Dec17- Jan 18

December 2017 – January 2018

Week 53 2017

16/06131/LBA15 Kingsmead Square City Centre

External alterations for a new shop front

Comment: Whilst we understand that the applicant wishes to make their business stand out, we object to the proposed internal illumination of the mounted lettering and the externally mounted fascia lights; this represents lighting overkill and is potentially harmful to the listed building and the sensitive historic location within the conservation area and the WHS. We have no objection to the provision of an awning and on balance the proposal for a bi-fold shop frontage to this business is justified, especially given the informal, cafe culture, continental character of the square and the understanding (from the D & A) that the current shop front has no historical value.

We are pleased to see that the proposed materials are timber, and would urge the case officer to ensure that they are satisfied that the detail of both the awning, its mechanism and the shop front arrangement is high quality and appropriately detailed for this location as well as causing minimal harm to historic fabric in terms of fixings etc. We do however object to the abundance of vinyl and general signage proposed, this includes the ‘fussy’ decorated awning with the white border (which should be black as in the Bristol example) and the window vinyls, all of which represent an excessive amount of signage clutter which would intrude upon both the building and the overall street scene.  We assume any plans to place tables and chairs outside the property will be requested in a further planning application.

16/06188/FULHinton Garage Bath Ltd  Hinton Garage Albion Place Kingsmead

Demolition of the former Hinton Garage Showroom and Workshop and erection of an Assisted Living Development comprising apartments and integrated communal and support facilities; landscaped resident’s gardens; staff areas; basement residents car and bicycle parking; refuse storage and associated infrastructure and services. (Resubmission of application 15/05367/FUL).

Comment: The Trust commented favourably on the last set of revisions for this scheme. We have reviewed this resubmitted proposal and acknowledge that the changes to the roof height and the design work done to recess the dormers on the riverside block is successful in lessening the visual impact and prominence of the roofscape. The changes constitute a minor improvement to the scheme. In our view, and especially bearing in mind the very tall developments close to the river in BWR, the height of the building is acceptable; it preserves the setting of nearby heritage assets and would not potentially adversely impact on local character or the special qualities of the WHS.

We continue to support the repair of the streetscape in the Upper Bristol Road, and have no concerns regarding the design or height of this block (revised in May 2016), notwithstanding our earlier comments about the detail and quality of materials.

For the avoidance of doubt, as there is some ambiguity in the consultation statements in the Design & Access statement; BPT has not been consulted on this new iteration or the last set of revisions to this scheme.

Week 52 2017

16/06167/FULMain House Bath Spa University Campus Newton St. Loe Bath

Removal of parking along frontage of Main House, creation of shared space, modifications to lawns, new pavement, relocation of existing pedestrian crossing, adjustments to parking demarcation, new and additional lighting columns, improved access to library buildings, adjustment of drainage and widening of an existing footpath.

Comment: The Trust welcomes the proposal to remove parking from the front elevation of the house, and the proposed buff coloured bonded surface, both of which will enhance the setting of the important listed building. We are concerned that there is proposed a greater proportion of hard landscaping to grass and that this unbalances the overall harmony of the Palladian building within its setting and introduces a discordant element to the frontage.  We would recommend that the elliptical area of grass is enlarged so as to provide a more balanced hard to soft landscape ratio. This is particularly relevant given that the historic development of the house has seen hard landscaping gradually encroach into the setting of the building (from the original modest drive seen in the 1789 map by Pryce) and this proposal sees even more green space lost to hard surfaces. Enlargement of the lawn would allow for better legibility of the original landscaped appearance of the front of the house and therefore assist in maintaining its significance.

 

16/06062/FULClosed Public Toilets Claverton Street Widcombe Bath

Erection of 2 storey office building following demolition of existing former WC Block.

Object: The Trust objects to this application on the basis that it constitutes overdevelopment of the site. For clarity, we are the owners of the Southcot Burial Ground to the rear of the proposed scheme and we have not been consulted about this application. We are concerned about the scale of the proposed scheme and the two storey heights, which while sloping down and not overtopping the wall, still appear to overtop the historic wall on the front elevation which gives an awkward visual relationship with it. Not only that but we question how the health of the wall will be maintained in terms of the adjacent drainage channels (from the roof sloping down to the wall) and the associated up close building works which will presumably include insertion of foundations and possible fixing insertions into the wall etc.  There is simply not enough information to inform us of how the building will be constructed and how the wall and views of the open burial ground will be protected and its significance unharmed. We are also concerned at how access to Southcot Burial ground could be easily gained from the roof of the two storey building.

We would be unlikely to object to the creation of office workspace in a modest and simple one storey building in the style and materials being proposed. However this two storey office is a massive overdevelopment of a ‘found’ site and we believe that we should have been consulted on works that will potentially impact harmfully on an historic and important burial ground behind.

