179 Newbridge Hill, Newbridge, Bath
179 Newbridge Hill is an unlisted late 20th century detached dwelling situated within the Bath conservation area and World Heritage Site. It forms a neutral contribution into what is an architecturally and historically varied streetscape along Newbridge Hill; however, it does sit within the contextual setting of the Grade II late 18th century dwelling Valentine Villa, positioned immediately west of the proposed site of development. However, greater significance is attributed to the visibility of 179 Newbridge Hill to the south; due to its elevated northern position, it is exposed to expansive townscape and landscape views to the south and further south-west. In reference to the Newbridge area, the Bath City-Wide Character Appraisal (2005) states that “the sloping character of the area provides panoramic views to the developed slopes across the valley with Twerton Round Hill on the skyline, to the rolling countryside and River Avon valley to the south and west, or more immediately to the dominating Lansdown ridge.” There is additional limited public visibility of the rear roofscape from adjoining streets such as Newbridge Road. We therefore highlight the need to consider the impact of proposed works in relation to this identified landscape sensitivity.
We additionally acknowledge the existing presence of PV/solar panels on neighbouring properties including 177 and 173 Newbridge Hill. However, a mix of designs and finishes have been used in an irregular layout; the use of a panel style which contrasts with the roof finish and its neighbours results in a more visually intrusive addition which often stand out in wider views.
In light of the Climate Emergency, we are generally supportive of the opportunity for retrofit measures where these are coherent with the special characteristics and qualities of an area.
Whilst the principle of PV installation in this location is acceptable, we strongly maintain that care is taken to ensure that the proposed panels form a complementary addition to its roofscape to minimise detriment to townscape and landscape views across the Bath conservation area and World Heritage Site. We emphasise our preference for ‘frameless’ panels with a matt black finish to minimise reflectivity and possible brightness of appearance and blend in as best as possible with the existing roof covering. Panels should sit as flush with the existing roof slope as practicable to prevent a visible ‘increase’ in roof ridge height.