31 James Street West, City Centre
31 James Street West is a Grade II Victorian terrace within the Bath conservation area and World Heritage site. It is situated adjacent to the Grade II Green Park Railway Station, a Victorian train station now repurposed as an undercover market; therefore, the external changes to the front façade of the building will need to be considered in conjunction to the setting of other listed assets in this region of the conservation area.
BPT strongly supports the reinstatement of railings to the boundary wall of the building, as this will restore an original historic aesthetic that will improve the appearance of a listed building. We emphasise the need to reuse the existing stone coping, and would recommend filling the coping holes with lead rather than cement to ensure a high-quality frontage. It would be beneficial for the proposed iron railing design to be included within the application to better inform the Trust’s assessment of this proposal.
Similarly, we support the principle of installing an external lift to enhance the accessibility of the building, as long as a discreet and high-quality design is utilised to minimise any aesthetic detriment to a listed building and the conservation area’s context. We encourage a design that adheres to positive precedents established within Bath’s historic core; however, we would require specific design specifications to be publicly submitted to enable a fully informed assessment of the scheme.
However, we feel it is a shame that this application requires the removal of the rear extensions. The Heritage Statement states that the extensions are likely contemporary to the construction of the building, and therefore constitute part of the historic fabric of a listed building. Therefore, we feel that removal based on poor condition is an inadequate justification, and would like to see a design that better incorporates the existing rear structures in accordance with the Planning (Listed Building and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 and section 16 of the NPPF.