Week 51 2017

17/05937/AR – Former Bath Sony Centre Shop, Avon Street, City Centre,

Display of 1no internally illuminated fascia ‘F45’ entrance sign, 2no internally illuminated projecting ‘F45’ signs and 4no ‘F45’ vinyl graphic signs

Object: The Trust strongly objects to this application. By virtue of its materials (acrylic, vinyl and aluminium), brash and strident colour scheme and illumination the proposed scheme is detrimental to visual amenity of the streetscape, detracting from the special qualities of the WHS and neither preserving or enhancing the character or appearance of the conservation area.

The application fails to consider guidance set out in B&NES’ Commercial Signage in the Conservation Area Guidance SPD and is contrary to Section 12 (Conserving and Enhancing the Historic Environment) of the NPPF, policies B1, B4 and CP6 of the B&NES Core Strategy and policies DW1, B4, D1, D2, D4 and HE1 of the Placemaking Plan. We would therefore recommend this scheme is refused.

 

17/05862/AR – Car Park, Lansdown Park & Ride Car Park, Charlcombe

Display of 1 no. floor mounted illuminated digital display totem

Comment: Due to the site’s prominent position on the wooded ridgeline surrounding Bath, the Trust would urge the case officer to be entirely satisfied that an additional illuminated poster would not significantly increase the light pollution emitted from the Park and Ride. The Trust is concerned that an increase in light pollution would have a detrimental impact on the special qualities and setting of the WHS and the AONB.

17/05976/FUL – Hare & Hounds, Lansdown Road, Lansdown

Relocation of car park vehicular access

Comment: The Trust supports the retention of boundary walls however improved access to and from the car park is desirable. Trust would hope that upon making their decision the case officer is entirely satisfied that the proposal does not unnecessarily destroy any historic fabric pertaining to the curtilage of the listed building and that the boundary wall continues to contribute to the character of the conservation area and the special qualities of the WHS.

17/05728/FUL – 69 Newton Road Twerton

Change of use from a domestic residential property (Use Class C3) to an 8 person HMO (House in Multiple Occupation) (Use Class C4) and erection of carport over the parking space at the rear of the property

 

Comment: The immediacy of St Michaels CoE Junior School and First Steps Children Centre makes 69 Twerton Road an attractive property for families. A change of use to a HMO would not serve the local demand for housing in this area and would result in the unacceptable loss of accommodation in terms of mix, size and type.

Secondly, the application seeks a change of use to an eight person HMO which is over the ‘C4’ threshold. Instead, as a large HMO this application would require a change of use to sui generis.

17/05428/CLEU – 21 Stuart Place, Twerton

Change of use from C3 to C4 (Certificate of lawfulness for an existing use)

Comment: On review of the application form the applicant states that ‘The use began within the last 10 years, as a result of a change of use not requiring planning permission, and there has not been a change of use’. They then go on to state that the use as an HMO started on 4/10/2016. This has caused some confusion as it’s the Trusts understanding that, in line with the Article 4 Direction that came into force on the 1st July 2013, this change of use from C3 to C4 requires planning permission.  The applicant however was informed that a Lawful Development Certificate was what they required.

Should this application require full planning consent a Criteria 2 Stage 2 assessment will need to be undertaken as the proposal fails Criterion 2 stage 1 as set out in the newly adopted SPD.

 

Week 50 2017

17/04416/FUL & 17/04417/LBAHobgoblin 47 St James’s Parade Bath

Conversion and change of use of 1st, 2nd and 3rd floors to hotel/bed and breakfast rooms and change of external colour

Object: We note that this application is partly retrospective and that the exterior of the building has already been painted. The Trust objects to this application on the basis of the unacceptable external colour and the insufficient detail contained in the D & A.  Whilst we do not usually comment internal alterations, we do not feel there is sufficient information to properly assess the impact of the proposed internal sub-dividing works on the special interest of the listed building nor a justification for associated harmful impacts. In particular we object to the black colour painted on the exterior of the building, this is an entirely inappropriate colour for a listed building in the WHS and conservation area; black is usually a colour seen (with patina) on roofs and in small amounts of detail, not the whole exterior of a property. In our view the colour causes harm to the special architectural interest of the listed building and to the historic streetscene in general. In addition there does not appear to be a specification for the paint and whether it is breathable, in any case adding on yet another layer of paint is harmful to the fabric of the asset, causing the stone work underneath to spoil and become damp. We would recommend that the paint is removed via a conservation focused system and the Bath stone ashlar allowed to breathe. At the very least the building should be painted in a breathable recessive Bath stone colour paint.

