10 Church Street, Widcombe
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.
Initially, we would highlight the use of the phrase “retrospective” in the Proposed Elevations with regards to the replacement of the ground floor window on the front elevation, and the replacement of the bay window of the first floor in the rear elevation, despite no mention being made as to works having started in the Application Form. We would ask that this aspect of the scheme is clarified to ensure unconsented changes have not been made to a listed building.
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. However, we feel that further details regarding the existing and proposed glazing thickness should be submitted before this application progresses further to better assess any consequent changes in fenestration design.
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.