- Application Number
- Application Date
- Closing Date
June & July 2017
Week 27 2017
13A Chatham Row City Centre Bath
Creating a patio on flat roof at rear of property and access door.
Object: In accordance with Section 12 of the NPPF alterations to listed buildings should be fully justified. As such the Trust was disappointed by the standard of this application which lacks any heritage impact assessment or contextual analysis. This suggests that the proposal is not fully researched and that the applicant has not understood the significance of the property and the impact of the plans. We would recommend that further evidence and justification is submitted in support of the application.
17/03010/LBA – 35 Henrietta Street Bathwick Bath
Replacement of plate glass timber sashes with Georgian timber sashes to front elevation.
Support: The Trust is pleased to support this well researched and presented application for the sensitive reinstatement of traditional six over six sash windows to the front elevation, which will enhance the appearance and historical and architectural significance of the listed building.
17/02944/FUL & 17/02945/LBA – 1 Chapel Row City Centre Bath
Internal and external alterations for the creation of a new dwelling including change of use from Use Class BA1 Offices to Use Class C3 dwelling.
Comment: We have appreciated being consulted by the applicant about this application and were pleased to offer our advice. Our response to this application is that we find the proposals broadly acceptable though we continue to voice a concern about the new doorway; the architrave is an unnecessary decoration and one that serves to give the door more prominence than a simple opening with a bracket and console above. Our view has always been that the doorway should not compete in any way with the existing pedimented entrance on that elevation. We are also uncomfortable with the ‘Pinch style’ ramped string course and question whether it needs to be carried on into the new section, or whether a more honest approach needs to be adopted for this feature (Pinch’s styling being the product of architectural influences of later phases in the 18th century).
Week 25 2017
17/02838/LBA – 29 Royal Crescent City Centre Bath
External alterations for the removal of concrete slabs over the basement area and replacement with traditional riven York Stone flags, complete with stone edges for drainage sumps.
Comment: Given that the original surface material was pennant, we would expect that pennant would be the most appropriate material to be reinstated in this location within the highly significant historic building.
17/02613/FUL – 21 Midford Road Odd Down Bath
Erection of a single storey rear extension with pitched roof and undercroft
Comment: Whilst we understand that planning applications can be expensive, the submitted drawings for this application are not sufficient to properly judge the scope or nature of the works or the appearance of the property post extension. We would suggest the applicant is advised to provide further information including photos.
17/02783/FUL– 23 Rosslyn Road Newbridge Bath
Erection of a two storey side and rear extension, following the removal of the existing rear extension and a garage/shed.
Comment: whilst we understand the applicant wishes to extend their home, the current proposal appears to constitute overdevelopment of the building which would be harmful to the character and appearance of the streetscape and to the attractive mid 20th century building. This relates directly to the second floor element of the side extension which appears awkward and ‘tacked on’. In addition timber boarding is not a material normally found in this suburban area, therefore it will be quite noticeable and visually intrusive upon the streetscape. The large ‘heavy’ boxlike rear extensions also bear no design references to the built context and whilst lightweight contemporary architecture is to be supported, the extent of departure from context in this case is somewhat uncomfortable.
17/02868/LBA – 4 Marlborough Buildings City Centre Bath
Replacement of existing timber framed windows and external door at basement level. Erection of metal canopy at basement level above existing door. Repainting & cleaning of stonework at basement level. Replace existing (failing) tanking / waterproofing membrane at basement level.
Comment: This application is confusing. In one part of the D & A the applicant states that the area for development is the rear of the building, and in the section relating to proposals, it is clear the front of the building at basement level is the proposed area for change. We find that there are not enough details to properly assess the appearance of the proposed canopy, nor any justification take from historical precedent. In addition there is no assessment of impact on the architectural value of the listed building in this quite significant change to the front elevation, even if in the basement courtyard area. If the canopy is supported by the case officer, we suggest it should be in leadwork not zinc. One further thought is that if areas of stone are to be repainted, the better option and therefore a conservation gain to outweigh any perceived harm from other interventions would for the paint to be removed by a specialist contractor to reveal the original stone.