We understand signage has already been added and we assume there is an associated AR application being submitted for this breach.  Like BHW, we regret the fact that the name, which has communal and historic value, has been changed.

This proposal would harm the special interest of the listed building and would neither preserve nor enhance the character and appearance of the conservation area and the special qualities of the WHS.  It is therefore contrary to the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 and fails to comply with 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 policies; DW1, CP6, B1,B4 & HE1 of the B&NES Placemaking Plan. For this reason we object to this application and recommend that the scheme is refused or amended.

 

17/05672/FULFieldgate The Avenue Claverton Down Bath

Change of use from 7no bedroom dwelling (use class C3) to 7no bedroom mixed use house of multiple occupation (HMO) (C4)/Holiday Let (sui generis

Comment:  The Trust regrets the retrospective nature of this application and would comment that the applicant should be clear about what is being applied for, as the associated residential and amenity impacts and activity of an HMO are different to those of a ‘party house’. Should this application request a ‘sui generis’ use rather than a mixed use?

17/05763/LBA & 17/05758/LBAWarleigh Manor House, Warleigh Lane Bathford Bath

External alterations for the provision of replacement deck boarding to roof terrace (regularisation)

Internal alterations to the apartment including inserting an internal window over the stair, insertion of a second column to match the existing structural feature, removal of internal doors and replacements ‘spy’ glass mirror, stripping/repainting of stone windows and insertion of down lighting (regularisation)

Comment: Like the Parish Council, the Trust is concerned that these fairly significant alterations have been done to a listed building without prior permission and find this highly regrettable. We have no particular comment to make on the alterations themselves and leave that to the assessment and judgement of the case officer who will no doubt visit the site.  It is for this type of reason that the Trust published our book Making Changes – Guidance for Owners of Listed Buildings in Bath, and we would be pleased to provide a copy to the applicants.

17/05764/FUL9 Oolite Grove Odd Down Bath

Erection of two storey side extension and single storey rear extension

Comment/ This is an attractive mid 20th century cul-de-sac with a particular garden suburb character.  We have no objections to an extension to the side and rear of this property, however in our view the proposed extensions represent over-development of this semi-detached building that would be contrary to the prevailing character of local built form.  The extensions would over balance the pair and the strange addition of not one but three jutting side elements with two different styles and roofs just appears odd. It would perhaps be helpful is the applicant provided a 3D image to see how this arrangement would actually appear in the street scene. Similarly the use of a combined modern and a traditional (to date of building) design is incongruous and uncomfortable; the extension should be one style or the other, and we would prefer it to harmonise in both materials and features with the host dwelling. There is a place for contemporary materials such as metal cladding but in this instance it would be at odds with and therefore discordant with the local palette.

 

17/05416/AR & 17/05418/LBARoyal Oak 8 – 10 Summerlays Place Widcombe

Display of replacement illuminated and non-illuminated exterior signs

Support: The Trust supports this application which looks to de-clutter and therefore better reveal the special interest of the heritage asset.  We welcome the removal of excessive signage and lighting and the change of colour of the elevations; the appearance of the building is considerably more acceptable and appropriate for a listed building in the WHS.  We would echo the BHW concern regarding the acceptability of further paint layers over the historic fabric but leave that issue to the assessment of the case officer.  We assume that some lighting is being removed as it is not shown on the ‘Visuals’ drawing.

 

17/03128/LBA – 14 New Bond Street City Centre Bath

External alterations for new signage and repainting

Object: In line with B&NES’s SPD, ‘Design and Conservation Guidance’ (2016), the Trust encourages traditional bespoke signage over the use of modern materials.

Contrary to the guidance contained in the SPD, the application proposes the use of white acrylic signage which would  harm the special interest of the listed building. It would also be detrimental to the visual amenity of the streetscape, l neither preserve nor enhance the character and appearance of the Conservation Area, and would detract from the special qualities of the World Heritage Site.

The application fails to comply with the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 , Section 12 of the NPPF ‘Conserving & Enhancing the Historic Environment’, polices B1, B1, B4 and CP6 of the B&NES Core Strategy and policies; DW1, B1,B4 & HE1 of the B&NES Placemaking Plan. For this reason we object to this proposal and recommend that the application is refused.

 

17/05861/AR – Car Park Odd Down Park & Ride Car Park Odd Down

Erection of 1 no. wall mounted non-illuminated 6 sheet poster display and 1 no. floor mounted illuminated digital display totem.

Comment: Due to the site’s prominent position on the wooded ridgeline surrounding Bath, the Trust would urge the case officer to be entirely satisfied that an additional illuminated poster would not significantly increase the light pollution emitted from the Park and Ride. The Trust is concerned that an increase in light pollution would have a detrimental impact on the special qualities  and setting of the WHS.

