30A Lyncombe Hill, Lyncombe
30A Lyncombe Hill is a 1960s unlisted, single storey independent dwelling situated within the Bath conservation area and World Heritage site. It is situated immediately next to the end of the Grade II late Georgian terrace 32-44 Lyncombe Hill. Along its northern elevation, the dwelling is materially attached to the 1888 wing extension of the Grade II 1830 30 Abbey Lodge, a late Georgian villa in the Tudorbethan style. Whilst it is acknowledged that by merit of 30A Lyncombe Hill’s separate ownership, late 20th century construction, and lack of architectural or historic interest, the building does not fall under the Grade II status of 30 Abbey Lodge. However, due to the building’s material connection and immediate physical and visual presence within the setting of a Grade II listed heritage asset, the scale and design approach of the proposed replacement dwelling must be carefully considered in relation to its possible impact on 30 Abbey Lodge’s special architectural and historic interest.
BPT objected to a previous iteration of the scheme in 2018 (see 18/04240/FUL). We additionally commented on resubmitted applications 20/03069/FUL & 20/03118/LBA in support of the improved fenestration details and simplified elevational treatment, whilst continuing to highlight the awkward interaction of the proposed mansard roof with the 1886 wing extension and partial obscuration of windows in the south elevation.
Therefore, we maintain that the principle of development on this site is acceptable, subject to assessment of height, massing, and design, use of materials, and their associated impact on the listed building.
With regards to the unaltered design aspects of the application, we reiterate our previous comments as previously submitted to applications 20/03069/FUL & 20/03118/LBA as follows:
“We are pleased to see that our previous comments have been positively incorporated into a revised design. In particular, the retention of the round windows and the insertion of French doors more in keeping with the established fenestration style of the 1886 wing extension has significantly reduced proposed visual harm to a listed building. We note the drastic reduction of the windows and doors on the proposed east elevation, and although they do remain considerable in size, the use of plain glazing is less visually distracting than the previously proposed crittal-style fenestration.
“We further note the improvements made to the roof in the change of zinc to slate, although we would recommend that the proposed type of slate is confirmed with the planning officer as part of this application. The dormer windows have an improved setting visually ‘grounded’ behind the parapet rather than ‘floating’ mid-way up the roof.”
Whilst the retained proposal of a mansard roof would continue to partially obscure the south elevation of the 1886 wing, the revised reductions in roof height and width are a notable improvement to the scheme and would better reveal the southern elevation’s windows. No material harm or intervention is proposed to the windows. The increased gap created from the 1886 wing means the proposal can be better read as a separate dwelling in close range views, whilst remaining suitably recessive in scale and design and without significant architectural conflict.
The landscape of Lyncombe Hill is characterised by its large Georgian and Victorian dwellings set into the hillside, with semi-detached townhouses and terraces designed to look like individually positioned villas in their wooded landscape setting. The panoramic views from Widcombe to the east are characterised by a medium density of designed, ‘standalone’ development in Bath vernacular such as Bath stone. The area’s roofscape is of particular visual prominence, of a mix of hipped or M-shaped pitched natural slate roofs with some instances of mansard roofs such as 30 Abbey Lodge. As a result, the proposed addition of a slate mansard roof would be more in keeping with the area’s roofscape and material context, although the consequent increased height of the building would result in an increased visual prominence in landscape views and a potential for harm.
However, it appears that the landscape visuals provided are outdated and instead show the previous, refused roofline as proposed. We suggest this is therefore updated to highlight how the reduction in roof height and scale appears within its wider landscape context for the benefit of the case officer.