1 Larkhall Place, Larkhall, Bath
1 Larkhall Place forms part of a Grade II late 18th century stepped terrace of townhouses within the Bath conservation area and World Heritage Site. It forms the indicative streetscape setting of the Grade II early 19th century townhouse at 12 Larkhall Place, originally a standalone villa before being amalgamated into the end of a late 19th century residential terrace to the east. The principal south elevation of the terrace is in Bath stone ashlar with tripartite sash windows, set back from the pedestrian access within strip garden plots. Consequently, the side and rear elevations feature more prominently as part of the streetscape, with the side elevation of 1 Larkhall Place enjoying an elevated visual position over the junction with St Saviour’s Road and acting as the main access to the property. The rear elevation along Larkhall Place is less formal with a mix of Bath stone ashlar and rubble stone, and a variety of boundary treatments that often encompass rear extensions and offshoots. This remains architecturally and evidentially significant as part of a narrative of change, indicating change as to the buildings’ function and how they were occupied.
In principle, BPT is supportive of sensitive sustainability retrofits, where deemed appropriate, within the historic environment. In light of the current Climate Emergency, we appreciate the urgency of reducing energy consumption and carbon production, as well as upgrading our existing historic housing stock to meet modern standards of living and thermal performance.
We maintain that the suitability of energy-efficient retrofits in relation to sustaining the special interest of a listed building and preserving and enhancing the wider appearance and character of the conservation area must be assessed on a case-by-case basis.
Where windows are of a non-historic origin in a listed building, we are generally favourable of their replacement with ‘heritage double glazing’ (slimlite) equivalents where deemed visually appropriate.
This offers a positive opportunity for the implementation of energy-efficient retrofits without the loss of historic fabric.
We are supportive of the replacement of inappropriate UPVC and metal windows with more traditional-style timber six-over-six sash windows, which would sit more sympathetically with the established historic window fenestration seen across the principal elevation of the terrace. We welcome the reintroduction of a traditional window profile across the building in its entirety and the resulting consistency and uniformity of appearance as part of the special architectural interest of the listed building.
However, we highlight that no further drawings or sections of the proposed slimlite glazing have been provided as part of this application. Given the high visibility of building as part of the elevated corner of the terrace, we feel it is this is critical that a high quality appearance harmonious with the traditional window profile of Bath’s Georgian terraces should be maintained. This can be achieved through the use of an appropriate style of glazing bar thickness and profile to ensure the timber frame isn’t overly heavy or blocky in appearance, and that the new windows will sit comfortably with the retained sash windows on the principal south elevation. We therefore recommend that sections of the proposed windows are submitted, with details including proposed glazing thickness and glazing bar thickness and profile, to enable the LPA to make a proper assessment regarding the overall visual character of the proposed windows and their impact on the special architectural and historic interest of the listed building.
In particular, it is important to get the window design and profile right with regards to the proposed installation of slimlite glazing on the third floor of the principal elevation to ensure this would sit comfortably with the existing tripartite timber sash windows.
We additionally have some concerns regarding the scale of the proposed picture window in the rear boundary wall. We are not opposed to the replacement of the existing window, but feel that the large expanse of glazing would be excessive in appearance and out of character with the more modest, traditionally articulated windows seen at street level. We therefore recommend consideration of a smaller design more in-keeping with the established terrace palette, including the use of timber glazing bars to better correspond with the rear elevation of the listed building.