 

Week 49 2017

17/05712/LBA – 13 Rivers Street City Centre Bath

Internal and external alterations for partial demolition on an internal load-bearing wall at ground floor level with installation of new supporting steelwork, localised roof repairs and external redecoration on a like for like basis

Object:  The Trust’s reasoning for objecting to this application is twofold. Firstly, the partial demolition of the load bearing wall would harm the historic plan form of the heritage asset and cause unjustified loss of historic fabric. Secondly the installation of steel beams into the historic fabric would cause further destruction. The visual and functional separation of rooms forms part of the special historic interest of the listed building; its loss would harm the significance and legibility of the building, built by John Wood the younger, and there is no public benefit to outweigh the harm.

These works, if carried out, would cause significant harm to the special architectural and historical interest of this building and would be contrary to the Planning (Listed Buildings & Conservation Area) 1990 Act, Section 12 of the NPPF ‘Conserving & Enhancing the Historic Environment’, polices B1, B1, B4 and CP6 of the B&NES Core Strategy and policies; DW1, B1,B4 & HE1 of the B&NES Placemaking Plan. For this reason we object to this proposal and recommend that the application is refused.

 

17/05783/LBA – 5 Henrietta Street Bathwick Bath

Internal alterations for a replacement boiler and flue and associated works

Comment:  As always the Trust would request that the flue is a recessive colour such as grey or cream to blend in with and not /intrude upon the Bath stone elevation.

 

17/04900/FUL – 10 Lime Grove Gardens Bathwick Bath

Erection of Rear extension

Comment: We find the proposal broadly acceptable but we find that the supporting documents attached to this application inadequately examine the visual impact of the proposed extension. The drawings provide no evidence that views to and from the roof terrace have been assessed. We trust that the case officer will ensure that this element of the application is not harmful to medium/long views within the WHS.

 

17/05788/FUL – 12 St Ann’s Way Bathwick Bath

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

Comment: Many properties along this road have undergone similar extensions and roof conversions however dormers have yet to be established on the front elevations of this street. Whilst the proposal is broadly acceptable the Trust would hope to see the front elevation unchanged to maintain local character.

 

17/05801/FUL – Lyde Cottage Sion Hill

Erection of two-storey side extension, replacement of existing conservatory with single storey extension and internal layout alterations.

Comment: The supporting statement attached to this application does not properly address the landscape and visual impact that this proposal may have. Given this property’s immediacy to the Bath Approach Golf Course and Cotswold Way the Trust feel that more consideration should be given to this matter to ensure that the applicant has accurately evaluated the visual impact the proposal may have on the setting of the surrounding area, wider conservation area and the World Heritage Site.

 

17/05492/FUL – 63 Brassmill Lane Newbridge

Loft conversion with rear dormer and erection of two-storey rear extension

Object: This proposal constitutes overdevelopment of this modest terraced building. The rear extension is not in keeping with the scale and massing of the group and the rear dormer is overly large and overtakes the whole roof. Policy D5 of the B&NES Placemaking Plan states ‘that extensions must complement and enhance the host building’. This proposal would considerably unbalance this 20th century terrace and is contrary to Policy D5 of the B&NES Placemaking Plan and Section 7 of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) ‘Good Design’.

For this reason we object to this application and recommend that it is refused.

 

17/05515/FUL – Nutwood Evelyn Road Lower Weston Bath

Change of use from 4-bed dwellinghouse (Use Class C3) to 5-bed dwellinghouse (Use Class C3) or a 5-bed house of multiple occupation (HMO) (Use Class C4)

Comment: More clarity is required by the applicant to establish exactly what he is applying for. The repurposing of an existing room, in this case a living space to a bedroom, would not constitute change of use. If the applicant divorced the matter from the HMO application the proposal would be clearer.

 

17/05775/FUL – 41 Rockliffe Avenue Bathwick Bath

Alterations to roof space including provision of 2 No dormers

Object: The side dormer is a new addition to the latest iteration of development proposals for this property. The Trust is still concerned about protecting the special interest of Rosemount Cottages and whilst we acknowledge that this latest application is less intrusive, the addition of a side dormer visible from the front elevation upsets the balance of the semidetached dwellings and therefore harms the visual amenity of the street scene and consequentially the setting of the neighbouring listed buildings.

This proposal fails to comply with the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas Act) 1990, Section 12 of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) ‘Conserving & Enhancing the Historic Environment’ , policies B1, B4 and CP6 of the B&NES Core Strategy; DW1, B1,B4 & HE1 of the B&NES Placemaking Plan. For this reason we object to this application and recommend that it is refused.