17/02976/FUL & 17/02937/LBA – 23 Lambridge Place Lambridge Bath
Demolition of existing rear kitchen buildings and construction of new two storey extension
Object: The Trust does not normally comment on internal alterations but the extent of the proposed loss of fabric is concerning. The loss of 3 windows to doorways (and on the ground floor a case of a complete ‘knock through’) is harmful to the significance of the listed building via the associated loss of historic plan form and fabric. The proposed extension appears to constitute overdevelopment of the listed building, as it dominates and overbears the rear elevation; this is predominantly caused by the first floor element which could be designed to assimilate more comfortably with the host building and be more subservient, or removed from the application. Whilst we understand the applicants’ desire to extend their living space, this proposal as it stands has a harmful impact on the special interest of the listed building; the degree of which is not outweighed by conservation gains or public benefit.
The proposed scheme by virtue its scale and layout would neither preserve nor enhance the character and appearance of the listed building and would detract from the special qualities of the WHS. The scheme would be contrary to the Section 12 (Conserving and Enhancing the Historic Environment) of the NPPF, policies B1, B4, and CP6 of the B&NES Core Strategy and saved policies BH2 of the B&NES Local Plan. We would therefore recommend the application be withdrawn or refused.
17/02807/FUL – Dolce 3 New Bond Street Buildings New Bond Street City Centre
The change of use of retail (use class A1) to mixed use of cafe and hot food takeaway (use classes A3 and A5)
Comment: We are puzzled by this application; it appears that change of use for this building to A3 occurred 6 years ago when the unit opened. This is underpinned by the business offering internal seating and the currently unauthorised tables and chairs outside the promises. The loss of a shop use in a primary shopping frontage as per Policy S.5 (Local Plan) is not permitted and this was made clear in the 2011 application for tables and chairs (granted for one year only). This application appears to be intensification of a not exactly permitted cafe use on very small footprint in a primary shopping street. The proposed opening hours are also a cause for concern as it will be open, serving hot food until 11pm, which may well alter or fail to preserve the character of this sensitive historic area.
17/02790/LBA – Flat 4, 20 Portland Place, Lansdown, Bath
External alterations for the replacement of sash frames to the rear windows to the second floor flat
Support: The Trust are pleased to support this application for the reinstatement of the correctly detailed sash windows on the rear elevation, this will undoubtedly be a conservation gain for the listed building and will enhance its significance.
Week 24 2017
17/02636/FUL 17/02637/LBA – 9 – 10 Trim Street Bath
Change of use of 9 – 10 Trim Street from offices into 11no self-contained apartments and associated works
Object: BPT broadly appreciates the renovation of this historic building and its return to residential use. However there are two elements with which we are concerned, namely the roof terrace and the stairwell lift. While we appreciate that the roof is already railed and accessible, it clearly is not frequented at present, nor is particular evidence provided that it has been. Hence, although the proposed AOV and roof light may not make a greater visual impact than those currently in place, it is the use of the roof as a recreational terrace to which we object. This sets a precedent of cluttering Bath’s roofscape which we are not keen to encourage, given that the future use will likely entail tables, chairs and other equipment being set up there as well as an increase in activity. Moreover, as the Design and Access Statement notes (p. 21) that the property is one of the tallest in this part of Bath meaning the use of such a terrace will likely affect long views of the city, possibly in a negative way. As such we would expect a more thorough analysis of views and vistas to be provided in the Heritage Statement to justify this impact. Similarly there was little justification as to the impact of the proposed stairwell lift given that the grand staircase is identified as one of the key components of the building. Although stairwells appear a sensible place to install lifts in historic buildings and the present proposal offers minimal impact on the structural fabric, it will totally change the character of this grand early-nineteenth century interior space. We acknowledge however that there are public benefits associated with this scheme in terms of the building returning to active residential use.
The proposed scheme, by virtue of the roof terrace and the proposed lift, would harm the significance of the listed building, would neither preserve nor enhance the character and appearance of 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, 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, D2, and HE1 of the Placemaking Plan. We would therefore recommend that the application be amended or refused.
