Friars Gate, Sharpstone Lane, Freshford
The application concerns the single bay garage located along the Tyning within the Freshford village conservation area. It is additionally situated within the Bath and Bristol Green Belt and the Cotswolds AONB. Whilst the existing garage is of little historic or aesthetic merit, it forms part of the indicative setting of a high volume of Non-Designated Heritage Assets noted within Freshford’s Conservation Area Appraisal, as well as several Grade II heritage assets including the 18th century Methodist Chapel to the north-east and the 14th/15th century Hermitage to the south-west.
BPT is not opposed to the proposed replacement of a non-historic garage of low design and material quality, and we feel this offers a positive opportunity for the improvement of the site’s aesthetic contribution to the conservation area.
However, we feel that the proposed use of timber for the garage’s exterior would be out of keeping with the primary material palette of Freshford. The garage is located in an area characterised by its use of rubble limestone in buildings and boundary walls. We would therefore recommend a design that utilises this material to ensure a continuity of appearance that would preserve and enhance the material and aesthetic character of the conservation area, particularly when considering the garage’s high visibility from the Tyning road.
Furthermore, there is some concern regarding the proposed increased height of the new garage. Whilst the proposed elevations indicate an increased roof height, we remain uncertain as to the scale of this change in height and how this will impact the surrounding area. The existing garage is located at the top of a slope leading down to the River Frome and consequently maintains views across the valley to Freshford Hall, noted as one of the key views and vistas within the Freshford Conservation Area Appraisal. Therefore, we would recommend that further information is provided regarding the proposed height of the new garage and its visual impact on its setting and associated landscape views; we would further advise the consideration of a lower roofline to better integrate the garage into the conservation area whilst mitigating any potential visual intrusion.