1-2 Fairhaven Cottages, Northend, Batheaston
1-2 Fairhaven Cottages are a pair of semi-detached, 19th century unlisted cottages, now merged into a single dwelling, situated within the Cotswolds AONB and Bath Green Belt, and forms part of the indicative landscape setting of the Batheaston conservation area. The dwellings’ south-eastern rear façade faces onto St Catherine’s Brook and the open countryside, and is clearly visible from Steway Lane from across St Catherine’s Valley.
Existing late 20th century extensions to the cottages’ original volume of 436m3 in 1947 have resulted in a total volume of 628m3 at an increase of 44%, contrary to recommendations made within B&NES’ ‘Existing Dwellings in the Green Belt’ SPD for extensions to dwellings within the Green Belt to be restricted to a volume increase of a third (30%) as adopted in 2008.
We therefore acknowledge the existing precedent for an extension footprint on the site, and the benefits of the proposed replacement of the PVC conservatory in longer landscape views. However, we would strongly recommend that the proposed extension remains restricted to the existing footprint, rather than the proposed increase to a total volume of 694m3 at an increase of 59%. We feel that a further increase to the scale and massing of the rear extension to envelope the entirety of the cottages’ south-eastern façade would constitute inappropriate development within the Green Belt without suitable demonstration of “very special circumstances”, contrary to section 13 of the NPPF, and Policies CP8 and GB3 of the Core Strategy and Placemaking Plan.