Bathampton Manor, Mill Lane, Bathampton, Bath
Bathampton Manor is a Grade II mid- to late 17th century manor house, since converted into a nursing home, situated just outside the boundary of the Bath City-Wide Conservation Area to the north, and the boundary of the Bathampton Conservation Area further to the south, and the indicative landscape setting of the Bath World Heritage Site. It is additionally located within the Green Belt. The building has since secured planning permission for change of use from a nursing home back to a single, self-contained dwelling (see 22/00592/LBA & 22/00591/FUL). Likely based on an even earlier late 16th century building, the manor house has been subject to series of extensions and alterations from the mid-18th century onward but largely retains its 1760 principle façade, albeit with the loss of the clock tower and cupola from the central roof ridge, which now clearly demarcates the historic ‘core’ of the building including the mid- to late 18th century western extension. The focus of proposed works is the modern conservatory extension which was added to the eastern gable end post-2006 (see 06/02608/LBA & 06/02609/FUL), on the site of what was formerly a 1 ½ storey side extension attributed to the 19th century, with the later addition of a conservatory to the south elevation. These had been removed prior to the 2006 works, post the 1938 sale of the property.
The existing conservatory extension is an evidently modern addition to the building; therefore, its demolition and replacement is considered acceptable in principle.
The existing conservatory is currently a positive addition to the building, where it reads as a ‘light touch’ and recessive addition due to the extensive use of glazing. It almost appears to retain a material separation from the principal building through the transparency of the glazed link with the main building.
In contrast, the proposed extension would be a much more solid addition to the main building and would obscure a larger amount of the eastern gable end than the extension already in situ, though we highlight benefits such as the opportunity for the relocation of the extension and increase its set-back from the principal southern elevation.
We therefore suggest that greater consideration could be given to the proposed design to ensure any addition is of a suitably complementary and subservient appearance. For instance, the proposed link with the main building, whilst of an unspecified material, appears to be of a solid construction and would be used for the installation of new rainwater goods, creating a rigid and permanent connection with the body of the historic building. There could be an opportunity to draw inspiration from the positive qualities of the existing conservatory to lighten the proposed design whilst also being more legible as a later addition to the building, such as through the use of a frameless glazed link.
In response to the Climate Emergency, BPT also highlights the significance of retaining and reusing existing buildings and structures where possible as a greener alternative, to make use of existing building materials and minimise the generation of construction waste and the loss of embodied carbon.