17 Cleeve Green, Twerton
17 Cleeve Green is an unlisted mid-20th century semi-detached dwelling situated within the World Heritage Site and the indicative townscape setting of the Bath conservation area. It forms part of the original Twerton Estate completed by 1951 planned on Garden City Principles and was one of multiple large-scale post-war housing developments within Bath. As a result, the estate is of a mid-density suburban character, with spacious private gardens and significant areas of public green space that facilitate pedestrian movement between houses. Whilst most residential gardens have been built upon to some extent to provide garages or sheds, these detached structures remain ancillary in function to their respective dwellings. The housing is of a regular, two storey appearance and size with clay pantiles and typically finished in white render.
Whilst outside the boundary of the conservation area, the Twerton Conservation Area Character Appraisal notes the “memorable urban form” and “spacious feel” created by lower density development set back from the road interspersed with greens and garden spaces as a result of the Garden City and “Homes for Heroes” movements.
We therefore cannot support this application due to the detrimental impact on the designed garden setting of the townscape. The increased density of residential development would be at odds with the layout, grain, and pattern of the area and would be of harm to its local value as an embodiment of post-war Garden City principles of design and social housing.
One of the fundamental principles of the Garden City model first developed in the late 19th century was the provision of generous green space, including public parks and open spaces, a surrounding belt of countryside to restrict urban sprawl, and high quality gardens. Whilst subject to detrimental late 20th century sprawl to the south-east, the carefully planned layout of Cleeve Green remains clearly visible with the insular retention of its green public spaces and mid-density semi-detached housing grain.
This application would consequently result in the significant, irreversible subdivision and subdivision of garden space at detriment to the cumulative townscape character and appearance of the area. The development would not function ancillary to the main dwelling and would instead be of an independent residential use; other limited garden development in the area such as the construction of garages should not be considered an appropriate precedent for this proposal.
We further oppose the principle of ‘garden-grabbing’. We feel that this form of development demonstrates an ignorance of the significance of setting to the value of the Bath character area and the indicative townscape setting of the conservation area. We feel this development would constitute an unwelcome precedent for the intensification of development in this area and establish the erosion of the spacious, green character and appearance of the Cleeve Green area, which has already been substantially affected by increased infill development to the south-east along Whiteway Road.
We maintain the proposal would result in a residential densification at odds with the designed, mid-density layout, pattern, and grain of this area of the character area, and would therefore be of detriment to Cleeve Green’s local historic significance. We find the principle of residential development on this site to be inappropriate.
This application is therefore contrary to Sections 11 and 12 of the NPPF and Policies B1, BD1, CP6, D1, D2, D3, D4, and D7 of the Core Strategy and Placemaking Plan and should be refused or withdrawn.