33 Bathford Hill, Bathford, Bath
33 Bathford Hill is a Grade II late 18th – early 19th century semi-detached dwelling situated within the Bathford conservation area, the Green Belt, and the indicative setting of the World Heritage Site. It forms part of the indicative setting of the Grade II mid-18th century Bathford Bakery and the Grade II early 19th century Balnain Villa. The dwelling retains a symmetrical three bay frontage with a centralised porch and blind first floor window in Bath stone ashlar, set back from the roadside with a long front garden strip. Later additions to the front elevation are evident, most notably the later single storey lean-to kitchen extension which is the subject of this application, which interrupts the balanced symmetry of the designed principal elevation.
BPT previously commented on consented application 20/00843/LBA for the insertion of slimlite timber sash windows to the front of the property. We maintain that we are supportive of the sensitive retrofit of historic buildings as part of a ‘whole house’ approach in light of the ongoing Climate Emergency. We previously commented that the replacement of contemporary glazing with slimlite double-glazing, of an appropriate design and thickness, would be a positive addition that would improve the thermal efficiency of the building, and ensure the sustainability of its residential use.
We continue to emphasise that the suitability of energy-efficiency changes should be assessed on a case-by-case basis in relation to the special historic or architectural interest of a listed building and other measures implemented.
We consider the proposed, simplified single pane casement window design would be acceptable. The extension, by virtue of its garden setting and low profile, could be argued to read as a separate outbuilding rather than an unfortunate and materially attached addition to the front elevation. Therefore, the use of a differing fenestration pattern would further differentiate the extension from the main elevation of the building as a later, separate addition.
The application appears to propose the use of standardised double glazing. Whilst the extension is a later 20th century addition and therefore does not constitute historic fabric and is of no architectural merit, it does form part of the listed building and its indicative setting as viewed along Bathford Hill. We therefore strongly recommend that slimlite glazing is considered for the new windows to ensure a coherent appearance and finish, whilst minimising possible visual discordance through the heavier profile and ‘double reflection’ of standard double glazing. Whilst no measurements are provided as part of the proposed window details, we do have some concerns regarding the thickness of the proposed window frame; we feel a more slender frame would sit more sympathetically with the established fenestration style of the main building.