17/02663/FUL – Wyvern Cottage Lansdown Road Lansdown Bath
Demolition of the existing Wyvern Cottage, and erection of two dwellings and associated works
Comment: The Trust was uncomfortable about the design rationale behind this proposal. We felt the use of terraced structures effectively responded to the sloping site but that the aesthetic choices were confused and rather inconsistent. In particular the street façade of diminutive Georgian houses (which implies a compact, ordered interior) does not sit well with the sprawling contemporary volumes hidden on the slope below. We were also concerned that the proposal was overdeveloping the site and felt that fitting in two four-bedroom houses was excessive, especially in an area made up of detached houses in spacious gardens. Since the architectural locale is a wide range of styles of residential property with no crucial heritage assets to be affected, we feel the proposal has missed an opportunity for a more considered contemporary aesthetic which could imbue the area with a high standard of modern design.
17/02591/FUL – 143 Calton Road, Lyncombe, Bath
Erection of 2no townhouses following demolition of existing 1 bed apartment
Comment: BPT recognises that sites will need to be found for small builds to meet local housing need and that infill development is preferable to building on the green belt. However such schemes should show community engagement in the development process.
Given the elevated and highly visible position of the proposed development in relation to the World Heritage site we would comment that the application lacks a detailed level of analysis of the visual impact this development could have on long views to and from the site, and contextual street elevations in relation to the adjacent villa and the overall street scene. We are also concerned regarding the proposed large white upvc doors to the prominent north elevation. Of particular concern is the proposed use of render on the side and rear (technically city facing) elevations, which would be incongruous in the context of the character of the local conservation area and the palette of local materials, particularly so bearing in mind this building has been designed to match the larger villa which is built entirely in ashlar. We would strongly urge that Bath stone ashlar is used for the entire building. We would also suggest that perhaps the roofscape could be enlivened by the addition of chimneys.
17/02626/FUL- Turtle Bay Bath 11 Bridge Street City Centre
Change of use of pavement to form outdoor seating area with tables and chairs with the installation of a retractable awning and 3no umbrellas.
Comment: We appreciate the clarification regarding the change of use of this site but wish to repeat our regret at the privatisation of this area of public realm that was previously used by picnickers for some years. We assume Waitrose has allowed the land to be used in this way but we feel it is a shame that the courtyard has been overdeveloped and cluttered and now inhibits clear public access.
There should be more information in the application on the colour of proposed canvas umbrellas and awning, and there is no information on whether signage on the canvas is proposed, all of which could affect the nature of the additions and add to the overall sense of clutter. We urge the case officer to address our concerns if not already done so.
Week 23 2017
17/02325/FUL – 2 – 4 Henry Street City Centre Bath
Change of use of the first floor from Office (B1 to C4 HMO)
Comment: Whilst we understand the justification for the proposal for a change of use, we wonder whether the length of marketing time has been long enough or the justification robust enough? Our concern centres on the loss of yet more small office space in Bath in a fully sustainable location.
17/02585/LBA & 17/02690/AR – 13 Westgate Street City Centre Bath
External alterations for the display of 1no. Fascia board and 1no. hanging sign.
Object: The Trust objects to this application on the basis that the proposed colours and materials are inappropriate and that we now understand from BHW that the works have been done which is highly regrettable. The use of the strident yellow juxtaposed against the blue is garish and does nothing to enhance the appearance of the listed building. In addition we had understood the applied lettering to be wooden but it is now revealed to be an acrylic style material. The overall effect of this shop front is low quality and at odds with the Bath palette in both colour and lettering material. Additionally the external trough lighting can only serve to exacerbate the strident and intrusive nature of this fascia within the streetscene in the World Heritage Site.
The proposed scheme by virtue of its materials and colour would neither preserve nor enhance the significance of the listed building or 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 WHS. The scheme would be contrary to the Section 12 (Conserving and Enhancing the Historic Environment) of the NPPF, policies B2, B4, and CP6 of the B&NES Core Strategy and saved policies D4, BH1, BH2, BH6, BH19, BH22 of the B&NES Local Plan. We would therefore recommend the application be refused and the applicant requested to amend the shop as now current to a more appropriate appearance.
17/02557/FUL – 32 James Street West City Centre Bath
Erection of rear infill extension. Demolition and rebuilding of first floor existing rear extension. First floor back extension area increased by cantilevering new floor structure over side corridor and existing yard area. Replacement of front and upper rear windows with traditional 2 over 2 double glazed timber windows. Renewal of front and side doors.
