484 Wellsway, Bath
(BPT’s submission dated 20/12/2022 was withdrawn and superseded by this revised response with corrections only relating to the age of the existing building.)
484 Wellsway is an unlisted detached dwelling, situated within the Bath World Heritage Site and the indicative townscape setting of the conservation area. It was constructed post-2006 (see permitted application 06/02836/FUL). The area is characterised as mid- to high density with a mix of detached, semi-detached, and terraced dwellings. The streetscape is characterised by a mix of low-profile 2 – 2 ½ storey housing and shops in a mix of Bath stone ashlar, rubble stone, and reconstituted stone. The roofscape is predominantly hipped or pitched roofs in concrete tiles or slate; in places, it is evident that the roof space has been converted to residential use due to the insertion of dormer windows or rooflights, but the established roof profile remains otherwise unchanged.
This application refers to the neighbouring three-storey block of student flats as a precedent for the proposed loft conversion works. The block is uncharacteristic of the area in its height, flat roofed treatment, and mix of elevational materials including timber and standing seam zinc cladding. The block is built on the site of a former garage. Considering the scale, height, and massing of the student block, as well as its differing typology as a block of flats rather than a single residential dwelling, we do not consider this building to be a suitable design precedent that can be replicated elsewhere in this area. In response to the original application (see 13/04683/FUL), BPT highlighted that this design approach was uncharacteristic of the area and raised the following objection:
"The Trust is pleased to see the development of a brownfield site for residential use, and an attempt to alleviate the pressure on family housing in the city. We also commend the good cycle provision and the passive design intents of the scheme. However, we believe that this design constitutes overdevelopment of the Radway Service Station site. Although we appreciate the intention to restrict the building height to the neighbouring ridge line, the surrounding buildings are essentially two storeys with a pitched roof and adding a flat-roofed third floor adds considerably to the bulk compared with the surrounding terraces. The design as is proposed is overbearing and the massing too great which will have a detrimental effect on the visual amenity of the local street scene. It is possible that a pitched roof containing a smaller number of units on the third floor would be acceptable, but not the current configuration."
The proposed flat roof extension at 484 Wellsway would therefore completely alter the roof profile of the building, and would be incongruous with the established character and appearance of the townscape and its localised roofscape profile. The bulk of the building would be substantially increased in contrast with the neighbouring terrace and would be overbearing in scale. The use of timber cladding applied over the street-facing windows proposed at second floor level would result in a deadened elevation with a lack of definition or articulation which could be improved through the use of unobscured windows.
We maintain that a building extension of this type would have the potential to set a harmful precedent for the local area.
Proposals would therefore fail to reinforce local distinctiveness and would be of detriment to the visual amenities of the townscape, contrary to Policies BD1, CP6, D1, D2, D3, and D5 of the Core Strategy and Placemaking Plan and should therefore be refused or withdrawn.