3 Bladud Buildings, City Centre, Bath
3 Bladud Buildings forms part of a section of Grade II mid-18th century terraced townhouses at 1-15 Bladud Buildings, situated within the Bath conservation area and World Heritage Site. It forms part of the adjoining approach to the Grade I Paragon, and cumulatively forms part of an architectural setpiece indicative of innovations in 18th century town planning utilising crescents and undulating terraces seen throughout the World Heritage Site. It additionally makes up a localised group of shopfronts and commercial units that broach the junction between Bath’s residential terraces to the north and north-east, and the southern approach to the city centre along Broad Street and George Street. The ground floor, although currently vacant, was previously in use as a retail unit with a 1900 projecting shopfront.
It is indicated that the property has been converted to studio flat use “c.2000”; whilst planning permission was granted in 1991 for the change of use of the first floor from offices to flats, there are no similar permissions publicly available that indicate a similar change of use to the upper floors. There is additionally no attached listed building consent for material alterations to the building associated with the subdivision of the floors into studio apartments. We therefore maintain that further details of these unauthorised works are required to assess the scale of impact on historic fabric and significance. Provision of floor plans as existing prior to the 2000 works would also enable a more helpful comparison with the proposed works as well as highlighting areas where stud linings and partitions have been inserted without permission.
BPT maintains that there is a need for appropriate residential accommodation within the city centre to meet a mix of needs, including graduates and young professionals. However, we continue to encourage the provision of quality housing which meets standards such as the national minimum space standards (eg. 37m2 for a 1-bed 1-storey dwelling) to ensure appropriate levels of amenity for future residents as well as a greater sustainability and flexibility of internal residential space to meet future demand. For instance, as a result of the pandemic there is now a greater demand for space from occupiers as a consequence of the increasing trend of remote working and more time spent at home. Whilst this application has not provided accompanying floor measurements, we therefore take this opportunity to reiterate the benefits of the provision of adequately spaced apartments and associated benefits to residential amenity, as well as to internal historic fabric due to reduced need for internal subdivisions.