15 Sion Hill, Lansdown
15 Sion Hill is a Grade II late Georgian townhouse situated within the Bath conservation area. The garden edge runs alongside the Cotswold Way, and is therefore a visually significant site within the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
The Trust approves the non-invasive, reversible installation of a bathroom within the attic through the use of surface-mounted piping and removable box partitions. We feel this will improve the functionality of the building without sacrificing historic fabric.
With regards to the garage extension, we feel that this offers a beneficial opportunity for a design that will enhance both its ancillary surroundings and the conservation area. We are not opposed to the use of contemporary design within this location, and agree that the garage site would be suitable for a high-quality development to improve the aesthetic and functional contribution of the existing 1970s structure.
However, we have some reservations regarding certain aspects of the design such as the asymmetrical shape and use of copper shingling which has no known precedent within Bath. BPT emphasises the high visibility of the site from the Cotswold Way and therefore the necessity for new development to respect and enhance its context. We would require more information on the proposed use of copper shingling and its visual finish, although we approve the use of a matte rather than reflective surface to ensure a more sympathetic aesthetic. Considering the regular, largely symmetrical style of the existing streetscape, the asymmetrical design of the extension will ultimately conflict with the Sion Hill’s prevailing character within the wider conservation area of Bath. We feel that the value of the garage’s setting, and the resulting impact of the new development, has not been fully recognised, and the extension could further draw on prominent historic architectural traits and materials used within the area to create a more harmonious and positive addition to the landscape.
Therefore, whilst BPT encourage the appropriate and sensitive use of contemporary design and materials within historically-sensitive areas, we request that the current design be carefully reconsidered with regards to its justification. The benefits of the development need to be demonstratively compared with the potential visual harm or conflict to the ancillary Grade II 15 Sion Hill or the wider conservation area in accordance with The Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990, section 16 of the NPPF, and Core Strategy and Placemaking Plan Policies B1, B4, BD1, D1-D5, HE1, and CP6.