Garden Flat, 11 Kensington Place, Walcot, Bath
11 Kensington Place forms part of a Grade II section of late 18th century terraced townhouses at 11-21 Kensington Place, situated within the Bath conservation area and World Heritage Site. The focus of this application is to the rear of the building within the segmented garden strip that runs adjacent to Meadows Lane. Historically, the terrace at Kensington Place featured generous linear garden plots, a number of which have survived in their original size. The garden plot of 11 Kensington Place has since been subdivided in the late 20th century to provide a series of publicly-accessible garages to the south, as well as a garage and area of hardstanding for the private use of the building’s occupiers. This garage is also clearly of late 20th century origin and is of negligible historic or aesthetic value; we do not oppose the principle of its replacement. This use is consistent with the southern half of the terrace’s garden plots, where these have largely been adapted for ancillary uses such as off-street parking with access from the lower lane.
Considering the building’s location within the sensitive setting of a high-significance Grade II terrace, we encourage the use of natural materials compatible with the terrace’s special architectural and historic interest. The use of natural slate or clay pantiles across the roof would be more appropriate.
We are unsure of the justification for the proposed use of a sawtooth-esque roof profile and consider that a more standard, asymmetric pitched roof profile may work better to pull the ridge of the garage back and reduce overall massing.
In light of the declared Climate Emergency, the opportunity to provide on-site EV charging is supported.
We additionally welcome the proposed installation of PV panels on the southern roof slope. Based on existing sightlines across the site and from the road, the elevated southern pitch of the roof and the proposed PV panels would be clearly visible from along Meadows Lane on the north-south public access to Kensington Meadows, and over the flat roofs of the adjacent garages. We highlight that there may be some concerns regarding possible visibility in wider townscape or roofscape views from Kensington Meadows, although it appears that this addition may be adequately screened by the tree and shrub planting along the southern access lane or whether this would be appropriately screened by the adjoining contemporary terrace. We trust this will be appropriately considered by the case officer as part of the planning balance.
We therefore maintain that the suitability of installation is heavily dependent on securing an appropriately recessive visual finish, in accordance with Policy SCR2. In the interest of maintaining coherence in the appearance of roof coverings, and a harmonious palette of materials that is characteristic of Bath, ‘frameless’ panels with a matt black finish are encouraged to minimise reflectivity and possible brightness of appearance and blend in as best as possible with the existing roof covering. The use of a black backing or backsheet is preferred to minimise visibility of grid lines. Considering installation is proposed as part of a new garage structure, we strongly encourage that the panels should be integrated into the roof slope to minimise visual impact. Alternatively, the use of new technologies such as solar slates could be considered.