Comment: The Trust has concerns regarding the proposals for this non-designated heritage asset. Firstly we do not support the use of timber cladding on the rear of a Georgian building in the city centre, a more suitable material would be Bath random rubblestone. Secondly the proposed 4/4 pane windows look odd and historically inaccurate; they should be 6/6 as per the cottage next door. Finally whilst we do not usually comment on internal alterations there does appear to be a significant loss of historic fabric with a triple ‘knock through’ on the ground floor. We would question whether the near total loss of the historic ground floor plan form can be weighed against any conservation or public benefits? We would recommend that at least some legibility is retained, perhaps via the retention of a doorway opening into the new rear extension rather than a whole wall being removed.
17/02311/FUL – Ensleigh Cottage Granville Road Lansdown Bath
Redevelopment of site involving the demolition of existing garage building and the erection of three apartments with undercroft parking and pool building
Object: The Trust objects to this development on the basis of insufficient detail and assessment of the impact of this scheme on the setting of the listed building and the landscape setting of the World Heritage Site. The applicant must be required to provide some form of heritage assessment to examine the relationship and impact of this scheme on Ensleigh House and its setting. In addition the applicant must provide a Landscape Visual Impact Assessment and contextual images to show the visibility and impact of this development on views from the south, as well as proper context elevations along Granville Road to show how the buildings sits within its context. The fact that cumulative development has already seriously harmed this once wooded and largely undeveloped green ridge (these ridges surrounding the city being a key feature within the OUV of the WHS) is an issue of great importance to the Trust and one which we have raised with senior planners at B&NES. Even without the necessary LVIA’s we believe this development will have a harmful impact on the surrounding landscape, AONB and Green Belt and we strongly assert that though harmful precedent has occurred, this does not mean that further harm should be permitted.
Aside from landscape considerations the scheme also constitutes overdevelopment of the site, with the apartment block and swimming pool complex overtaking and urbanising the plot. Even without the benefit of contextual elevations it appears certain that the scheme is too high and will intrude upon views to the ridge and the setting of the listed building. It will have an overbearing impact on the surrounding area.
The proposed scheme,by virtue of siting, height. massing and overdevelopment of the plot would be visually harmful to the visual amenities of the surrounding landscape setting, Green Belt and AONB, and would detract from the special qualities of the WHS. The scheme would be contrary to the Section 12 (Conserving and Enhancing the Historic Environment) of the NPPF, policies B1, B2, B4, and CP6 of the B&NES Core Strategy and saved policies GB.2, NE.1, NE.2, NE.3 of the B&NES Local Plan. It is also contrary to policies CP6, D.1, D.2, D.3, D.5, NE2, NE2A, CP8, GB1 of the Placemaking Plan. We would therefore recommend the application be withdrawn or refused.
Week 22 2017
17/02454/AR & 17/02453/FUL 24-25 Stall Street Bath
Installation of illuminated NatWest brand banking fascia signage up to first floor only, with new illuminated ATM surrounds and NatWest projecting signage.
Object: The Trust objects to this proposal on the grounds of the excessive signage proposed and its redevelopment of the existing retail unit. While the building is not listed it lies within the Bath conservation area and the World Heritage Site as well as falling on one of the city’s primary shopping streets. We regret the loss of the existing retail frontage which contributes to the character of the shopping area, such fronts the local plan desires to protect. The garish colouring and lighting proposed, especially to the ATMs, is at odds with this sensitive historic setting and would have a damaging impact on the surrounding streetscape. This is largely thanks to the harsh effect of blocking in three glazed panels with purple vinyl. Such signage is disproportionate and domineering in the display area. The installation of three ATMs is also excessive, spoiling the street frontage and introducing unnecessary extra lighting onto the already well-lit street.
The proposed scheme by virtue of its materials 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 WHS. The scheme would be contrary to the Section 12 (Conserving and Enhancing the Historic Environment) of the NPPF, policies B2, B4, and CP6 of the B&NES Core Strategy and saved policies D4, BH1, BH6, BH17 and BH19 of the B&NES Local Plan. We would therefore recommend the application be withdrawn or refused.
