281 Bloomfield Road, Bloomfield, Bath
281 Bloomfield Road is an unlisted mid-19th century semi-detached dwelling, situated within the Bath conservation area and World Heritage Site. The rear wing, now semi-detached neighbour 279 Bloomfield Road, appears to have formed an ancillary part of 281 Bloomfield Road in the 19th century, up until the early 20th century. 281 Bloomfield Road is a modest example of traditional construction with a 3 bay façade in Bath stone blockwork, set up immediately against the roadside behind a rubble stone boundary wall. It retains its historic form, frontage, and presence in the streetscape despite indications of later interventions to subdivide the rear wing into a separate dwelling and associated intensification of use. It reinforces the local material and ‘vernacular character of this area of the conservation area with a high concentration of semi-detached and terraced mid- to late 19th century dwellings in a mix of Bath stone ashlar and blockwork. Elevational treatments remain relatively simple and well-balanced, suggestive of their possible original use as workers’ cottages in association with neighbouring quarries.
We therefore maintain strong concerns regarding the proposed works to construct a porch across the principal façade. The porch is of a substantial scale at 1 ½ storeys in height and would therefore be a visually prominent and over-dominant addition to the principal elevation. The porch would additionally obscure details that are presumed to be original to the host building, such as the corniced stone overhang over the front door, which is seen in prevalent use across other buildings in the streetscape. The overhang also features a hand-painted historic house number. It is unclear as to whether the overhang would be retained within the porch structure or removed.
We note that there is an absence of material details supplied in relation to the proposed porch. The application form indicates the proposed use of a “Render finish to existing Rear Extension and Proposed First Floor Extension” but it is unclear as to whether the same finish would be applied to the porch. In this instance, the use of render on a prominent elevation would be visually jarring against the Bath stone and would not be considered appropriate.
The proposed porch would result in harm to the architectural form and appearance of a traditional cottage and as a result would fail to reinforce local distinctiveness or preserve or enhance the character or appearance of the conservation area. We therefore recommend that the proposed porch structure is omitted from proposals.