Beacon Wood House, Rivers Road, Walcot
Beacon Wood House is a Grade II detached dwelling, originally late 18th century but refronted and enlarged by the mid-19th century, situated within the Bath conservation area and World Heritage Site. It is situated within its own extensive grounds to the north of Camden Road and contributes to the wooded slope views that forms the indicative landscape setting of the immediate Camden and Larkhall residential area, and the wider hillside setting of the World Heritage Site. The proposed site of development is located to the far south-east corner of the grounds which is currently occupied by a poor condition timber shed, and is the site of permitted application 20/02011/FUL for a swimming pool. It is bordered by a hedgerow to the south, along the other side of which runs a pedestrian path along the length of the grounds to Rivers Road.
Whilst the D&A Statement notes the proposed use of timber cladding for the structure, there remains some ambiguity regarding its proposed finish with regards to colour, staining, or weatherproofing treatments. Considering the proposed structure’s proximity to the footpath, we suggest that further details, particularly regarding the east elevation, are provided to the case officer to ensure a complementary finish with its setting. In particular, we note a dependence on boundary green screening to conceal the structure from both public view and views from the listed building. This greenery may become subject to extensive pruning or removal in future, and we therefore recommend that the details of the structure are finalised as part of this application to ensure it is of a “high architectural quality” (D&A Statement).
We additionally note the inclusion of separate facilities within this structure such as a shower and associated WC services. Considering the previous withdrawn proposal for a replacement ‘Coach House’ dwelling on this site (see 20/02967/FUL), a condition should be attached to any permit to ensure the proposed structure’s use remains ancillary to the main building.