Central Green, The Circus, City Centre
The proposed location of tree works is the central green of the Grade I mid-18th century circular development of terraced townhouses known as The Circus, situated within the Bath conservation area and World Heritage Site. The Circus forms part of one of Bath’s monumental residential constructions with intended sightlines to the Royal Crescent via Brock Street and down towards the city centre via Gay Street, and remains a grand example of the Georgian Town Planning and Georgian Architecture, attributes recognised as of Outstanding Universal Value to the World Heritage Site. The current focus of this application is on the central green, which features as a significant open space within an otherwise urban context. Whilst not contemporary to the original design of The Circus, it was established and funded by residents by 1801 and remains a clear indicator of the use and desired layout of The Circus by those who lived there, as well as sitting well against other examples of enclosed greens and garden spaces in Bath, such as St James’s Square and Queen Square. It is suggested that the five London Plane trees in the centre could date as early as 1820 and have since become significant and recognisable specimens with a positive, if somewhat over dominant, contribution to the green setting of a high value Grade I ensemble and the wider conservation area.
We acknowledge that a crown lift of 3m across the group could offer the opportunity to improve views across and out of The Circus. The trees currently obscure streetscape views across The Circus, and do somewhat interrupt the appreciation of the circular terrace as a whole, as well as views out into the wider city along Gay Street, and between grand residential terraces and crescents along Brock Street. Crowning works would therefore open up views below the main canopy whilst retaining the notable height and scale of the trees.
However, considering the significance of these trees as well-established, historic specimens interconnected with the residential narrative of The Circus, we maintain that great care is required when approaching and conducting any maintenance or alteration works. It is therefore vitally necessary for work to be undertaken by an expert contractor, and we strongly recommend that this is conditioned as part of any forthcoming consent.