Flat 1, 16 Henrietta Street, Bathwick, Bath
16 Henrietta Street forms part of a Grade I Georgian terrace 6-19 Henrietta Street by Thomas Baldwin, situated within the Bath conservation area and World Heritage Site. It faces onto 20-35 Henrietta Street, which is also Grade I listed and contemporary in design and age, whilst backing onto the gardens of multiple, individually listed late Victorian terraced dwellings along Grove Street. As part of an “incomplete, truncated terrace”, it forms part of the unfinished, speculative Georgian development of the Pulteney Estate, and is therefore a significant evidential aspect of the Georgian Town Planning and Georgian Architecture OUV of the World Heritage Site. It possesses strong group value as part of a “monumental ensemble[s]” of interconnecting, grandly articulated terraces. The presence of front lightwells with access to the basement level across the terrace is a prevalent characteristic in Bath, and has been positively retained along Henrietta Street with attractive iron railings of a cohesive style.
Considering the Grade I nature of the building, BPT does not feel that the included Heritage Statement adequately describes the historic significance of the building, or assess the potential impact of changes to historic fabric. We additionally note that a D&A Statement appears to be missing from the planning portal, without which this application should not have been validated.
No elevations or annotated photographs have been provided to elaborate on the proposed installation of an outside security light. We additionally recommend that further design details are provided regarding the appearance of the light fitting.
In principle, we strongly discourage the proposed use of a cementitious tanking system within historic buildings. Whilst we appreciate the application of tanking would be constrained to a small area over the exterior door into the basement flat, the use of an impermeable, waterproofing slurry does not allow the permeable traditional building fabric to breathe or moisture to pass through; thus, moisture is displaced or trapped and frequently this can lead to problems elsewhere. In addition, these approaches have a short life span and are known to fail over the passage of time, but can result in irreversible damage to historic fabric when removed.
BPT strongly recommends that works should tackle the cause of damp rather than its symptoms; in this case, the suspended pavement enabling access to the ground floor may require repointing to prevent further moisture soaking through to the basement level.
We additionally do not support the painting of external Bath stone elevations. Historically, the elevations of Henrietta Street, including its basement, would have been left unpainted, and contribute towards the distinctive, honey-coloured vernacular character and appearance of the Bath conservation area and the OUV of the World Heritage Site. The painting of the basement elevation would obscure historic stonework and be of visual contrast with the upper storeys of the building. BPT notes that no details have been provided regarding the type of paint used; Paint applied to Bath stone should be breathable because impermeable paints can cause damp and decay to the stonework.
This application appears to be incomplete, and proposes inappropriate material alterations to a historic building without adequate justification contrary to the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990, Section 16 of the NPPF, and Polices B1, BD1, B4 CP6, D1, D2, D3, and HE1 of the Core Strategy and Placemaking Plan and should therefore be refused or withdrawn.