17/02492/FUL & 17/02493/LBA 10 Bathwick Hill Bathwick Bath
Internal and external works to include; Demolition of existing garage and modern rear extension, erection of a new two storey side extension including a garage, a new single-storey rear extension to provide an enlarged kitchen space and alteration of existing front window to match existing
Object: BPT was very concerned by various aspects of this proposal. The property not only lies within the World Heritage Site but is also a Grade II* listed building, largely thanks to the handsome rear elevation looking over the hill to the city. As such it is understood to be of considerable architectural importance and to play a role in adding to the special historic interest of Bath. For such an important building we would certainly expect justification for the proposed external and internal alterations usually in the form of a Heritage Statement and the absence of this from the application is unacceptable. It immediately suggests that the historic significance of the property has not been assessed or grasped by the applicants as does their lack of pre-application advice. We would also hope for work on such buildings to be carried out by a conservation accredited professional. In addition, the lack of a Design & Access Statement, scaled site plans and long distance views analysis make the impact of the developments impossible fully to assess in its site context.
As to the scheme itself, while we appreciate the sensitive selection of building materials, BPT feels that the new extensions constitute both overdevelopment of the site and a drastic change in the building’s character. Both detract from the balance of the original composition, especially on the rear façade, failing to appreciate its careful layout and massing. For this reason, the single-storey, north block proposed is inappropriate in its mimicking of the main house’s decorative style, creating a distinct imbalance to the tri-partite rear design laid out by the original architect. In both directly abutting and extending out from this it also spoils the view and effect of this handsome design by cluttering the northern side and losing the impression of a compact detached villa. This also applies to the southern extension which in particular spoils this character by appearing as an individual house in a terrace.
Earlier extensions, while also largely negative, are at least diminutive in character and remain subordinate in mass to the main body of the house. The present proposals are of considerably greater size and thus have a greater negative impact on the house’s historic character, totally ruining its sense of coherency as a distinct design. This is true to a lesser extent to the street front, which, although less carefully conceived, was clearly intended as a detached design. In connection, the increased mass of the proposals blocks the through-views to the National Trust fields behind from Bathwick Hill. While the rear of buildings are often expected to be seen less, in the case of No. 10 the rear façade is clearly the set piece of the design which can be admired from on and across the fields and be an impressive composition from which the owner can look out over the city.
The proposed scheme by virtue its poor application and excessive design proposals would neither preserve nor enhance the character and appearance of the listed building and would detract from the special qualities of the WHS. The scheme would be contrary to the Section 12 (Conserving and Enhancing the Historic Environment) of the NPPF, policies B2, B4, and CP6 of the B&NES Core Strategy and saved policies D4, BH1, BH2, BH4 and BH6 of the B&NES Local Plan. We would therefore recommend the application be withdrawn or refused.
17/02370/FUL – Tower Cottage Kelston Road Kelston Bath
Erection of two storey rear extension
BPT were concerned by the lack of historical background and justification in the application. Despite not having listed building status, the property is still of historic interest as an undesignated heritage asset and an assessment of the impact of the proposals would be expected, especially given the change of character which this proposal will bring about.
Week 21 2017
17/02156/LBA & 17/02155/FUL – 30 – 31 Stall Street City Centre Bath
Internal and external alterations for the conversion of upper floors to 4 residential units (2×1 bed, 1×2 bed and 1×3 bed flats) including minor reconfiguration of the retail use at ground floor together
Object: The Trust objects to this application on the basis of harm to the historic fabric of the listed building. We have no objection to the principle of development to create residential units and indeed support this element of the proposal. However we do not regard the fact that the buildings have been significantly altered over the years to be justification for further loss of historic fabric. We are uncomfortable with the proposed creation of the roof terrace as it appears to result in the removal of further historic fabric. Whilst it will not be seen from the public realm it can still be seen from higher vantage points in the city and will be a discordant addition which will contribute to the cumulative change in the character and grain of the city centre roofscape which may be perceived as harmful; it would be useful to understand whether the LPA has an ‘in principle’ position on roof terraces on – largely historic – city centre buildings as we see more of these being proposed.
