15 -17 Trim Street, Bath
The Trust supports all efforts to make historic buildings more accessible and recognises that it is sometimes very difficult to achieve this without loss to original fabric. The Trust notes that this building, its front area and front steps have been much altered. Nevertheless the retained/restored façade and its restored railings has an uncluttered and attractive appearance in the street scene. The proposed lift mechanism would be an overtly mechanical object, and in this prominent position it would harm the appearance and the historic façade of this listed building. It would also partially block the relatively narrow pavement (which is a point of concern in principle) and it would be seen in longer views down this narrow street, which would harm the character and appearance of the Conservation Area. Given that the railings and steps are modern there is much more scope than normal in this case to achieve a better solution, indeed a more permanent solution. For example an inner ramp could be provided through a new gate in the railings, running along the inside of the railings. This solution would not only be better for the people with disabilities, who would be able to access via a ramp without the need to use an electronic hoist, but it would also then allow the pavement to be freely used by all members of the public, including disabled persons travelling along the street. The pre-app advice also makes other suggestions and the Heritage Statement does not explain why these better alternatives have been rejected. The Trust therefore urges a complete reconsideration of this proposal.