Arlington House, Bath Street, City Centre
Arlington House is a complex of Grade I Georgian and unlisted 20th century buildings within the core of the Bath conservation area and World Heritage site. The focus of this application is on the unlisted portion of Arlington House facing Stall Street and Abbey Churchyard, directly adjacent to the Scheduled Ancient Monument of the Roman Baths. Constructed in 1959-1961, the new portion of Arlington House was designed in accordance with the neo-Classical architectural principles utilised by its pre-existing 18th century neighbour. Consequently, its current value is derived from its aesthetic similarity to the listed portion of Arlington House, and the continued high-quality replication of a Georgian façade to maintain the city centre’s distinct architectural and historic character.
In principle, BPT supports the provision of additional, much-needed residential space within the centre of Bath. We encourage the re-use of often neglected upper floors along the high street to sustainably provide well-connected and characterful residential, office, or commercial space.
We do not object to the insertion of dormer windows along the Stall Street elevation of the building. Due to the 20th century origin of the building, there will be no loss of historic fabric. We support the use of white-painted timber frame sash windows that are in-keeping with the established window design in both the listed and non-listed portions of the Arlington House complex, and their symmetrical orientation is in accordance with typical examples of Georgian fenestration.
However, we would advise against the use of conventional standard (not slim) profile double-glazing due to the building’s prominent location within the Bath conservation area, and its contribution to the setting of numerous listed buildings. Instead, we would recommend that slimline double-glazing is utilised. We have previously, successfully recommended the installation of slimline in this building complex (see application 19/04266/FUL); therefore, the use of slimline glazing throughout the rest of the building is advisable to maintain an aesthetic uniformity across the Stall Street and Bath Street façade and to match the appearance of glazing bar profiles prevalent throughout Bath.
We additionally feel that this application has missed numerous opportunities for the maximum use of this unlisted building. Due to the existing dormer window on the rear, western slope of the roof, we question why the application has not considered installing more dormer windows here to maximise the building’s access to natural light and ventilation. This would result in no loss of historic fabric, and a negligible impact on the streetscape due to its rear-facing position.
Furthermore, whilst we appreciate that the flat portion of the roof is proposed to be inserted with numerous rooflights for the benefit of future residents, the Trust feels that this area of the building could be suitable for the installation of PV panels, or other PV technologies such as solar fabric, to help provide cheap, low-carbon energy for the future residents of this development. Due to the roof’s low visibility from the streetscape and non-historic origin, this would be a positive opportunity for the implementation of renewables in response to the current Climate Emergency. We would ask that this measure is fully considered as part of the application before it is allowed to progress any further.