 

17/05737/FUL – 478 Wellsway, Bath

Erection of 6no student flats following demolition of existing pair of semi-detached dwellings at 478 & 480 Wellsway

Object: The Trust supports the redevelopment of brownfield sites for mixed residential housing as part the delivery of sustainable housing across the city, it therefore has an in-principle objection to the development of this site for student housing.  Additionally the scale and massing of the proposal, which takes it cues from the neighbouring property Radway House, is not in keeping with the character of the surrounding area.

The prominent style of buildings in the area are two storey, pitched roof semi-detached dwellings, set back from the road with front gardens. The development at Radway House has created a hard edge on the corner of Wellsway and Oolite Road and has added considerable bulk to the roofline. The Trust are concerned that a continuation of this scale and massing at 478 and 480 Wellsway, would considerably alter the streetscape, result in the loss of front gardens and represent overdevelopment of this modest semi-detached site.

This application is contrary to Section 6 of the NPPF ‘Delivering a wide choice of high quality homes’, policies DW1, B1, CP9 and CP10 of the B&NES Core Strategy and policies DW1,B1, CP9 and CP10 of the B&NES Placemaking Plan. For this reason we object to this application and recommend that it is refused.

 

Week 48 2017

17/05656/LBA & 17/05655/FUL14 Norfolk Crescent Kingsmead Bath

Proposed alterations and repairs to include the refurbishment of the existing vaults, courtyard repaving, stone cleaning/paint removal the installation of a new glazed screen beneath the jack arch and the installation of a new external steel staircase.

Comment:  The Trust is largely supportive of the overall conservation and repair works to this listed building subject to the case officer’s review of the finer details following a site visit. The insertion of a glass wall to create a lobby area is an interesting concept which works well provided the insertion and fixing does not create undue harm to fabric. Our main concern is the treatment of the vaults.  In an idea world we would like these vaults returned to their undeveloped historic state and used for storage but accept that with the historic tanking and use these are now habitable areas. We assume that the cementitious tanking will be removed from the vault surfaces and these made good with lime pointing/wash where appropriate before the Delta membrane is installed? It was not clear in the D & A what the approach to the old tanking system would be. Our primary concern is the preservation of historic fabric in these important areas.

 

17/05459/FUL2 Vernon Park Twerton Bath

Change of use from 4no. bedroom HMO to 5no. bedroom HMO (Use Class C4) and introduction of first floor window to front elevation.

Comment:  The Trust assumes this application will be refused on the basis that it will create a ‘sandwich’ situation with the 2 next door properties (the middle one being non-HMO) which is contrary to the new HMO SPD.

 

17/05674/FULCavendish Villa Cavendish Road Lansdown

Altering the current garage and studio for use as ancillary accommodation linked to the main house. To accommodate this there will be alterations to internal partitions and replacement of the current garage doors.

Comment: The Trust assumes that if this permission is granted it will be sufficiently caveated within the permission that this ancillary accommodation cannot become a separate dwelling.

Week 47 2017

17/04839/LBA – Audley House, Park Gardens, Lower Weston, Bath

Internal and external work to install flat roof dormer to front elevation

Object: The Trust objects to this application on the basis that a dormer on the front elevation of this property would amount to harm to the special interest of the listed building and this harm is not outweighed by public benefits.

The front elevation is the most decorated and significant. The proposed dormer would be a visible intervention on this elevation, detracting from the architectural integrity and appearance of the building and intruding upon the roofscape. The heritage statement is limited to five paragraphs and does not address the property’s setting in the conservation area or the WHS. The application also fails to consider the impact the proposed dormer would have on the architectural significance of this listed building designed by the notable Bath architect James Wilson and is therefore significance not assessed proportionally or appropriately.

In addition the design and assessment attached to this document assesses national planning policy against the superseded ‘PPS5 – Historic Environments’, not the NPPF.

This proposal would harm the special interest of the listed building and would neither preserve nor enhance the character and appearance of the conservation area and is contrary to the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 and fails to comply with 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 policies; DW1, B1,B4 & HE1 of the B&NES Placemaking Plan. For this reason we object to this application and recommend that the scheme is refused.

 

17/05593/FUL -26 Fairfield Park Road, Fairfield Park, Bath

Erection of ancillary accommodation

Comment: This application is light on supporting textual documents. A Design and Access statement would help inform and give more context to the drawings. It would also ensure that the applicant has accurately considered the impact the proposal may have on the setting of the surrounding properties and World Heritage Site.

 

17/05556/FUL – 5 Richmond Road, Beacon Hill, Bath

Erection of a front single storey porch extension and a timber boundary fence, re-proportioning of the window and door openings and addition of cladding

Comment: This property is immediately adjacent to the Conservation Area, with its south eastern edge forming the boundary. Whilst the Trust welcomes contemporary architecture and acknowledges that the drawings are well detailed, a Design and Access Statement would help ensure that applicant has accurately considered the impact the proposal may have on the setting of the Conservation Area, World Heritage Site and surrounding properties.

