Beechen Cliff School , Kipling Avenue, Bear Flat, Bath, Bath And North East Somerset, BA2 4RE
The proposed site forms part of the grounds of Beechen Cliff School, situated within the Bath conservation area and World Heritage Site, just below Alexandra Park. The site remains legible as an open green space running alongside Greenway Lane; whilst part of the school premises, it remains accessible via public footpaths to the north and east. The shared rear façade of the Grade II terrace at Devonshire Buildings is visible to the north. The character of the streetscape in this area is of a looser density and semi-rural in use of materials (eg. Bath rubble stone), and use of hedgerow boundary planting. The tighter grain of Greenway Lane is opened up to the north by the open expanse of playing fields, with resulting visual significance as part of the established streetscape character.
We therefore maintain concerns regarding proposals for a "temporary" car park on this site, and resulting impact on the visual amenities of the conservation area. The intensified use and increased traffic presence on the site would result in a notable change in the appearance and character of the site and its semi-rural qualities.
There remains an insufficient level of detail regarding proposals. For instance, there is a lack of information regarding the proposed surfacing of the car park beyond a proposed “trackway” in the car park layout plan. The use of a hardstanding or hard surface would result in detriment to the otherwise openness and green qualities of the site; we would also question whether a hard-surfacing treatment would be compatible with the proposed temporary use of the site, although it is noted that no expiry date has been indicated as part of the proposed use.
Considering the proposed location of the car park on the south-west corner of the site, this would be set away from the school premises with potential further need for the creation of a pedestrian trackway to access the school; the established vehicular access to the school appears to be via Kipling Avenue and Shakespeare Avenue, with on-site parking concentrated to the north. We emphasise the need to demonstrate thorough justification for the proposed selection of this site, as well as further consideration as to the potential impact on the character and appearance of the area.