Charters 43 Upper Oldfield Park Oldfield Park
Object: Whilst we acknowledge that the number of buildings has been brought down from 5 to 4, the Trust continues to object to this scheme on the basis of the principle of development of this site. We note anomalies between different documents in the revised planning application, particularly as to the number of units being proposed.
Given that the applicant is bound by the duty to complete the landscape plan and planting as per the Condition attached to 14/04547/FUL, we believe that this should be followed through. The secession of the piece of garden to the rear of this large villa is unacceptable and the proposals amount to overdevelopment of the plot with jarring new buildings which will impact harmfully on both the local street scene and the conservation area. This area is characterised by large villas with spacious green garden settings, proportionate to the scale of residential development, and whilst there are rear garages and other ad hoc backland and mews structures, none take the form of a terrace of bland identical buildings which fails to respond to or reinforce its local context. There can be no comparison with the visual interest and homogeneity of the adjacent Edwardian terraces which are non-designated heritage assets and are worthy of inclusion in an impact assessment. In any case the loss of a green landscaped area which would provide the appropriate and much needed setting and counterfoil for the large villa is an important consideration; it is vital to maintain the character of the conservation area via the retention of local distinctive elements such as large garden plots.
Aside from the principle of development, it is clear that clarification is required regarding the use class of the dwellings. If the scheme is for units shared by unrelated people (students and keyworkers for example), then it will fail the Stage 1 HMO test and may well fail the Stage 2 test.
Therefore, not only has this scheme a number of fundamental flaws, not least the issue of principle of development itself, and the fact of overdevelopment, but it is also harmful to the conservation area in terms of its proposed design, massing, form and materials (particularly the dominance of zinc which would intrude incongruously upon the streetscene). It would also fail to provide sufficient residential amenity space for the occupants of number 43 Upper Oldfield Park and the residents of these new dwellings.
On the basis of overdevelopment of a garden plot that contributes to distinct local character, and the design and materials of the proposed buildings, this proposal would neither preserve nor enhance the character and appearance of the conservation area and therefore fails to sustain or enhance the special qualities of the World Heritage Site. The scheme is contrary to the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 and fails to comply with Section 16 (Conserving and enhancing the historic environment) of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), policies; B1, B4 and CP6 of the B&NES Core Strategy and policies; CP6, D2, D3, D5, D7, B4, ST7 & HE1 of the B&NES Placemaking Plan. For this reason we object to this application and recommend that the scheme is refused.