46 Sydney Buildings, Bathwick, Bath
46 Sydney Buildings forms part of a pair of Grade II semi-detached early 19th century dwellings situated within the Bath conservation area and World Heritage site, overlooking the boundary of the Bath and Bristol Green Belt and the Cotswolds AONB. It forms a streetscape of semi-detached pairs of Grade II dwellings following the road to the south, with some ‘glimpses’ of wider landscape views out to the west to the Georgian city. The building is designed as a balanced, symmetrical pair with its neighbour centrally divided by blind windows on the ground and first floors; this is an architectural device utilised across the front and rear elevations. There is some limited visibility of the southern side elevation from the pavement. The existing side extension is believed to be water closet dating to the late 19th century or later; however, the lower ground floor section could be contemporary to the original construction date of the building. This lower ground floor section would be retained as part of proposals.
BPT has responded to a series of refused applications for the replacement of the existing side extension as follows:
• 20/00889/LBA & 20/00888/FUL
• 21/00966/LBA & 21/01182/FUL
• 22/03705/LBA & 22/03706/FUL
Where the principle of the scheme remains the same – the proposed replacement of the ground floor segment of the existing side extension to create a larger extension and accommodate a refurbished ground floor bathroom – we reiterate that the principle of a new side extension is not opposed. However, any such extension should be complementary and recessive in its design and use of materials, with suitable justification provided regarding any possible loss of historic fabric or aesthetics.
Based on comparison with most recent application 22/03705/LBA, the overhang of the proposed ground floor extension have been omitted, and the overall depth of the extension reduced, and the height has been brought further down by 100mm. The revisions made to the scheme would further reduce the overall scale and massing of the extension, and No. 46’s semi-detached appearance and separation from 47-48 Sydney Buildings would be retained.
We note that to accommodate the proposals, the west wall of the lower ground floor side extension would be extended to align with the upper floor extension and would therefore necessitate some loss of historic fabric from the existing external west wall, although albeit indicated to be fabric of lesser significance to the building, being identified as a late 19th/early 20th century addition to the original building.
We welcome amendments to the proposed external treatment of the extension, in line with BPT’s previous comments, for the use of a more uniform rectangular slate pattern. We feel that the use of a more typical slate layout would better reference the existing roof treatment and finish of the area, as well as other examples of slate cladding in Bath, and would help to visually embed the extension within its historic material context.