Garden House, 138 Church Road, Combe Down, Bath
138 Church Road is an unlisted late 20th century detached house situated within the Bath Conservation Area and World Heritage Site. The building is set back from the road within a generous front garden in an area of looser mid-density development, characteristic of the Combe Down character area. As such, whilst the western roof slope is publicly visible from Church Road, this visibility is limited by the setback and angle of the building, as well as being screened by adjacent garden planting.
The proposed panels would be of limited visibility within the streetscape and the conservation area, and therefore have a limited impact on the visual amenity value of the area. The area is relatively flat in terrain and therefore any resulting impact on wider landscape views may be considered to be minimal. We therefore conclude that this less than substantial harm would be outweighed by the public benefits of ‘green’ energy generation and associated reduction in carbon emissions, which would contribute towards B&NES Council’s objectives to reach Net Zero by 2030.
We do continue to recommend that further details about the scale, appearance, and finish of the proposed panels are provided due to the amount of variety seen in different panel specifications. We emphasise our preference for ‘frameless’ panels with a matt black finish to minimise reflectivity and possible brightness of appearance and blend in as best as possible with the existing roof covering. Panels should sit as flush with the existing roof slope as practicable to prevent a visible ‘increase’ in roof ridge height. Where possible it is recommended to establish a ‘template’ for other future PV panel installations to ensure a coherent and recessive appearance within this area.