10 Church Street, Widcombe, Bath
10 Church Street forms part of a group of three Grade II late Georgian artisan houses within the Bath conservation area and World Heritage site. It remains a positive example of Georgian vernacular in its modest size and minimalist design, although the rear has been subject to numerous 20th century additions and alterations. It is additionally worth highlighting 10 Church Street’s particular aesthetic significance within the terrace due to its end position, and the presence of a painted street sign on the primary elevation in keeping with the style and placement of both incised and painted street signs throughout Bath.
We previously supported the consented planning application 20/01413/LBA.
From our assessment of this application, it does not appear that there have been any significant exterior changes made to the proposals of application 20/01413/LBA. We note that the proposed elevations provided reflect superseded proposals within application 20/01413/LBA as of 20/04/2020 (revised drawings were submitted on 16/06/2020 which were then consented).
We query why two separate LBAs appear to have been submitted for the same scope of works.
There are some uncertainties regarding the proposed scope of the proposals. It is proposed to fit Pilkington Spacia 6.2mm vacuum glazed windows on the first and second floors in the front elevation, but the ground floor window appears to be excluded from the proposed works. This is not reflected in the proposed elevations submitted in which the ground floor window is proposed “retrospective double glazing to be installed”. We suggest this is clarified and drawings revised to reflect the scope of works proposed.
We maintain our supportive comments in principle to the proposed retrofit of modern windows with vacuum glazing within a Grade II building. We include our previous comments in full as follows:
Considering the modern age of the existing windows, BPT is supportive of their replacement with slimline double glazed equivalents, and feels that there would be little visual impact to the Grade II terrace through the replacement of late 20th century float glass with a modern alternative. The use of vacuum glazing will ensure a fine finish with a high thermal performance, and is typically of a much slimmer profile than standard slimline glazing which would therefore require little change in fenestration thickness. We maintain that further details regarding the existing and proposed glazing bar thickness and profile should be submitted, especially for the most visually sensitive windows across the front elevation overlooking Church Street, before this application progresses further to better assess any consequent changes in fenestration design. The Delegated Report of 20/01413/LBA indicated that the proposed glazing could fit the existing window frames, and we feel it would be beneficial to clarify whether this application proposes to similarly reuse the existing window frames.
In particular, we feel that the installation of vacuum glass offers a valuable opportunity to assess the performance benefits of specialised double glazing within a historic building. In light of the current Climate Emergency, it is crucial to find an equilibrium between reduced CO2 emissions and the conservation of traditional building details and historic fabric. We would therefore encourage the applicant to contact us with regards to the potential of future monitoring works, should this application be consented, to provide data as to the windows’ thermal performance, changes in internal humidity levels, and their aesthetic suitability.
We would strongly encourage this application to be considered as an opportunity to trial the integration of a type of slimline glazing better suited to the visual sensitivity of Bath’s historic building stock, as well as ensuring the future sustainability of historic buildings as comfortable, modern-day homes whilst resulting in a less than substantial harm to a Grade II listed building.