 

17/05488/FUL – 7A Wellsway, Bath, Bath And North East Somerset

Conversion of loft with front and rear dormer

Object -This middle terrace property forms part of a group with no precedent for a dormer. The group is not listed but is architecturally significant and contributes positively to the character and appearance of the surrounding conservation area. It is also highly visible being on a slope overlooking the city.  Both the dormer to the front and rear of the property would dominate the roofspace, interrupt the roofline and be an incongruous addition. The Trust considers that this application constitutes overdevelopment and is harmful to the character of the group and to the undeveloped quality of the local roofscape. If the case officer is minded, the rear dormer, though overly large, could be considered acceptable in a smaller and more subservient form, but we object strongly to the front dormer.

The proposed scheme, by virtue of being inappropriate overdevelopment, would neither preserve nor enhance the character and appearance of the conservation area and is contrary to the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 and 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 policies; DW1, D.2, D.5, B4, BD1 & HE1 of the B&NES Placemaking Plan. We recommend that the scheme is refused.

 

17/05496/FUL & 17/05497/LBA8 Margaret’s Buildings City Centre Bath

Refurbishment, alterations and extension of 8 Margaret’s Buildings and 32 Circus Place, including splitting the site to create 1 no. new dwelling and 1 no. retail unit with living quarters.

Comment: The Trust is broadly supportive of this application to sensitively refurbish and repair this listed building and we commend the applicant in his very thorough assessment of the history and fabric of the building and the ambition to bring it back into active and accessible use. We also commend the attention to detail shown in terms of retention of fabric and finer architectural detailing in reinstated elements We have no major concerns regarding the raising of the roof in the kitchen section as we see that the impact of this intervention is outweighed by conservation benefits in the refurbishment of other areas of the building, particularly the derelict basement level. The significance of this area is of medium value and therefore we see capacity for a 21st century addition to allow the building to function effectively as a viable commercial enterprise and as a home. In general the works will allow the asset to be better revealed and ensure its long term sustainable future.  The reinstated mews shop front is also supported, though we have a couple of observations/suggestions for this area:

Can further thought  be given to the detailing of the shop front as it appears to have been cut short,  left of the proposed four panelled door  entrance,  to accommodate what appears to be an existing external soil pipe which serves a first floor existing/ proposed toilet?

Could consideration please be given to re routing/ moving the soil pipe off the external face of the building as it then appears there may be room to finish of the shopfront with matching ends.

The existing toilet window, above the shopfront, appears 20th century and is incongruous. If this window could be removed and infilled with natural ashlar stone the appearance of the building would be de-cluttered and improved. It may be possible to install a roof light or light tube in the inner roof slope which can provide light and ventilation to the toilet instead of the window?

We suggest the proportion of the shop window would be enhanced if it had more of a vertical emphasis. With regards to vertical boarding for the stall riser, we suggest natural stone.

 

17/05536/FULJubilee Centre, Lower Bristol Road, Twerton, Bath, BA2 9ES

Demolition of existing building. Redevelopment of site for the erection of a 3-5 storey building to provide student accommodation (Sui Generis), comprising 137 bedspaces and communal facilities. External works, including hard and soft landscaping and felling/works to existing trees. Proposed vehicular access to Lower Bristol Road and provision of 1 no. parking space and covered cycle parking

Object: Having reviewed the revised plans for this scheme, the Trust continues to object to both the proposed use of the site for yet more student accommodation, and to the height, scale and massing of the scheme.

Student Accommodation

We repeat here our earlier objection to the proposed use. This area of Twerton riverside has some flexibility in terms of usage, as per Policy B3, however we believe that once again the high profit returns of student housing development is overriding the specific and urgent housing needs of Bath; this sustainable brownfield site could provide mixed sized housing units for young professionals and key workers, being located close to good transport links and major employers across the river in the Newbridge light industrial area and the RUH.  We do not see, given the large PBSA next door, why yet more student units should be provided in this residential area; this could potentially run the risk of skewing the student demographic in this area and resulting in ‘studentification’ and an unbalancing of the community. With the emerging new SPD on HMO’s, B&NES has shown support for reducing the density of student housing pockets in favour of a greater and more integrated spread of students across the city. Placing two large PBSA’s next to each other in this way results in a far greater density in this small area than the 10% density being proposed in the HMO policy; therefore this development is contrary to B&NES’ own intentions in relation to managing and maintaining the health and vitality of Bath’s mixed local communities.

