14 Trafalgar Road, Upper Weston, Bath
14 Trafalgar Road forms part of a Grade II group of early 19th century terraced dwellings at 14-18 Trafalgar Road, situated within the Bath Conservation Area and World Heritage Site. The dwelling forms part of the immediate grouped value of a high concentration of Grade II early 19th century buildings within the streetscape, including 1-4, 5, 6-8, 9, 11-13, and 28-31 Trafalgar Road, as well as the Countess of Huntingdon’s Chapel. No. 14 forms part of an architecturally-matching pair with no. 15, both of which are three storeys and finished in a coursed limestone rubble, a prominent building material utilised within the streetscape as well as more widely within the Upper Weston character area. The terrace then sharply drops in height to two storeys to the south. The proposed focus of works is to the built-up rear of the dwelling where a two storey extension appears to have been added by the mid- to late 19th century. The rear elevation is of some limited visibility from Lynfield Park to the east, predominantly from the private residential car park, but the significance of the building in these views is generally attributed to a localised view over the Upper Weston roofscape towards Kelston.
BPT is supportive of the opportunity to remove paint from the window reveals and areas of the rear elevation to reinstate the natural stone finish of a listed building. The removal of paint would restore the whole building to its original, designed appearance and would be beneficial when viewed as part of its wider terraced setting, with resulting enhancement to the Grade II terrace’s special architectural and historic interest. Other comparable dwellings where window reveals and detailing have otherwise remained free of paint include nos. 17-18, and we note the beneficial possibility of this scheme encouraging similar, future works for further paint removal across neighbouring properties.
We note the potential for issues with the stonework to be uncovered as part of paint removal works and trust that this will be repaired where appropriate and with the necessary consent.
It is noted that the render on the rear elevation at ground floor level would be retained and painted over in a Keim "breathable" mineral paint. The effectiveness of the use of a permeable paint finish is ultimately dependent on the existing render mix, which is indicated to be cementitious. Whilst the D&A Statement indicates that “internally, moisture levels in the walls appear to be stable”, we highlight that the use and retention of a cement render will have a long-term impact on the porous qualities of the underlying limestone. We appreciate the benefits of the repainting works to improve the render’s appearance, as well as noting the difficulties of removing cement-based renders without damaging the fabric underneath. Nonetheless, it is encouraged to consider how the render may best be mitigated in the future, eg. the opportunity for removal when the render layer starts to fail.
In response to the Climate Emergency, BPT is generally supportive of sensitive energy retrofit measures, where deemed appropriate, within the historic environment, as well as the sympathetic upgrade of listed housing stock to better meet modern standards of living. As such, we therefore note a positive opportunity for the sensitive implementation of energy efficiency retrofits and associated thermal improvements where this does not result in harm to, or the loss of, significant historic fabric.
It is proposed to replace four later windows (1900 onwards) with slimlite double glazed timber sash windows, where this would result in a negligible loss of historic fabric. Any less than substantial harm to the listed building would be outweighed by the benefits of improved thermal performance and reduced carbon emissions, enhancing the building’s current residential use as well as contributing towards B&NES’ net zero objectives. The original sash windows to the front and rear would be retained, repaired, and redecorated, with resulting heritage gains to the appearance and material integrity of a listed building.
There appears to be a slight error in the sash window profile details as submitted; whilst it has been indicated that slimlite sashes would be installed, the profile sheet indicates “4:12:4 units” (indicating a 12mm air gap between panes) which is typical of a more standard 20mm double glazed unit. We therefore recommend this aspect of the application is clarified to ensure the correct unit thickness is being proposed.