1 Milsom Street, City Centre, Bath
1 Milsom Street forms part of a cluster of Grade II late 19th century terraced buildings with retail units at ground floor level, including 2-6 Quiet Street, situated within the commercial core of the Bath conservation area and World Heritage Site. Designed by C.E. Davis, the terrace presents a homogenous frontage along Quiet Street with an elaborate decorative treatment of sunken panels and moulded window architraves across the first, second, and third floors. This distinctive treatment is most notable across the corner frontage of 1 Milsom Street where this wraps around and intersects with the mid-18th century streetscape running north-south into the historic city centre. 1 Milsom Street is however indicated to be of mid-18th origin and part of the cohesive Milsom Street development, later subject to substantial external remodelling works as part of the later redevelopment of Quiet Street. The existing ground floor shopfront is indicated to be “late 20th century inserts” (Historic England) with a separate ground floor access to the upper floor space, currently indicated to be in “ancillary” Class E use, albeit vacant.
There is an existing planning permission, now lapsed, for the conversion of the upper floors from Class A1 to create three C3 residential units (see 18/04009/LBA).
We note that the existing floor plans appear to indicate the existing use of the upper three floors as a single three-bed residential unit despite the maintained use Class E across the entirety of the building.
In light of the declared Climate Emergency, BPT is supportive of sensitive sustainability retrofits, where deemed appropriate, within the historic environment, as well as the sympathetic upgrade of traditional and listed housing stock to better meet modern standards of living.
We are therefore supportive of the installation of secondary glazing to improve the thermal performance of the building whilst minimising possible harm to the special interest of the building. The existing use of single pane sash windows is indicative of the building’s late 19th century remodelling; whilst of limited significance to the building’s original 18th century construction and characteristics, they do contribute to the overall homogeneity of form and appearance along Quiet Street and may be considered possible examples of 19th century glazing. Secondary glazing would therefore be a reversible addition with very limited harm to historic fabric; the use of magnetic strip glazing would minimise possible loss of fabric through fixings and would have a negligible visual impact. The proposed glazing model would allow the sashes to open and therefore retain their existing function and capacity for natural ventilation. We therefore feel that this measure would be a positive, easily reversible addition to improve the energy efficiency and residential comfort of a historic building and ensure its long-term, sustainable use with a low visual impact.
We recommend that all window and door redecoration works should use a matte or eggshell finish, as opposed to the proposed use of gloss paint in the Works Schedule, to avoid an overly shiny or reflective finish. The selection of an off-white paint colour rather than a brilliant or pure white is further advised.