1 Cambridge Place, Widcombe Hill, Widcombe, Bath
1 Cambridge Place forms one of a pair of Grade II early 19th century semi-detached dwellings situated in the Bath Conservation Area and World Heritage Site.
In response to the Climate Emergency, BPT is supportive of the principle of retrofit works to improve the energy efficiency and thermal performance of Bath’s existing building stock, where this does not result in adverse impact to the special interest of a listed building or the character and appearance of the conservation area. Alterations are expected to be visually coherent with the character of the building, and the wider shared character of the listed terrace and surrounding conservation area.
We are generally supportive of the installation of PV panels where this would not significantly compromise historic fabric or the distinctive character and appearance of the historic environment.
Where the proposed panels would be installed on the south-facing external roof slope, there are some concerns regarding the visibility of the panels as part of the principal façade of a listed building. In close-range views, the roof slope is entirely concealed by the parapet and as such, the panels would be obscured in pavement-level public views. There is some potential for limited panel visibility further east along Widcombe Hill, from which elevated views of the terrace can be experienced. Further visibility of the building’s roofscape as part of wider cityscape views from viewpoints such as Perrymead may also be considered in relation to its contribution to the group value of its setting and established material and visual character.
Therefore, we strongly recommend that further design details of the proposed panels are submitted as part of this application to ensure a non-intrusive appearance and finish in accordance with Policy SCR2 of the Core Strategy and Placemaking Plan. We suggest that PV panels should be monochrome with a matt finish to minimise reflectivity and associated sun glare, and should sit as flush with the roof slope as possible.
Where any harm is identified, we would conclude this would be limited and should be appropriately balanced against the demonstrated public benefits of the integration of microrenewables within the historic environment and the generation of low carbon energy, contributing towards the council’s net zero objectives.