Height, scale and massing

Whilst we acknowledge the work that has been done to revise this scheme, we see these changes as ‘token’.  The western section of the building is still tall, overbearing and monolithic, presented a towering face when coming from the west along the Lower Bristol Road; it is a discordant addition to the local more domestic scale townscape found locally and the overall building presents a bulk and form which fails to respond to its context.  The townscape here starts to break up and evolve into a greener, less urban character and this building introduces hard and high built form where it should be softer, lower and more broken up in nature. Whilst there are taller buildings found at Twerton Mill, the success of these buildings lies in the fact that they are set back on the site, are of a recessive colour and sit against the wooded river edge with much lower buildings sitting to the front.  We continue therefore to object to the over-development of this site; in our view this scheme should be reduced in height and overall bulk and be more fragmented to allow the site to be permeable with some public realm and amenity space, and for soft green landscaping to mitigate the dominating impact of the scheme and allow its assimilation more comfortably into the surrounding area. The western section in particular should step down to meet the bridge and the river.  In our view this iteration of the scheme is relatively thoughtful in its relationship with the Grade II Rackfield Place, but fails to extend this thoughtfulness to its western edge. In particular we refer to Local Policy D.2 AND bd1 which details that schemes should respond positively to site context, local character and urban morphology and density of development should fit local character.

We welcome the visual representations presented within the LVIA’s, these are very helpful in assessing the impact of the building in long views and in the streetscape.

On a positive note, the architectural design and materiality of the scheme is to be commended, it shows the same quality and responsiveness to context evidenced in other schemes by this architect; it is just a shame that development economics means that height and massing – squeezing the last drop of profitable space from the site – divert our attention from the commendable architecture and force us to object. Our only comment would be that there is perhaps too much grey cladding on the front elevation of the middle section, and that this should be broken up, perhaps with the use of more brick detailing, to lessen the dominance of grey in the streetscape, a colour which is usually seen on roofscapes and in detailing.

In our view much needed residential units with an affordable housing quota should be provided on this site. The proposed scheme, for reasons of scale, massing and height would be harmful to the character and appearance of the streetscape and the conservation area, and would fail to reinforce the special qualities of the World Heritage Site. The proposal would be contrary to Section 12 (Conserving and enhancing the historic environment) of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), B1, B4 and CP6 of the B&NES Core Strategy and DW1, CP6, D.1, D.2, D.5, HE.1, D.10, B4, and BD1 of the Placemaking Plan.  We would therefore recommend that the application should be refused.

 

17/05581/FULCamden Cottage, 3 Bennett’s Lane, Walcot,

Erection of first floor rear extension over existing ground floor extension (Retrospective)

Object: The Trust regrets the retrospective nature of this application and the associated unauthorised works and for this reason we object to this scheme. As per our previous comment to the original application we regret the use of both uPVC and render on this historic cottage in a visible and elevated position within the WHS and the fact that this has been agreed by the LPA.

 

17/05612/FULKennet House Sydney Road Bathwick

Internal and external alternations to replace existing side extension with two storey extension (Resubmission of 17/03718/FUL)

Comment:  Given that we have already commented that the revised extension with the set back and more simply detailed doorway is acceptable to us, our comment on this application relates to the rear external courtyard.  There is no submitted drawing of the courtyard elevation nor of the revised access arrangements to the canal, including a drawing of the canal side gateway and how it will appear and with what detailing in terms of gate piers etc.  In addition, there is a general lack of detail regarding the removal of the concrete infill and the underpinning to occur to the boundary walls.

Our only other concern would be that the extension element of the dwelling would be become separated in occupancy from the main house and we would urge the case officer to ensure that this element remains ancillary to the main house and cannot in the future become a separate dwelling.

 

Week 46 2017

17/05322/FULPratts Hotel 4 – 8 South Parade City Centre Bath

Erection of a new sub-station on the land adjacent to Pratts Hotel bath, next to the existing sub station

Comment: This is in effect a new building in a highly sensitive historic streetscene and it is arguable that the applicant should submit an LBA application in order to assess the impact of this building on the setting of multiple Grade I and II* listed assets within the very near vicinity.  No justification has been submitted to explain why such a building is needed and why one of the multiple underground spaces in this area could not be used instead or why there is such a jump in size from the existing sub-station which is far less cluttering within the streetscene. Whilst the sub-station might be an infrastructure necessity, we urge the case officer to request further information from the applicant and to ensure mitigation against potential harm to the setting of listed buildings has been undertaken.

 

17/05360/ARNorthgate House Upper Borough Walls City Centre Bath

Display of 1 no. internally illuminated letters sign above entrance to Northgate House, 1 no. temporary PVC banner to be installed on the corners of Upper Borough Walls and A 3039, 1 no. letters sign on external wall between the first and second floors of Northgate House with 2 no. temporary PVC banners either side of this lettering and 1 no. projecting sign above current TK max sign, on Upper Borough Walls.

