285 Kelston Road, Newbridge, Bath
The proposed location of development is within what appears to be the historic landscape setting of Beaulieu Lodge, a Grade II late 18th century detached house situated within the Bath World Heritage Site, Green Belt, and the Cotswolds AONB. It is situated along Kelston Road, a significant thoroughfare into the Bath conservation area and the city centre. The site has since become increasingly subdivided throughout the 20th century, and is now split between a number of residential dwellings with narrow strip garden plots that run counter to the steep north-south slope of the site towards the River Avon. The site remains significant in long-range landscape views; views are retained from Kelston Road out towards Newton St Loe, and significant views of the principal façade of Beaulieu Lodge form part of the landscape approach into Bath from the west along the A4. In these views, the stepped levels of residential development up the hillside are of increasing visibility, intersecting the otherwise undeveloped, wooded characteristics of the landscape in which the Lodge is an intentional historic feature.
As defined in paragraph 147 of the NPPF: “Inappropriate development is, by definition, harmful to the Green Belt and should not be approved except in very special circumstances.” The construction of any new building is therefore considered to be inappropriate development unless demonstrated to be an exception to this as defined in paragraph 149.
As this development proposes an entirely new residential dwelling, this would therefore automatically constitute inappropriate development within the Green Belt.
“Limited infilling or the partial or complete redevelopment of previously developed land, whether redundant or in continuing use (excluding temporary buildings)” would be considered an exception where it would “not have a greater impact on the openness of the Green Belt than the existing development.” Under application 16/03441/FUL, it is indicated that the site was previously developed, but the remains of development have since “become surrounded and partially covered by vegetation so has blended into the landscape. Therefore the site cannot be considered to be brownfield land.”
Furthermore, considering the high degree of visibility enjoyed across the site from the south, and well-traversed viewpoints such as the A4 coming into Bath, the proposed development would have a greater impact on the openness of the Green Belt than the existing development by introducing further built structures to the site and intensifying the residential appearance of an otherwise undeveloped and verdant hillside as part of the recognised landscape setting of the World Heritage Site.
We therefore maintain that this would continue to constitute inappropriate development within the Green Belt, contrary to Section 13 of the NPPF, and Policies CP8 and GB1 of the Core Strategy and Placemaking Plan. Applications 16/00078/FUL and 16/03441/FUL for similar proposals on this site have previously been refused as inappropriate development in the Green Belt, and we therefore maintain that these reasons for refusal are not addressed in this current application.