Our primary concern is the proposal to provide a cement polymer render to the Beau Street elevation which is completely inappropriate treatment for Bath stone ashlar and will create more problems than it solves, resulting in stone decay as the stone will be unable to breathe. The 35mm thickness of this proposed render will also change the appearance and therefore the character of the listed building. We also do not support the squaring of the stone abutments as these help tell the story of the building and the street. Perhaps in the planning balance the applicant could consider restoring the visually awkward Beau Street ground floor windows to their original proportions as a conservation benefit to weigh against any perceived harm from other interventions.
The proposed scheme, by virtue the above elements of the proposals (roof terrace, cement render etc) would neither preserve nor enhance the special architectural interest of the listed building, nor the character and appearance of the conservation area and it would detract from the special qualities of the WHS. The scheme would be contrary to the Section 12 (Conserving and Enhancing the Historic Environment) of the NPPF, policies B1, B2, B4, and CP6 of the B&NES Core Strategy and saved policies BH2, BH6 of the B&NES Local Plan. We would therefore recommend the application be withdrawn or refused.
17/02200/AR – 9 Edgar Buildings City Centre Bath
Display of 2no. fascia signs
Comment: The Trust welcomes the traditional sign written approach proposed by the applicant however we are concerned regarding the colour of the shop front as (shown on the drawings) which is very bright and strident and therefore not appropriate within the World Heritage Site. As per the guidance in the Commercial Signage SPD, we could suggest a muted heritage colour in an eggshell finish should be agreed with the case officer.
17/02275/FUL & 17/02276/LBA – 114 – 116 Walcot Street Bath
Change of use of 1no retail unit, 2no offices, 2no two storey maisonettes and 1no flat into 1no retail unit, 2no three storey maisonettes, 2no three storey houses and 1no flat following demolition of existing 1988 two storey rear extension.
Internal and external alterations to refurbish and reconfigure existing townhouse to facilitate the change of use of 1no retail unit, 2no offices, 2no two storey maisonettes and 1no flat into 1no retail unit, 2no three storey maisonettes, 2no three storey houses and 1no flat following demolition of existing 1988 two storey rear extension
Comment: The Trust has carefully reviewed the plans for this scheme and we find the proposals broadly acceptable. The rear new build element appears to have been carefully thought out, and the building forms, massing and use of materials appears to respond well and comfortably to the character of its backland context whilst also delivering viability for the developer. We commend that applicant on a thorough and detailed Heritage and Design & Access Statement.
We have some concerns regarding the extent of works to the significant listed building, though without the benefit of a site visit our understanding of the full extent of the works is gathered only from the technical drawings. These concerns are:
- The lower ground floor kitchens in the old building appear to have no natural light. Whilst we tend not to comment on internal alterations, we do comment where we feel normal residential amenity is severely compromised. These vaulted spaces were originally service and storage areas, and do not convert well to habitable spaces. Whilst we understand the desire to squeeze the maximum income from this scheme, we question whether these historic areas should be developed in this way or if they are, whether they should have no natural light
- Similarly we question the proposed insertion into the shop area. We accept that the shop is more viable as a smaller space than existing but the insertion of staircase and washroom ‘pod’ within the historic shop area, and so close to the historic fireplaces strikes us as harmful overdevelopment of the asset and one which will neither retain nor enhance its significance. The NPPF is clear that aspects of an asset that contribute to its significance should be protected in a way that is proportionate to their contribution to the value of the building. The shop area and its frontage is a key part of the historic, aesthetic, evidential and even communal value of the building. We suggest that the ground and lower ground floor configuration is re-examined to understand whether a better solution that is less intrusive to the front portion of the shop can be achieved.
Whilst there will be good conservation benefits achieved through the refurbishment of the listed building, including sympathetic repairs and reinstatements, these benefits do not, we feel, totally outweigh the scale of intervention to the ground and lower ground floor.
