41 High Street, Upper Weston, Bath
The Trust does not object to the principle of redeveloping this site however we do object to this application on the basis that the proposed building is excessive in height, scale and massing and fails to respond sensitively or appropriately to its immediate context, the conservation area and the setting of adjacent listed buildings. This is blatant overdevelopment of a plot coupled with bland and bleak design that takes no cues from its context. The importance of this site is underpinned but its key position on a main gateway location into the city and its location within an historic village centre. The development also fails to respect the special interest of the listed building adjacent and those nearby, being over-dominant in scale and height. Our further observations are as follows:
• The scheme should be lowered to become subservient to the listed building; this could be achieved by lowering the scheme by at least one storey and providing a pitched or articulated roof form; the use of a flat roof only serves to accentuate the dense hard brutal elevations of this building and exacerbate the sense of over-dominance in the streetscape.
• Materials should be entirely in keeping with the immediate surroundings; Bath stone ashlar and/or rubble stone with no render.
• We would urge the applicant to conduct a more thorough assessment of context and history of the site, including a map regression to understand the development of the corner plot and what may have been there historically, not to copy but to inform the design of a new building.
This is an interesting opportunity to improve this prominent site and to add a sensitively sized contemporary new building with both design interest and visual appeal; the current scheme fails to deliver these and therefore fails to preserve or compliment distinct local character. We would urge the case officer to instruct the applicant to literally ‘return to the drawing board’.
This proposal would harm the special interest of the adjacent listed building, would neither preserve nor enhance the character and appearance of the conservation area and fails to be of a sufficient design quality for a new building in the WHS. The scheme is contrary to the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 and fails to comply with Section 12 (Conserving and enhancing the historic environment) of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), policies; B1, B4 and CP6 of the B&NES Core Strategy and policies; DW1, CP6,D2, D3, D5, D7, B4 & HE1 of the B&NES Placemaking Plan. For this reason we object to this application and recommend that the scheme is refused.