- Application Number
- Application Date
- Closing Date
- 16 - 17 Walcot Buildings, Walcot, Bath
Internal and external alterations to include the part removal of the rear extension to number 16, infill the area between the two rear extensions, installation of solar panels to the roof of number 16; external alterations, including forming openings, replacement windows, and rebuilding the boundary wall; and internal alterations including forming openings, an en suite at ground floor, infilling openings, replacement windows and a new staircase.
BPT is supportive of sensitive sustainability retrofits, where deemed appropriate, within the historic environment. The proposed installation of PV panels on the inner roof slope would have a negligible visual impact on a listed building. However, we recommend that the design and finish proposed are compliant with Policy SCR2 of the Core Strategy and Placemaking Plan, and we continue to recommend a monochrome, matt finish.
We welcome the intention to create “display areas” on the ground floor to ensure a continued active window frontage as part of the shopfront character of a group of listed buildings. We acknowledge there is an established precedent for this type of shop frontage treatment along London Road.
However, we are disappointed that this scheme misses the opportunity to maintain and enhance an active commercial ground floor use within London Road’s local centre and would constitute part of the gradual erosion of the streetscape’s distinctive retail function and character. Examples of mixed-use residential and retail have previously been permitted at 2, 5, 7a-9, and 13 Walcot Buildings and may inform a more appropriate integration of residential change of use into the existing pattern and character of the centre in accordance with Policy CP12 of the Core Strategy and Placemaking Plan.
We have some concerns regarding the proposed extent of the loss of 19th century fabric, particularly to the rear of 16 Walcot Buildings where approximately half of the mid-19th century bakehouse would be lost which is still identified as of “moderate significance” within the D&A/Heritage Statement. Whilst we acknowledge the need for the provision of external amenity space for the long-term/family occupation of 16-17 Walcot Buildings, the proposals would result in the loss of a significant portion of later historic fabric and plan form. We maintain that great weight should be given to the asset’s conservation, and any harm should be appropriately justified or outweighed by the public benefits of the scheme, and strongly recommend that as much of the historic structure is retained as possible to sustain part of the special historic interest of a listed building. We continue to encourage the documentation of the bakehouse outbuilding ahead of any proposed works as a record of the structure’s important evidential contribution to 16 Walcot Building’s early commercial function.
We query the perceived ‘formalisation’ of the building rear with the addition of a zinc trellised covered veranda and store more indicative of the design of Bath’s grander Georgian facades. We suggest a more modest or lightweight treatment may sit more comfortably within the utilitarian historic and architectural context of the terrace rear and the comparatively simple articulation of the rear extensions.
We strongly recommend that any proposed works to the existing shopfronts are clarified at this stage to ensure a fully informed assessment of the potential impact to the principal frontage of multiple listed buildings.
We maintain that a consented change of use should attach a condition to ensure that the proposed residential use of the ground and lower ground floors is not for short term holiday lets, but rather for local residents.