92 London Road, West Lower Swainswick
92 London Road West is an unlisted residential dwelling alongside the main arterial route into Bath city centre. It is situated within the Bath conservation area and World Heritage site, and is included within B&NES’ 2018 Draft SPD on Locally Listed Heritage Assets as a positive example of vernacular design along London Road. Consequently, it is deemed to be a NDHA that positively contributes to Bath’s peripheral streetscape through its highly visible use of coursed rubble masonry and clay pantile roof tiles in both the central building and its single storey western extension.
Consequently, BPT would seek to resist proposed external alterations to a NDHA that will have a harmful visual impact on the Bath conservation area. We consider that the intended erection of additional extensions to the east and west of the central building will result in the loss of the readability of the building and its ancillary site as part of the original Batheaston Nursery complex. Part of the vernacular character and charm of the building is its varied appearance in which the layered history of changes and alterations to the property are visible both materially and cartographically as early as the late 19th century. Consequently, the application’s proposed changes would overwrite the visual narrative of the extant building, and enforce a singular, uniform appearance which would harm the historic and aesthetic significance of a NDHA and its ancillary infrastructure such as its north-facing boundary wall.
Furthermore, we feel that these changes would be of direct detriment to the existing special character and appearance of the Bath conservation area. The current varied roofline of the dwelling follows the natural line of the boundary wall, resulting in a building that appears low-density and ‘organic’ in its construction that does not overshadow the roadside. Consequently, the unification of the roofline through the erection of first floor extensions to the east and west of the central building will result in a dominant, high-mass façade that will overshadow the streetscape. Furthermore, this will result in the redefinition of the boundary wall height as an unbroken, solid buffer that will close off the visual interest of the streetscape.
Therefore, this application is of direct detriment to the appearance and interpretation of a NDHA, and neither preserves nor enhances the character and appearance of the Bath conservation area, with no suitable provision of justification or evidence for the need to expand the existing building. This application is therefore contrary to the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990, section 16 of the NPPF, and Policies B1, BD1, D1, D2, D4, D5, and HE1 of the Core Strategy and Placemaking Plan.