Prior Approval request for the installation of 8 no. solar PV panels to the front and side of the property.
Our Response

47 Bloomfield Park is an unlisted late 20th century detached dwelling, situated within the Bath conservation area and World Heritage Site. The dwelling forms part of a late 20th century streetscape of a regular pattern and grain in reconstituted Bath stone, albeit with several surviving examples of late 19th century semi-detached properties and the prominence of Edwardian semi-detached dwellings concentrated to the south-west of Bloomfield Park. The Entry Hill, Perrymead and Prior Park Conservation Area Character Appraisal identify the late Victorian and Edwardian semi-detached housing along Bloomfield Park as unlisted buildings of merit, considered to be “handsomely detailed and with individual touches”. As such, these constitute a number of Non-Designated Heritage Assets (NDHAs) which form the setting of the proposed site of development.

BPT acknowledges an existing precedent for street-facing PV installation along Bloomfield Park at 51 Bloomfield Park, although there is no evidence for associated planning permission in this case.

The existing dwelling is of little architectural or material significance and therefore any visual impact should be considered in relation to the streetscape and the visual amenities of the conservation area, rather than localised harm to the appearance of a modern building.

We note that the street-facing elevations are more enclosed, whereas the north-western rear elevations are opened up to wider landscape views in which PV panels may be of greater visual impact.

We maintain that the suitability of PV and solar panels cannot be considered properly without further details about the scale, appearance, and finish of the proposed panels 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.

We maintain that solar panels on this building should not be considered an applicable precedent for other buildings in the area of greater identified historic interest and local merit, such as the examples of Victorian and Edwardian semi-detached housing. In these instances, consideration on a case-by-case basis should be undertaken.

Application Number: 22/00027/SOLPA
Application Date: 05/01/2022
Closing Date: 17/02/2022
Address: 47 Bloomfield Park, Bloomfield, Bath
Our Submission Status: Comment