Bath Spa Railway Station, Dorchester Street, City Centre, Bath
Bath Spa Station is a Grade II* mid-19th century railway building by Isambard Kingdom Brunel, forming part of the wider railway complex including the vaulted arches facing onto what is now Brunel Square, situated within the commercial core of the Bath conservation area and World Heritage Site. The street-facing elevation presents an asymmetric, Jacobethan façade in Bath stone ashlar, with Dutch gables and mullioned windows, with a slightly later projecting wing to the west in a yellow brick and a continuation of Jacobethan detailing in the use of mullioned windows. The train platforms have undergone a series of alterations from their original design, having been progressively widened and lengthened to cater to changes in train design and carriage numbers. The existing canopies were installed as part of the 1897 platform works, whereas Brunel’s original design included a single glazed canopy which over sailed the extent of both platforms and the tracks. The station forms a significant architectural pair with the Grade I Bristol Old Station (later subsumed into Bristol Temple Meads), also by Brunel, and was a formative part of the establishment of the Great Western Railway from 1835.
BPT is cautious of the addition of further clutter and resulting detriment to a grouped assemblage of Grade II* and Grade II railway infrastructure. We emphasise that fully evidenced justification of need and any associated public benefit are provided within this application, and appropriately weighed against any potential harm or impact to the special historic and architectural interest of a Grade II* listed building, and its wider grouped setting.
We recommend further information is provided regarding the material impact of proposals, such as how the “bespoke” bracket would be mounted to the canopy columns, and what type of fixings would be used. We further note that the Heritage Statement appears to show alternative designs for the use of freestanding screens by the ticket barriers; it is assumed that this design has been superseded by the brackets fixed to the canopy? As the freestanding design is more visually overbearing and cluttering, the bracketed alternative proposes a visually lighter solution, although this remains dependent on possible material harm resulting from fixings, and possible mitigation solutions. We trust that this will be clarified with the case officer.