Bathwick Hill Bridge, Bathwick Hill, Bathwick
Bathwick Hill Bridge is a Grade II road bridge constructed in 1810, situated within the Bathwick area of the Bath conservation area and World Heritage site. The application concerns the towpath ramp section to the east of the bridge which is considered as part of the listing designation for Bathwick Hill Bridge due to its age, curtilage position, and historic ancillary relationship and consequently shared aesthetic and historic significance.
The Trust is highly supportive of this remedial scheme to restore the ramp and enhance its public use. We feel that this application has suitably explored and respected particular features of interest, including the Blue Lias stone setts, and GWR handrails, and has formulated a scheme of works that will both reinstate and stabilise features of historic interest whilst improving the ramp’s accessibility through the insertion of a new non-slip path and a new handrail along the eastern side of the ramp.
We appreciate that the proposed works have retained as much historic fabric as possible, with the retention of removed Blue Lias setts for future repairs, and would encourage similar future applications to consider how best to conserve and retain historic fabric in situ whilst enabling necessary alterations for public benefit and use.
With regards to the proposed resin-bound gravel for the non-slip path, however, we would encourage a non-shine finish to be considered to ensure a recessive, neutral appearance.
We are pleased to see that the conservation officer has been consulted on a new handrail design, which we feel is suitably modest in both colour and design whilst being of a high-quality production and finish that positively utilises traditional railing detailing. However, considering there have been no specifications or drawings uploaded to the planning portal that detail repair works to the existing handrails, or the design of the new handrails, we would suggest that, should this application be consented, a specification of works and materials is included as a Condition.
BPT would therefore commend the sensitivity of the proposed scheme that both improves the safety and functionality of the towpath ramp whilst preserving and enhancing architectural or historic interest of a designated heritage asset. We would encourage that other applications dealing with publicly accessible spaces and places consider this combination of improved amenity whilst remaining sensitive to what makes a place historically, architecturally, or aesthetically significant either in its own right, or as part of the wider historic environment.