5 Clarence Street, Walcot, Bath
5 Clarence Street forms part of a Grade II mid-19th century residential terrace, situated within the Bath conservation area and World Heritage Site. The terrace remains homogenous and well-balanced in appearance with a regular, two bay form and stepped elevations in Bath stone ashlar that follow the steep west-east slope down to London Road. This is somewhat offset by the narrower proportions and missing stone parapet on 7b, 8, and 9 Clarence Street, likely indicative of later infill or redevelopment. The terrace features a diverse mixture of window fenestration styles including a variation of single and multi-pane windows that have been added later; 5 Clarence Street is one of two properties that have retained 6-over-6 sash windows, and it has been indicated by the applicant that these are possibly original to the building.
In the light of the declared Climate Emergency, BPT is generally supportive of retrofit measures that protect elements that contribute to the special architectural and historic interest of a listed building; alterations are expected to be visually coherent with the special interest of the building and the wider character and appearance of the conservation area.
We are supportive of the principle of secondary glazing to improve the thermal performance of the building without compromising its historic features or any retained historic glazing. The proposed extent of installation across the entirety of the front and rear elevation would ensure that any visual impact to the appearance of the windows would be consistent. The use of secondary glazing is typically a lighter touch and consequently reversible measure with minimal intrusion to the retained windows.
However, we note that there is no further detail provided regarding the proposed type of secondary glazing that would be used, or its appearance in relation to the retained windows and the wider building. We strongly recommend that appropriately detailed sections are provided to illustrate aspects such as how the secondary glazing would be fitted and the proposed frame profile and thickness. Where possible, we encourage secondary glazing frames to sit in line with the main window frames to obscure them from external view.
Magnetically fitted secondary glazing can be an option that minimises visual impact due to being a much slimmer system fitted directly to the existing sashes, although the suitability of this type of secondary glazing is dependent on the proportion of the sash windows themselves.
We have some concerns regarding the proposed opening up of the rear lower ground floor to install a pair of French doors where this would likely result in the loss of original historic stonework from the external elevation. As yet, it is unclear as to whether the existing doorway has been the subject to later alteration, although earlier applications (see 06/04136/LBA) have highlighted the retention of original fireplaces at basement level as well as the original washroom structure including the “wash copper”. It may therefore be concluded that the basement floor has been retained with a limited amount of later interventions. Further assessment is therefore encouraged as to the impact of the new doors on historic fabric, to be appropriately weighed against demonstrated public benefit.