4 Dunsford Place, Bathwick, Bath
In response to the Climate Emergency, there is a welcome opportunity for the installation of PV panels in areas of limited historic or visual sensitivity, to appropriately mitigate potential resulting impact on the historic environment and its landscape setting, whilst contributing towards B&NES Council’s objectives to reach Net Zero by 2030.
The proposed panels would be situated on the flat roof of a late 20th century garage of low architectural or historic significance, set within the backland setting of the Grade II terrace at Dunsford Place. Due to the proposed elevated angle of the panels, these would be of some visibility from the rear service road, and potentially in private views from 4 Dunsford Place and neighbouring properties in the terrace. However, we highlight that the location of the panels would be set back from key public views through the conservation area (ie. street-facing elevations along Bathwick Hill). The service road is well-enclosed by surrounding development of a greater scale than the garage, therefore concealing the proposed panels from wider view. We note that the limited visibility resulting from the proposed pitch of the panel mount, and any associated impact, should be considered alongside ensuring the optimum efficiency of the panels themselves. We therefore conclude that within this context, the proposed development would result in less than substantial harm which would be outweighed by demonstrated public benefit.
Nonetheless, we strongly recommend that further details about the scale, appearance, and finish of the proposed panels are provided due to the amount of variety seen in different panel specifications. We emphasise our preference for ‘frameless’ panels with a matt black finish to minimise reflectivity and possible brightness of appearance and blend in as best as possible with the existing roof covering. Panels should sit as flush with the existing roof slope as practicable to prevent a visible ‘increase’ in roof ridge height.