Field Between City Farm And Cotswold View, The Hollow, Southdown

Erection of 9 dwellings with associated access, parking, drainage and landscaping.
Our Response

We have an in-principle objection to the development of this green hillside and therefore parcel of land. It has never been developed and forms part of an important green hillside that is specifically identified as making a significant contribution to the setting of the World Heritage Site; it is formally designated as a Green Hillside forming Prominent Features of the Landscape Setting in the World Heritage Site Setting SPD. Our particular concern centres on the concept of precedent and ‘site creep’ as development pressures increase over time. We feel that this site must remain sacrosanct in order to protect the hillside from incremental and cumulative harm as has been shown to occur on the Granville Road ridge.

Leaving the principle of development aside the scheme itself also has a number of issues; not least the fact that it fails to reflect and conform to the local townscape character which is largely characterised by semi-detached or detached dwellings in generous garden plots. The use of the terrace form is found in the 19th and early 20th century suburbs of Bath which generally exist closer to the city. The appearance of this terrace therefore appears incongruous and out of place within this spacious suburban context and it constitutes overdevelopment of the site which further exacerbates the issues relating to the visual impact of development on the protected qualities of the important green hillside. The use of recon stone and render is also of concern given the predominant building material within the area is natural Bath stone. We note that there appears to be solar panels on the roofscape which could also produce problems relating to glare and reflection in long views.

The proposed scheme would fail to preserve or enhance the character of the adjacent conservation area, and it would harm the special landscape qualities of the WHS, which is a heritage asset of the highest significance. The scheme would be contrary to Section 72 of the Planning (Listed Building and Conservation Areas) Act 1990, Sections 12 (Achieving well designed places) and 16 (Conserving and Enhancing the Historic Environment) of the NPPF, policies B1, B4, and CP6 of the B&NES Core Strategy and policies CP6, D2, D5, HE1, BD1, B.4, of the Placemaking Plan. We would therefore recommend the application be refused.

Application Number: 19/00786/FUL
Application Date: 25/02/2019
Closing Date: 09/04/2019
Address: Field Between City Farm And Cotswold View, The Hollow, Southdown
Our Submission Status: Object