4 Park View, Upper Bristol Road, Lower Weston, Bath
4 Park View is an unlisted late 19th century terraced dwelling situated along Upper Bristol Road within the Bath conservation area and World Heritage Site. The building appears to have been nationally listed by 2006 (see 06/03014/LBA), possibly as part of the wider terrace but has since been delisted. The Victorian terrace forms a later infill between two earlier Grade II dwellings (previously detached and now forming part of the terraced streetscape), 1820s 1-2 Down House to the west, and 1790 Sterling House to the east. The terrace as a whole, whilst of a varied architectural and historic character, is consistent in its boundary treatment, with front gardens setting the terrace façade back from the roadside and either low stone walls or hedging to delineate private amenity space from the pavement. There are several examples of metal railings used in conjunction with a low stone wall; metal railings were fitted along 4 Park View’s boundary in 2006. The Victorian terrace segment is particularly consistent in the design and scale of its run of stone boundary walling and rounded gate posts.
The Brassmill Lane, Locksbrook and Western Riverside Character Appraisal identifies that “front gardens and boundary hedges/vegetation make a significant contribution to the streetscape along Upper Bristol Road and Newbridge Road, softening the impact of heavy traffic and continuous building lines close to or on the streets” and therefore are a recognised positive feature within the conservation area.
We therefore regret that this proposal would result in the loss of a section of boundary wall with resulting detriment to the homogeneity of a complete Victorian terrace and the appearance and character of the conservation area. This application would establish a precedent for further conversions of front gardens to driveways to meet increasing demand for off-street parking, with resulting erosion of the positive characteristics of the conservation area.
Whilst the terrace in its entirety is of a varied character, we emphasise the consistency in boundary treatment and the retention of front gardens as a buffer between dwellings and the road. Sterling House is an exception due to provision for an off-street parking space to the front, but we also note that due to the unusual scale of the plot, this has also enabled the retention of hedging and green planting and therefore maintained a semblance of ‘garden’ character.
We note Highways’ objection on grounds of the inadequate scale of the site to facilitate safe turning onto/off Upper Bristol Road, a major traffic thoroughfare into the city centre.
We suggest that other off-street parking options could be considered. We note the presence of the Army Reserve car park to the rear of the terrace, and query whether an easement could be negotiated.