Former Coach House To Rear Of 8 Edgar Buildings, St Andrew’s Terrace, City Centre, Bath
8 Edgar Mews is a former Coach House, loosely attributed to the late 18th – early 19th century, although refaced in the 20th century. It is situated within the Bath conservation area and World Heritage Site and consists of a twin-gabled frontage in Bath stone ashlar as part of a wider terrace of backland mews of a matching scale and profile, although the furthest section of mews to the west has been subject to more invasive alteration. As existing, the mews is of a light industrial character predominantly used as garages or for storage, in keeping with their historically utilitarian use in conjunction with the grander Grade II terraced townhouses at Edgar Buildings. Due to its shared historic and evidential relationship with the Grade II 8 Edgar Buildings and the retention of their closely interconnected setting and ownership, 8 Edgar Mews is considered to be curtilage Grade II listed.
BPT acknowledges the positive opportunity to bring a disused building back into sustainable, long-term use to provide much-needed accommodation within the city centre. Due to the lack of surviving historic fabric within the building envelope, the internal refurbishment of the building would constitute less than substantial harm outweighed by the benefits of the active reuse of the building and associated programme of ongoing maintenance and repair.
We are supportive of the more traditional treatment to the principal, publicly visible elevations to sustain the shared appearance and group value of the mews terrace, and the wider conservation area.
In light of the Climate Emergency, we welcome the proposal to retrofit of the existing casement windows in the north elevation with timber-framed double glazing in an equivalent style that matches the fenestration pattern along the mews. However, considering its curtilage Grade II status and its sensitive historic position within the conservation area and World Heritage Site, we seek to clarify whether standard double glazing, or a ‘slim’ profile double glazing is proposed, have a strong preference for the latter due to its reduced visual impact and compatibility with glazing bars of a slimmer profile. We strongly recommend that appropriate sections and details of the proposed windows are provided as part of this application.
We have some concerns regarding the interaction between the proposed rear extension and the rubble stone boundary wall shared with 7 Edgar Buildings. The extension as proposed in the visual montages would closely abut the boundary wall with no clearance for future access or maintenance. Considering the precedent this application would set for future rear extensions of a similar scale, it is possible that this wall would be entirely enclosed in future should 7 Edgar Mews be extended in a similar fashion. We therefore recommend that further details are provided regarding the current condition of the wall and plans for its ongoing maintenance and repair to ensure that this is retained as part of the curtilage setting of a Grade II building. Additional structural loading on this wall may lead to its deterioration or loss would not be considered appropriate.
Furthermore, we would also welcome clarification of further details relating to the bisection of the garden between 8 Edgar Mews and 8 Edgar Buildings, to assess how their interconnected historic relationship and shared setting would be affected by proposals.