17/02212/OUT – Ralph Allen School Claverton Down Road Claverton Down
Outline planning application to bring forward a comprehensive masterplan for the school site covering the next five years including the erection of 4 purpose-built facilities for a dining hall, drama studios, a theatre and a teaching block including associated landscaping and reconfiguration of the access layout
Comment: BPT welcomes this masterplan as a coherent and well conceived plan for the school’s development over the next 5 years and we commend the ambition of the school to improve facilities and their public realm. A primary concern regarding the application is the fact that it is hybrid, with full details being submitted for the Dining Hall and Drama Studio and outline for other parts of the site. We have an in-principle objection to hybrid applications on the basis that they can create confusion as to what is and is not being agreed, and if not properly conditioned, planning anomalies can occur. We recommend that the applicant is requested to submit the masterplan in outline, and then a separate shorter application detailing the reserved matters for the Dining Hall and Drama Studio.
That aside, BPT has reviewed the plans and we feel that broadly speaking the proposals are acceptable. The use of the west section of the site is logical though as the site is in the Green Belt and AONB we do regret that the site will become more developed, but recognise that imperative to provide the recommended space requirement for pupils. Our major consideration is the effect of these proposals on the openness of the Green Belt which surrounds site and with this mind we note with some concern that the building line will push out nearer the ridge with the building designated ‘maths and changing block’. We understand the need to have a changing block near the pitches but in this case is the nearby dense hedge the right landscape mitigation approach?
The mature trees and woodlands on the sites boundaries or in neighbouring properties protect the site and mitigate potential harm to the visual amenity of the Green Belt and the natural beauty of the AONB. As such it is vital that the landscape proposals for the site take every opportunity to augment and ensure the succession management of these mature boundary trees; also that finer details of planting and access/parking need further thought ahead of any permission. The all weather pitch is on the most exposed part of the site in the Green Belt and it is essential that there is a restriction on floodlighting.
In terms of materials we note that the larch cladding on recent new builds on the site has weathered very harmoniously to an appropriate grey and we commend the choice of this cladding for this partially rural location.
17/02264/FUL – Mawingo Granville Road Lansdown Bath
Demolition of existing dwelling and redevelopment for an apartment building comprising 9no. flats, associated works including car parking, amenity space and landscaping
Object: The Trust objects to this application in the strongest terms. The applicant must be required to provide Landscape Visual Impact Assessments and contextual images to show the visibility and impact of this development on views from the south, as well as proper context elevations from the Lansdown Road as it sits at a gateway location to the WHS. The fact that cumulative development has already seriously harmed this once wooded and largely undeveloped green ridge (these ridges surrounding the city being a key feature within the OUV of the WHS) is an issue of great importance to the Trust and one which we have raised with senior planners at B&NES. Even without the necessary LVIA’s we believe this development will have a harmful impact on the surrounding landscape, AONB and Green Belt and we strongly assert that though harmful precedent has occurred, this does not mean that further harm should be permitted.
Aside from landscape considerations this scheme is poorly designed, presenting a confused design aesthetic using jumbled architectural idioms and materials; the building appears to take little or no cues from surrounding development. It also constitutes overdevelopment of the site, with hard landscaping taking over the current large green garden and leaving very little amenity space. It will have an overbearing impact on the surrounding area. This scheme in all respects is not befitting the quality required for a World Heritage Site location.
The proposed scheme, by virtue of poor quality design, siting, massing and overdevelopment of the plot would be visually harmful to the visual amenities of the surrounding landscape setting, Green Belt and AONB, and would detract from the special qualities of the WHS. The scheme would be contrary to the Section 12 (Conserving and Enhancing the Historic Environment) of the NPPF, policies B1, B2, B4, and CP6 of the B&NES Core Strategy and saved policies GB.2, NE.1, NE.2, NE.3 of the B&NES Local Plan. It is also contrary to policies CP6, D.1, D.2, D.3, D.5, NE2, NE2A, CP8, GB1 of the Placemaking Plan. We would therefore recommend the application be withdrawn or refused.
17/02323/FUL – 25 Partis Way Lower Weston
Erection of single storey rear extension and loft conversion following demolition of existing outbuilding
Comment: Whilst precedent for dormers exists within this street, the Trust is concerned that this dormer is too large for the host building, appearing top heavy and therefore constituting overdevelopment. Local precedent shows dormers that have dropped ridges not extended ridges as this application proposes. The proposed dormer will be overly dominant in the street scene and visible locally from Penn Lea Road; we recommend that the applicant is requested to redesign the dormer to a smaller, dropped ridge addition.
