7 Duke Street, City Centre, Bath
7 Duke Street forms part of a Grade I mid-18th century section of terrace at Nos. 6-11, situated within the core of the Bath City-Wide Conservation Area and World Heritage Site. It forms part of the interconnected setting of the Grade I terrace opposite at 3-5 Duke Street, as well as Georgian House on the north-west corner, and strongly contributes to a highly significant streetscape made up from a high density of Grade I terraces such as North Parade, South Parade, the Georgian House, and Pratt’s Hotel. Consequently, it is attributed high architectural and aesthetic group value in its location, within an area of high evidential value, encapsulating the original Georgian plan form as designed by John Wood the Elder.
We note that the application as submitted appears to be a resubmission of earlier application 19/04678/LBA, which was granted listed building consent, which BPT originally supported. Given that the scope of works as proposed remains largely similar to the earlier application, our previous assessment of the scheme and resulting comments therefore remain largely unchanged.
We are supportive of proposed remedial works to the outer roof slopes to replace the existing fibrous cement slates with a natural Spanish slate. Whilst we generally favour the use of a Welsh slate on a Grade I building, we continue to commend the removal of a materially unsympathetic roof finish and the reinstatement of a roof covering more in keeping with the traditional material construction and appearance of a listed building. Use of a natural slate is therefore considered to be an enhancement.
We further support the opportunity to install roof insulation to improve the thermal efficiency of the building, in light of the declared Climate Emergency.
The proposed cleaning and paint removal from the front-facing façade is supported where this would enhance the appearance of the listed building and conservation area, and improve the setting of the adjacent Grade I properties and their group value. The removal of paint would restore the whole building to its original, designed appearance and would be beneficial when viewed as part of its wider terraced setting.
In light of the Climate Emergency, BPT continues to encourage and support opportunities for retrofit and energy efficiency improvements, where this would be sensitive to the special interest of the listed building and its setting within the historic environment. We note that a precedent has already been established as part of application 19/04678/LBA for the replacement of the dormer windows with slimlite double glazed sash windows, as per BPT’s original recommendations.
The existing dormer windows are indicated to be modern additions and in a poor condition. Therefore, their replacement would result in no loss of historic fabric and would be an improvement to the appearance of the building. The proposed replacement units would be of a matching fenestration to the rest of the building. Where the replacement window units would be located at dormer level, the windows would be of restricted visibility from pavement level and would have a limited impact on the appearance of the principal façade. Any less than substantial harm would be outweighed by the associated public benefits of the improved thermal performance of the building and its contribution to B&NES Council’s net zero objectives.