Beechwood House, Prospect Road, Widcombe
Beechwood House is a Grade II detached Victorian house situated in the outer region of the Bath conservation area and World Heritage site. Due to its significantly rural location, its contribution to the Bath Green Belt and Cotswolds AONB needs careful consideration in relation to any development proposal.
After consideration of this application, BPT does not object to the principle of the application. We feel the smaller footprint of the proposed extension will positively reveal more of the building’s historic façade, and changes have been concentrated to the north-west face of the site which is well-screened to mitigate any potential visual impact.
However, the Trust feels that this application is inadequate for the formulation of a decision regarding the acceptability of the application. The Heritage Statement needs to show an understanding of the significance and special interest of Grade II Beechwood House; and provide enough information to weigh the harm to the listed building, such as a loss of historic fabric, against potential benefits. Therefore, in accordance with section 16 of the NPPF an improved Heritage Statement would need to be submitted before a fully-informed assessment of the scheme can be made.
Furthermore, we are concerned about the apparent conversion of windows on the north-west façade into doors to access the extension; this major loss of historic fabric is not detailed in either the Heritage Statement or D&A Statement, and requires suitable explanation to justify harm to a historic building in line with the Planning (Listed Building and Conservation Areas) Act 1990, section 16 of the NPPF, and Core Strategy and Placemaking Plan Policies B1, B4, CP6 and HE1.