4 Barton Buildings, City Centre
4 Barton Buildings forms part of a Grade II* mid-18th century terrace situated within the core of the Bath conservation area and World Heritage Site. The application concerns an outbuilding to the rear that appears to historically form part of the G. Eyre & Sons Drapers on Milsom Street as indicated in the 1887-1902 Goad Insurance Plans. The outbuilding utilises a traditional material palette of Bath stone ashlar and slate roofing.
The proposed repair works and reuse of a poor condition outbuilding are welcomed by the Trust and would be of negligible visual impact to the conservation area. However, we highlight the proposed use of a “permeable clear sealer” on two of the walls to be left exposed. The Trust is generally opposed to the application of treatments that interfere with the permeable, breathable qualities of Bath stone. Sealants are typically designed to restrict moisture penetration, and can therefore be detrimental to the material qualities of Bath stone with unforeseen consequences. We therefore recommend that specific details of the proposed sealant are clarified with the case officer to ensure this is suitable for use on historic fabric. The Trust advocates for damp proofing measures that tackle the root issue of moisture ingress, rather than the symptoms.