Broadview, 83 – 84 Gloucester Road, Lower Swainswick, Bath
83-84 Gloucester Road is a pair of Grade II early 19th century houses, formerly part of George’s Buildings, situated within the Bath conservation area and World Heritage Site. The pair of houses was in use as The Bladud Arms public house by the late 19th century up until planning permission was granted for change of use to a single dwelling in 2000. Whilst set up against the roadside, the building retains a strong north-south façade treatment indicative of the original, stepped position of the George’s Buildings terrace down the slope to the west.
BPT previously responded to application 22/03236/LBA for similar works, which was subsequently withdrawn. We are therefore pleased to see that the application as re-submitted includes revisions which address some of our previous comments, such as the omission of proposals to open the blind window at second floor level, and the replacement of the existing stone slabs in the courtyard with a tiled floor treatment.
There are continued proposals for the lifting of the slabs in the courtyard area to address ongoing damp issues; the applicant has indicated plans for the existing courtyard surface to be replaced with new paving or gravel. However, it is evident from the plans associated with the building’s change of use from a public house to a dwelling in 2000 that material alterations have been made in this area, including the demolition of a boundary wall to be replaced with the existing railings. The wall itself had already been subject to change with the addition of a “feature window”. It therefore may be concluded that the courtyard has already undergone a series of changes and there is an increasing likelihood that the slabs in situ are not original, though it does remain materially and aesthetically in keeping with the hard surfacing character and appearance of the conservation area. Further details of any replacement surfacing material would need to be provided to ensure an appropriate visual finish within the area.
It continues to be proposed that the failing render on the uppermost floor of the south-east elevation would be repaired and repainted in a limewash. BPT therefore reiterates its support of the opportunity for remedial works to what appears to be a failing render system which would have the dual benefits of enhancing the appearance of a listed building and also serving to prevent issues such as water ingress and associated deterioration of historic fabric. We continue to express a preference for the removal of the render, rather than the application of further layers over the top, as a more comprehensive means of repair that would facilitate any necessary repairs to the underlying stone, as well as improving natural ‘breathability’ where the existing render system may be cementitious in nature.
We welcome the addition of PV panels where these would be installed to the inner roof valley on the west wing of the building. The panels would be suitably concealed from public view and would have no impact on the special historic interest or appearance of a listed building.