4 Cheap Street, City Centre, Bath
4 Cheap Street forms part of a Grade II late 19th century section of terraced shops with upper floor accommodation, situated within the commercial core of the Bath conservation area and World Heritage Site. The wider terrace of 3-6 Cheap Street is defined by its homogenous, balanced Bath stone ashlar façade with an architrave surround on the central first floor sash window and original pilastered detailing on the commercial ground floor to delineate each building’s shopfront. 4 Cheap Street is situated directly adjacent to the Grade II late 18th century shop-fronted terrace at 15-20 Cheap Street and forms part of their contextual setting.
Works are proposed to replace the existing HVAC system across the rear elevation of the building, which is entirely enclosed by adjacent terraced buildings on all sides and is therefore largely concealed from public view. It is unclear as to whether the existing pipework is authorised, although there is a planning history of the addition of “ventilation piping” in 1976 and “retention of toilet and kitchen extract ductwork to rear elevation” in 1997. Where this pipework has not previously received listed building consent, it is considered that the existing structure would therefore not be a suitable precedent for a similar replacement.
However, where the principle of replacement is considered appropriate, we recommend that all pipework is finished in an appropriately recessive colour (eg. off-white, buff, ‘Bath stone’) to mitigate as far as is possible the appearance of what is a large and relatively incongruous structure against the Bath stone façade of the listed building.
Where the existing structure is being replaced, the new pipework should reuse fixing points in the stone to minimise further irreversible loss of historic fabric. Where new fixing points are required and suitably justified, we encourage that these are located within mortar joints to avoid drilling directly into the stonework and associated harm to the building.