Cedar Park Care Centre, 27 – 28 Oldfield Road, Oldfield Park, Bath
BPT previously responded to application 20/02818/LBA, with heritage concerns regarding the height, scale, and massing of the proposed replacement extension to the main Grade II buildings at 27-28 Oldfield Road. The proposed development was considered by BPT to be of detriment to the character and appearance of the conservation area, special architectural and historic interest of the listed building, and special qualities of the World Heritage Site.
Whilst we maintain our previous concerns with regards to this development, we recognise that listed building consent has since been granted. This application is in relation to the variation of a number of minor internal and external alterations to the proposed development.
We maintain some concerns regarding the proposed increase of the glazed link between the new extension and the original building to two storeys, and recommend that this linking point remains low in profile and appropriately recessive to minimise the perceived connection between the extension and the semi-detached, standalone form of the Grade II listed buildings.
In light of the Climate Emergency, BPT is supportive of the opportunity for the sensitive integration of PV panels, where this appropriately sustains and remains coherent with the special characteristics and appearance of the historic environment.
We therefore consider that installation on this modern roofscape would enable the integration of solar technology with very limited material or aesthetic impact on the appearance and associated special qualities of the listed buildings.
Due to the concave pitch of the extension’s butterfly roof, the panels would be set at a southerly angle whilst subsequently being largely screened from the listed building by the extension wall (although some limited views may be retained from the uppermost windows). Based on the visually verified montages produced under application 20/02818/LBA, it appears that there would be a negligible impact on wider townscape views (see View 3) where the panels would be mounted sufficiently flush with the roof surface to sit below the parapet line.
We recommend further details are provided regarding the panels’ proposed appearance and finish; the use of ‘frameless’, monochrome panels with a matt black finish are preferred, to minimise reflectivity and possible brightness of appearance and blend in with the existing roof covering. Panels should sit as flush with the existing roof slope as practicable, considering an appropriate balance between minimising visibility and ensuring the panels are performing at an appropriate level of energy efficiency.
However, considering the scale of the extension’s contemporary roofscape, we encourage that the number of PVs to be installed on the site to carefully considered to ensure that sufficient public benefit (and decarbonisation targets) can be demonstrated against any potential impact to the townscape or the setting of a pair of listed buildings. It is unclear as to why panels are focused on the western half of the south-facing roof slope instead of using the entire roof slope to maximise on-site energy generation. Whilst the opposite roof slope is angled at a northerly angle and therefore may be less efficient for solar generation, considering the shallowness of the roof pitch it may be worth further consideration as to whether some limited installation on this slope would also be feasible.
We also encourage the LPA to consider the proposals within the context of the energy hierarchy and the other energy efficiency measures that should be undertaken to the whole building ahead of energy generation.