4-5 Railway Place, City Centre
4-5 Railway Place is an unlisted, late 20th century office building situated within the core of the Bath conservation area and WHS. It is located opposite the Grade II* Bath Spa Station, and adjacent to numerous Grade II buildings including the Ralph Allen House, the Royal Hotel, Bayntun’s Bookshop, and the Argyle Hotel. Therefore, the impact on both the visual amenity value of the conservation area and setting of listed buildings must be considered with any proposed changes to this sensitively-situated site.
The Trust feels that the proposed changes to the external entrance area, with the removal of the boundary walls and gates, would positively open up the building and visually connect it into the public realm. Considering its proximity to popular, pedestrian areas such as Brunel Square, we would encourage the consideration of similar materials, layout, and form to better complement and harmonise with its existing social and aesthetic context, which would need to be detailed with the LPA.
We have some additional concerns regarding the proposed volume of lighting to the building’s south elevation. Bath is established as a low-level illuminated city, which strongly contributes to its distinctive evening and night-time character. We would therefore strongly recommend that any lighting incorporated into this scheme should be restricted to a minimum to better preserve the appearance and character of the conservation area, and the shared, sensitive setting of multiple listed buildings.