17 Church Road, Upper Weston, Bath
17 Church Road forms part of a Grade II terrace of early 19th century dwellings at 11-21 Church Road, situated within the Upper Weston character area of the Bath Conservation Area and World Heritage Site. The terrace forms part of a streetscape of mixed architectural character, incorporating a section of Grade II 1830-1840 terrace to the west, and a group of Grade II terraced and semi-detached dwellings at the junction between Church Road and Crown Hill. 11-21 Church Road is a modest two storey terrace finished in coursed rubble stone. The principal dwelling façade is two bays with a window per floor, offset by a door and porch to the left, although it is indicated that the porches along the terrace are likely later additions. The terrace remains largely homogenous in scale, appearance, and finish, with the exceptions of 20-21 which are slightly later recessed additions on the far south-east end of the terrace. Other variations also include the addition of a mixed fenestration style across the terrace including 6-over-6, 4-over-4, and 1-over-1, where these have been replaced or updated at a later date. In the case of the 1-over-1 sash windows at 17 Church Road, these are identified by the applicant as “modern and do not contribute to the significance of the listed building.”
It is further worth noting the secluded position of the terrace, set back on a side road away from the busier routes along Purlewent Drive and Crown Hill, and is also screened by adjacent buildings along Lucklands Road. Views of the terrace are therefore restricted to close-range ‘glimpsed’ views from Church Road, where the terrace is further screened by its north-westerly garden setting.
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.
Where the existing windows are indicated to be non-historic, the principle of replacement would therefore result in NO loss of historic fabric and would have a negligible impact on the special interest of a listed building. The suitability of replacement works to the front windows has already been established via previous listed building consent 07/02262/LBA.
We further welcome the opportunity to install slimlite double glazed units where this would improve the thermal efficiency of the windows, reducing heat loss and associated carbon emissions. The proposed sections indicate that the replacement units would be identical in profile and thickness to the existing windows, resulting in very limited change to the appearance and character of the listed building.
We are therefore supportive of the changes as proposed where this would ensure the continued sustainable occupation of a listed building whilst sustaining its special architectural and historic interest. Further identified benefits include the improved thermal comfort of residents and reduced heating costs, of particular relevance considering the ongoing cost of living crisis, as well as the broader contribution to B&NES Council’s net zero objectives. We do continue to recommend consideration of a ‘whole house’ approach to retrofit, considering a cohesive package of interrelated thermal improvements to ensure a more energy efficient performance.
BPT is very interested in working with the applicant to assess the performance of the windows before and after retrofit to create a ‘best practice’ case study. This application could help provide an invaluable opportunity to monitor the thermal and acoustic efficiency of the windows, before and after, whilst also observing any additional repercussions such as changes in humidity levels. This information could then be used to more accurately assess the suitability of slimlite installation in Bath’s historic building stock, and inform future upgrades of listed buildings.