92 Rush Hill, Odd Down, Bath
The proposed site of development is the garden site of the existing three-bed dwelling at No. 92 Rush Hill, situated within the Bath World Heritage Site and the indicative townscape setting of the Bath Conservation Area. The building is indicated to be late-19th century and of a traditional appearance and character in rubble stone. It forms part of a built-up townscape context made up of predominantly late 19th and early 20th century residential development that follows the line of the road, although there are examples of infill development on former garden strips to the south (see Nos. 120, 120a, 118a).
With regard to the principle of development on this site, there may be capacity for further residential development where this would not have an adverse impact on local townscape character, or result in detriment to the amenities of the surrounding residential properties. Whilst there is already an existing precedent for end-of-garden development, the proposed development would be situated much closer to the existing residence at No. 92 due to the constraints of the site and would result in a tighter built grain across the site.
We have some initial concerns at this stage regarding the impact of development on the residential amenity of the existing occupiers at No. 92. The existing dwelling is a three-bed family home, the same residential capacity as the proposed new dwelling, but the footprint of development would separate No. 92 almost-entirely from its garden setting. A small square of garden space would appear to be retained for the use of No. 92, but sales particulars dated May 2018 indicate that the location of this proposed space is currently hard landscaped. No. 92 would therefore be largely surrounded by hard landscaping and surface parking, with insufficient access to private green space to meet the needs of existing or future occupiers. Development would result in the disproportionate subdivision of the site with adverse impact on the residential amenity of the existing dwelling, contrary to Policy D6 of the Core Strategy and Placemaking Plan.
The development would impinge on the RPA of a neighbouring tree, although this appears to have been remediated by the revised curved form of the building’s footprint in the proposed plans dated 31/08/2022. There may continue to be associated pressure on the tree and its root system, which can exceed its defined area of growth, due to the constrained qualities of the site, and we trust this will be appropriately considered by the arboricultural officer.
At present, BPT is unable to comment in full on the proposed design or appearance of the proposed development due to inconsistencies in the drawings provided. The proposed roof plan and footprint of the development as shown in the Proposed Plans does not match that shown in accompanying documents, such as the Biodiversity Net Gain Assessment or the Transport Statement. Where the proposed plans are indicated to be the latest iteration of the scheme (dated 31/08/2022), this therefore calls into question the accuracy of the supporting documentation when these appear to be based on an outdated model and layout of the development site. Furthermore, the proposed elevations do not appear to match the latest proposed plans; the stepped quality of the roofscape and the rectilinear emphasis of the building’s form seem to derive from the previous building footprint and layout, and fail to match up with the curved, sinuous form of the building as shown in the most recent proposed plans.
Because of the inaccuracy and inconsistency of the submitted drawings, an informed assessment or judgement cannot be made and it is not evident how the proposal would respect, respond, and positively contribute to local character or its wider townscape setting, contrary to Policy BD1 of the Core Strategy and Placemaking Plan. We therefore maintain that this application should be refused or withdrawn ahead of resubmission with new drawings, including revised supporting documentation that refer to the scheme as currently proposed (this is particularly relevant when looking at the Biodiversity Net Gain Assessment which has the driveway hardstanding mapped in the wrong location to the west of No. 92, and does not account for the full scope of hard landscaping across the site).