh Granville Road Lansdown Bath

Application for approval of reserved matters of landscaping, scale, layout and appearance with regard to outline application 15/03511/EOUT for the development of 94 dwellings, associated infrastructure and open space.

Comment: BPT welcomes the 40% affordable housing provision proposed in this application and we assume that this identified provision will not be revised downwards later in the project due to any unforeseen construction costs or revised viability appraisal?

Whilst the street views of the development appear bland and rather urban we have no major concerns regarding the design of the buildings, except to say that we find the very low roof pitch of the apartment buildings to be somewhat odd architecturally and we hope this does not become a prevalent roof form in Bath developments. Whilst we know there are plans for some soft landscaping we hope these can be augmented in order to allow the streetscene to have a softer more semi-rural character (appropriate to its location) than that currently pictured in the images contained in the planning application.

17/00461/FULGarden Flat   7 Springfield Place Lansdown Bath

Erection of a 3.5m x 5m summerhouse in the garden following removal of existing wooden shed

Object: BPT objects to this application for a large log cabin style structure in the garden of this listed building and adjacent to the listed walls of Beckford’s Garden and Gateway.  The application itself is lacking in the necessary information and images to properly visualise this building within the setting of these heritage assets.  From the scant information provided it appears that the cabin will be very tall and will therefore be visible in the backlands of both Springfield Place and also Lansdown Crescent, as well as being an intrusive structure within the attractive and rhythmic series of back gardens which form part of the character of the conservation area. We have no objection to a modest garden building in this location but one of this size, which will appear to significantly overtop historic garden walls and therefore harm views over these assets and their setting, should not be permitted.  We question whether listed building consent should also be sought for this structure.

The proposed scheme, by virtue of scale and height, would detract from the special historic and architectural interest of the designated heritage asset in which curtilage it is located, and nearby listed buildings, would neither preserve nor enhance the character and appearance of the conservation area and detract from the special qualities of the World Heritage site. It would also detract from the visual amenity value of sensitive historic backland location. 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; BH2, BH6, D4 of the B&NES Local Plan. We would therefore recommend that the application be refused.

17/00479/FULRotork House Brassmill Lane Newbridge Bath

Demolition of existing buildings and structures and construction of new factory (use class B1) with office space(use class B1), research laboratories (use class B1), an entrance pavilion and car park, cycle parking, service yard, storage, and plant building with associated landscaping and works.

Support: BPT is pleased to support this proposed scheme, which is a contemporary, low carbon and high quality redevelopment of this site and not only will it being significant access improvements for the local community but also revitalise and invigorate an important light industrial area.  The use of extensive glazing and innovative modern materials gives the scheme a light touch textural appearance that is both sympathetic to its location but also befits a world headquarters building. The extent of public realm landscaping and improvements is also to be commended. We wonder whether the building is set slightly too tight to the rural river bank?  No doubt this will be an issue the case officer will consider in some detail.

We also wonder whether some form of acknowledgement of the importance of the early space frame roof (precursor to Herman Miller and Bath Cabinetmakers building) contained in the building to be demolished could be given? Perhaps a portion of this roof could be retained and reinstated, possibly in the entrance pavilion, along with interpretation, to allow a public understanding and knowledge of this feature to be preserved and not lost forever.




16/05950/FULRising Sun 58 Lymore Avenue Twerton Bath

Erection of 7no. apartments following demolition of existing converted public house.

Comment: We question whether the loss of the old public house is justified. It is difficult to judge the age or value of the building as there is no assessment contained in the planning application.  Whatever its architectural value or current conversion to residential, the building still has historic and communal value as a place of gathering within the community and therefore can be described as a non-designated heritage asset for which some justification of loss must be given. We question whether the building could be developed for apartment accommodation rather than suffer the loss of an historic building from the townscape; the answer to this question would lie in proper assessment supplied by the applicant.


17/00462/ARDisplay of 1 no. 5.3m Totem Sign

Development Site Between Lidl And Waterside Court Lower Bristol Road Westmoreland Bath  

Comment: BPT is supportive of the work done by Bath Heritage Watchdog and the applicant to find an appropriate signage solution to this site. The proposed totem appears to be appropriately detailed and sized with updateable signage panels, and the materials are all acceptable for this area. There are gaps in the application regarding detail of lighting levels and position but on the whole we support this proposal.  We would continue to object to excessive lit signage on the elevations of the listed building and find this totem solution to be the best way of advertising the businesses within the building.




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