76 Walcot Street, City Centre
76 Walcot Street forms part of a Grade II terrace of 2-storey late 18th century buildings, now with commercial ground floors, situated in the Bath conservation area and World Heritage Site. It is located within Bath’s ‘Artisan Quarter’, a commercial high street of local and independent businesses that strongly contribute to the distinctive streetscape appearance and character of this area of the conservation area, and is suggested to be one of Bath’s oldest commercial streets.
Should this application be consented, we reiterate the need for the active retail ground floor to be retained and maintained as part of the proposed residential use. Policy CR3 of the Core Strategy and Placemaking Plan allows for a more varied non-A1 use within the Primary Shopping Frontage, Primary Shopping Areas, and the Town Centre, so long as “the focus of the centres remains retail (A1) focused”. There is some concern that the application as proposed would result in “a loss of retail floorspace of a scale harmful to the shopping function of the centre” with a proposed reduction of the A1 floorspace from 75% to 25%, contrary to Policy CR3; we trust this will be considered by the relevant officer with regards to the proposal’s impact on the future viability of the commercial premises.