61 Frome Road, Odd Down, Bath
The proposed site of development is located along Frome Road, situated within the Bath World Heritage Site and the indicative townscape context of the Bath City-wide Conservation Area. The site forms part of the historic core of what was known as Odd Down in the 19th century, situated at the junction between Frome Road and Bloomfield Road. A number of traditional buildings are retained in this area in a mix of Bath stone ashlar, stone blockwork, and rubble stone.
BPT previously objected to retrospective application 22/01783/VAR for the variation of condition 6 (materials) and condition 11 (plans list), to change the proposed external walling material from Bath stone ashlar to Bradstone, a brand of reconstituted stone. The application was subsequently refused on grounds that “The use of Bradstone is considered to materially diminish the quality of the originally approved development and will subsequently cause harm to the character and appearance of the site and street scene.”
It is noted that the works are currently ongoing and there is an enforcement case in relation to the site with regards to the use of materials in breach of the original planning permission. We have concerns regarding other works on the site, such as the unauthorised replacement of the northern retaining wall which was indicated to be retained as part of the permitted application, which are not addressed as part of this application.
The current proposal continues to propose the use of a reconstituted stone (now “Recon Bath Stone Ashlar”), and BPT therefore maintains its original objection as follows:
BPT is generally unsupportive of unauthorised works undertaken ahead of securing the appropriate planning permission as this risks harm to townscape character.
The proposed use of reconstituted stone across all elevations, including the principal street-facing elevation is potentially harmful to the character and local distinctiveness of the townscape. Reconstituted stone is not an acceptable alternative to Bath stone, as it does not suitably replicate the aesthetic or material qualities of natural Bath stone. Recon stone is typically an aesthetically bright material that is more resistant to natural weathering, and would therefore provide a sharp, jarring contrast against the natural Bath stone palette of a number of traditional buildings in the streetscape.
The proposed materials and finishes are contrary to Policies CP6, D1, D2, D3, D5, and HE1 of the Core Strategy and Placemaking Plan and should be refused or withdrawn, as per the previous variation application. We maintain a strong preference for natural Bath stone as previously proposed in application 17/05389/FUL.