8 Ainslie’s Belvedere, Lansdown, Bath
8 Ainslie’s Belvedere is a Grade II late 18th century terraced house, situated within the Bath conservation area and World Heritage Site. It forms part of a wider terrace of individually-listed Grade II dwellings largely contemporary in age (late 18th – early 19th century) but in a variety of elevational treatments and heights as viewed from both the front and rear. The rear of the terrace overlooks the Grade II late 19th century Hedgemead Park, with a single width road that terminates in a pedestrian access to the park, or to Upper Hedgemead Road to the west via a narrow stepped access. The streetscape along Caroline Place is predominantly characterised by its use of Bath stone ashlar and rubble stone boundary walls, some with gated access to the terrace’s rear gardens from the street, although there have been some less successful insertions such as the inclusion of timber and brushwood fencing.
We note that a previous application for a garage on this site was refused in 1999 (see 98/00128/LBA) on grounds of detriment to the character of the listed buildings along Ainslie’s Belvedere, and the character and appearance of the conservation area.
There is a garage located at the rear of 5 Ainslie’s Belvedere, but this does not appear to have a correlating planning application.
The boundary wall to 8 Ainslie’s Belvedere is described as having been largely rebuilt in the early 20th century, but appears to be of a material and appearance traditional to the area, and could be a rebuilt stretch of historic walling using its original materials. Due to its close proximity to 8 Ainslie’s Belvedere and interconnected, ancillary use in defining its historic eastern garden boundary, it can be considered to fall within the curtilage of the building’s Grade II listing and is consequently attributed a shared significance.
We have concerns regarding the proposed insertion of a garage in this location, and the resulting loss of a section of the boundary wall, and potentially historic fabric. We do not agree with the statement in the D&A Statement that “the remainder of the wall with its modern poorly detailed openings, rebuilt masonry and unsightly boarded fence makes at best a neutral contribution to the significance of this part of the Conservation Area”; the rubble stone wall is a feature coherent with the appearance and character of the conservation area, and is therefore a positive contributor to the cumulative appearance of the streetscape. We are therefore concerned that the proposed garage opening would result in the further erosion of the boundary wall with resulting detriment to the appearance and character of the conservation area.
There is a lack of information regarding the extent of land excavation works, or the potential need for further archaeological investigation considering the apparent depth of excavations and the historic extent of the eastern garden boundary. We encourage the case officer to request further information regarding this aspect of the proposal.