5 Prior Park Buildings, Widcombe, Bath
5 Prior Park Buildings forms part of a Grade II early 19th century terrace attributed to John Pinch, situated within the Bath conservation area and World Heritage Site. The terrace predominantly 3 ½ storeys in Bath stone ashlar, set symmetrically around a central tympanum. However, it is well set back from the roadside and largely concealed from view from Prior Park Road by an elevated band of mature trees and is accessed via two side lanes at Forefield Rise and Prior Park Cottages. The rear gardens of the terrace are now largely occupied with garages and outbuildings which are predominantly late 20th century and accessed via the rear lane as ancillary to the main domestic function of the terrace.
The proposed replacement garage would be more appropriate in its pitched roof profile and use of reclaimed Bath stone ashlar. Due to the east to west slope of the site, there are examples of two storey garage developments along the terrace that retain an appropriate single storey presence on the lane.
However, we note that the proposed internal west elevation of the garage would be significantly more ‘domestic’ in design, such as its use of sash windows and the activation of the ground floor with a door and window. In conjunction with the proposed hard landscaping of the garden, we have some concerns that there could be future pressure for the conversion of this ancillary building to a form of residential or holiday letting use with the resulting subdivision of the garden site of a listed building. We emphasise that this building should remain in an ancillary use connected with the main domestic function of 5 Prior Park Buildings, and any attempt to fragment the residential use of the site could establish a harmful precedent. We suggest that this should be a condition of any forthcoming consent.