17/02151/FUL – Altair Warminster Road Bathwick Bath
Proposed extensions, alterations and re-finishing of property
Comment: This application is difficult to review in that the drawings do not really give an impression of the building within its context; 3D views of the proposed dwelling, along with a street elevation would help in understanding how the proposed changes impact on the character and appearance of the conservation area and the street scene. The Trust has no objection to the use of contemporary materials but again a better set of colour images would give a more accurate picture of how the different materials relate with each other and to the host building and the local area, in particular the proposed extensive use of black geo brick and timber cladding, neither of which are normally found in the Bath palette. We would recommend that the applicant is requested, given the scale of the changes proposed and their potential visibility, to provide further detail and contextual drawings as above.
Gracie Barra 49 Upper Bloomfield Road Odd Down Bath BA2 2RY
17/02166/FUL – Change of use of Wansdyke Inn Public House (use class A4) to fitness centre (use class D2) (Resubmission)
17/02253/FUL – Change of use from residential apartment associated with a public house (A4) to an independent 5 no. bed house in multiple occupation (use class C4). (Regularisation)
17/02255/FUL – Change of use of storage area into 3 holiday lets
Object: The Trust objects to the applications related to the old Wansdyke Inn. In our opinion the applicant has shown lack of regard for the planning system. The loss of the public house and the change of use should have been subject to a viability assessment and consultation with the local community as it was a community asset. The provision of an HMO should likewise have been consulted upon in the usual way prior to its establishment. The HMO looks to be an example of where adequate residential amenity (i.e. communal areas) has been ignored in favour of maximum profit from bedrooms and the issue of car parking is clearly of concern to local residents. Similarly the building of 3 new units to the rear of the property has not been properly considered or justified, especially in relation to appearance within the streetscape or impact on local amenity. We are very concerned by this type of abuse of the system where the applicant has gone ahead without consideration of due process as to impact, potential harm or the right of the local community to be consulted.
17/01541/FUL – 181 Haycombe Drive Southdown Bath
Erection of 1no. two storey residential dwelling
Comment: The Trust is concerned regarding the impact that this proposed dwelling will have on the character of the local area and the established suburban grain. The estate was laid out in a garden suburb symmetrical fashion with long and/or large gardens and in particular the large triangular plots on North Way show a distinct planned pattern which remains legible and unchanged. The intrusion of a new building would impact upon this intentionally planned character and look incongruous. The detached house in an area characterised by semi-detached dwellings is also out of place. It appears crammed onto the plot and is generally harmful to the streetscape. Whilst there is an acknowledged pressure on housing in Bath, there are some cases where ‘garden grabbing’ is not appropriate and is harmful to the spirit and character of place and this is one such example.
17/02192/FUL – 18 Calton Gardens Lyncombe
Erection of fully glazed structure to enclose rear balcony at first floor level following removal of existing conservatory.
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 loss of the designed balcony and the increased glazing of the new structure 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.
17/02121/FUL – Street Record Abbey Church Yard City Centre
Use of site for temporary Christmas market for 18 days for three year permission for the following dates: Thursday 23rd November – Sunday 10th December 2017 and 18 days mid November to mid December in 2018 and 2019 with 174 retail units, 6 catering units and 7 mobile catering units and 1 temporary inside venue serving food and alcoholic beverages.
Object: The Trust does not understand why the area for chalets is so much larger than previous years when only a small uplift in chalet numbers is proposed. Our primary objection however is the harm to the iconic west front of the Abbey that will be caused by the section of chalets placed directly in front of it. Not only will this cause pedestrian issues but it will disrupt the use of the area for charity collections and school carol concerts usually held outside the Abbey doors, but it will most importantly intrude upon views of this highly significant west elevation at a seasonal and religious time when the Abbey is most used and admired. The market will present visual harm to multiple listed buildings, and we accept that this is temporary and outweighed by public benefit, but we feel that the Grade I Abbey should be allowed to remain highly visible and uncluttered at this time when the city is most busy and its forecourt should remain open and permeable.