Flat 6, Grove House, 12 Pulteney Road, Bathwick, Bath
Grove House is a late 20th century unlisted detached block of flats, designed to appear as a single detached dwelling, situated within the Bath conservation area and World Heritage Site. The house is designed to emulate aspects of Victorian architecture in reference to the number of 19th century villa dwellings along Pulteney Road, utilising features such as a mock-mansard roof, bay windows at ground floor, and a largely symmetrical articulation of the principal street-facing façade. The building also materially reflects its built context in its use of Bath stone ashlar and timber joinery for the doors and single-pane sash windows across the front and side elevations. Whilst the building can be read as a later addition, its form and use of materials do help to better integrate the building with the established character and appearance of this area of the conservation area, and it remains an inconspicuous addition to the local streetscape.
The proposed works would be to the south elevation. Whilst of lesser prominence than the principal west elevation, it remains clearly visible in close to mid-range streetscape views, particularly on the southern approach along the A36.
We have strong concerns regarding the proposed introduction of uPVC windows within this building, which is typically an inappropriate non-traditional material that would not preserve or enhance the appearance or character of the conservation area. Whilst we acknowledge that the existing windows are described to be in poor condition and in need of repair, we maintain that the use of uPVC would be out of keeping with the traditional material palette of the building and its intentional reference to the character of the area. We discourage the use of varying materials across the building frontage where this may result in a discordance of appearance. Timber-effect uPVC often remains quite ‘plasticky’ and shiny in appearance and would weather differently to the rest of the building.
It isn’t clear if the proposed works would include a thermal upgrade of the existing windows, or if the existing windows are already double glazed? Pressure treated timber double glazed windows are preferable and have the same maintenance requirements and lifespan as UPVC. UPVC is also damaging more to the environment in terms of production and disposal.
We therefore maintain that the installation of uPVC windows would not preserve or enhance the character or appearance of the conservation area, contrary to the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990, Section 16 of the NPPF and Policies CP6, D1, D2, D3, and HE1 of the Core Strategy and Placemaking Plan.