33 Green Park Mews, Kingsmead, Bath
33 Green Park Mews forms one half of a pair of Grade II early 19th century coach houses, situated in the Bath conservation area and World Heritage Site. The wider setting of Green Park Mews is low-rise, providing a more utilitarian frontage backing onto the Grade II late 18th century residential terrace at Green Park, with a regular Bath stone ashlar frontage, two storey height, and twin hipped roof profile across a large portion of the mews. Both 33 and 34 Green Park Mews feature blind windows across the south elevation on both the ground and first floors. Historic England notes the inclusion of 33-34 Green Park Mews on the National List “as good surviving examples of coach houses in a row of otherwise altered ones”; the retention of their historic character and appearance is therefore of heightened significance due to their rarity within a mews which has otherwise undergone significant change.
Several applications have previously been withdrawn in 2003-2004 for similar works (see 03/00590/FUL and 04/03675/FUL & 04/03679/LBA), although details are not available on the planning portal.
We therefore oppose the proposed loss of the twin hipped roof profile which would visually unbalance a Grade II listed pair of historic coach houses and result in the loss of the historic roof structure and profile which remains visually prevalent across the mews. The introduction of a flat roof in this area would be incongruous and visually discordant within the established grain and form of the streetscape. We maintain the significance of the uninterrupted stretch of twin hipped roofs along the eastern section of the mews; the proposed roof works would therefore further erode the harmonious, historic material, form, and appearance of this mews and would neither preserve nor enhance the character or appearance of the conservation area.
The insertion of roof lights on the proposed north and south roof slopes would be visually inappropriate; we highlight other examples of rooflight installations across the mews that have been fitted to the east and west hipped roof slopes to appropriately mitigate visual harm. We recommend that any proposed rooflights on this building should be expected to meet the same standards.
From the proposed sections, it appears that the first floor would be brought down incrementally to enable for sufficient head clearance within the loft space, but this is not detailed within the D&A/Heritage Statement. It is unclear as to whether the existing floor structure is of historic significance to the original building. We therefore have concerns that the floor movement could result in further loss of historic fabric and potential surviving internal features which has not been appropriately documented, assessed, or justified within the context of the application.
The blind windows across the south elevation appear to be an intentional feature of the original, historic design and layout of the coach house, and similar examples can be seen at the neighbouring 34 Green Park Mews, potentially reflecting their service use. The opening up of the blind windows across the first floor would therefore constitute loss of historic fabric and harm to the special architectural and historic interest of a listed building.
This application would harm the special architectural and historic interest of a listed building through removal of its historic roof profile, would unbalance a rare pair of Grade II listed buildings, and would neither preserve nor enhance the appearance or character of the conservation area, contrary to the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990, Section 16 of the NPPF, and Policies B1, BD1, CP6, D1, D2 D3, and HE1 of the Core Strategy and Placemaking Plan and should therefore be refused or withdrawn.