Object:  The Trust objects strongly to this application on the basis of materials, amount and illumination of signage. This is a prominent building within the heart of the WHS and conservation area and within the setting of multiple heritage assets including the highly significant Grade I Abbey and Guildhall. As such any signage in this location should be sensitive, high quality and bespoke. In this case the scheme proposed is intensely cluttering and devalues the streetscene.

  • Sign 1: we object to the materials of this sign though we accept the pin mounted lettering approach.  We suggest metal or timber lettering is more appropriate.  We are not comfortable with the internal LED illumination though accept that and as this entrance is down this side street some very subtle illumination may be warranted and will leave that to the case officers discretion.
  • Sign 2: this ugly utilitarian plastic banner is completely unacceptable as it clutters both the building facade and the street scene and gives a low quality appearance; this should be removed from the application.
  • Sign 3: we also object to this lettering due to materials and position as it clutters this facade and in any case we wonder how noticeable it would be given the shop front signage. We would welcome further thought on how quality signage is achieved on this elevation but in any case it should not be acrylic and should absolutely not be illuminated.
  • Sign 4: These banners are again entirely inappropriate and devalue both the streetscene and WHS and should be removed from the application.
  • Sign 5: We believe the TXmaxx sign to be explicitly unauthorised given that permission was refused under 13/00698/AR and we ask that Enforcement becomes involved in this case.  If a projecting sign is thought appropriate by the case officer then it should not be illuminated and it should be of appropriate materials.

The proposed signage would harm the special character of the streetscene within this part of the city, therefore harming the OUV of the WHS, it would neither preserve nor enhance the character and appearance of Conservation Area and would harm the setting of multiple heritage assets.  It is therefore contrary to Section 12 (Conserving and enhancing the historic environment) of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), policies B1, B2, B4, CP6 of the Core Strategy and policies CP6, D.1, D.2, D.4, HE1, D.8, D.9 of the Placemaking Plan. The applicant should be 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.

 

17/05388/LBA16 Raby Place Bathwick Bath

Erection of rear service wing with glazed infill extension following demolition of existing wing

Comment:  The Trust welcomes the idea of the simple contemporary glass infill as this often is a good way of preserving historic fabric whilst increasing floor space, and they tend to compliment architectural interest.  However in this case we have a concern regarding the loss of the multi-pane sash window (WG.02) as this is part of the legible special interest of this elevation and its loss would harm the asset’s significance; we recommend that this 6/6 window is retained as access to the upper floor of the glass section is already given through the new extension.  The window will be visible through the glass extension and its retention will retain the original historic appearance of the elevation. We have no concerns regarding the new Bath stone extension.

 

17/05449/FUL261 London Road East Batheaston

Erection of single storey rear extension and loft conversion with dormer window

Comment: The roof extensions to this dwelling constitute overdevelopment of the building, not only are they overly large and overtake the whole roofscape (particularly the rear dormer) but they considerably unbalance this attractive 1930’s semi- detached pair. We refer to Policy D.5 Building Design which directs additions to buildings to complement and enhance. We would recommend that the side dormer is removed from the scheme and the rear dormer reduced in size.

 

17/05109/LBA Anne Le Coz 26A Belvedere Lansdown Bath

External alterations for the repainting and repointing of stonework and restoration of wood plinth.

Comment:  The Trust welcomes the ambition to refurbish and improve the elevation of this listed building.  We query whether ‘scraping’ is a suitable method for Bath stone ashlar and whether a more conservation focused method should be adopted such as chemical peel, but obviously will leave this to expertise of the case officer. In addition we question whether the building should be painted again or whether a lime shelter coat would be more appropriate, though of course if the ashlar underneath the paint is in a poor condition then painting in a Bath stone colour in a breathable paint may be a better solution appearance wise.

 

17/05389/FUL61 Frome Road Odd Down Bath

Erection of detached two storey dwellinghouse in vacant land adjacent to 61 Frome Road

Comment: Whilst we are not against the principle of development, we would comment that the proposed solar panels to the front elevation would be harmful to the streetscene and we also question the use of uPVC which is not a sustainable material in terms of its manufacture or disposal and also has a low quality aesthetic which is at odds with the qualities of the WHS.

 

17/05427/FUL17 Queenwood Avenue Fairfield Park Bath

Conversion of loft with side dormer and rear flat roof dormer

Comment:  we question whether a better approach to this roof conversion could be via the extension of the ridge line to form a gable end, rather than a side dormer arrangement which is not generally seen on end of terrace Edwardian buildings and which is top heavy and over-dominant on the house. As it stands the proposals look to be over-development of the roofscape.

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