18 Alpine Gardens, Walcot
The proposed site of development is situated along Alpine Gardens within the Bath conservation area and World Heritage site. Whilst the area is largely characterised by 1970s residential development, the proposed application site is adjacent to Leopold Buildings, a Grade II series of Victorian terraces. The site additionally backs onto the Grade II Hedgemead Park, and therefore is a sensitive area due to its situation within the setting of multiple listed heritage assets.
BPT does not object to the principle of development on this site. We feel that there is an established gap within the streetscape that would be well-suited for a residential property of a suitable size and design.
We are pleased to see that the applicant has made amendments to the pre-application design following professional conservation guidance recommendations. The proposed property follows an established local vernacular, utilising traditional materials such as Bath stone ashlar and roof slates to better adhere to the existing historic aesthetic of the neighbouring terrace. The subservient height of the building and its recessive position back from the roadside minimises any potential visual impact on the setting of the listed building and the conservation area. The buffer space between the site of development and the Grade II Leopold Buildings prevents any negative visual intrusion into the architectural significance of the existing terrace.
However, the Trust would like to propose several small amendments to the existing proposal:
We feel that the size and design of the rooflight on the north-facing roof slope is out of keeping with its context and conservation area recommendations. We emphasise that smaller, conservation alternatives are required to prevent harm to the conservation area.
BPT additionally prefers the use of Bath stone ashlar over render. Whilst the sides of the property are less visible from the streetscape, the south-west elevation directly faces the boundary of the Grade II terrace, and therefore needs to utilise a suitable material.
We are also disappointed that the opportunity to incorporate micro-renewables into the site has been missed. Whilst the potential for PV panels on the southern roof slope is acknowledged in the SCC, no mention of PV panels is made in any elevations or floor plans, or the D&A Statement. We would therefore encourage this application to include integrated PV panels, although these should meet with the criteria of Policy SCR2 of the Core Strategy and Placemaking Plan; we advocate the use of non-reflective panels that sit flush with the roof profile to minimise their visual impact on the surrounding landscape.