Guildhall, High Street, City Centre
The Guildhall is a Grade I Georgian building at the heart of the Bath conservation are and World Heritage site. Whilst it is highly valued for its monumental Neoclassical presence on the High Street, its interior is noted as being of “considerable splendour and quality” due to the retention of significant decorative detailing, plasterwork, and fittings such as fireplaces. Therefore, any application regarding internal changes would need to suitably justify and mitigate any potential harm to historic or aesthetic interest.
Following consideration of this application, the Trust is supportive of this scheme. We feel that the loss of historic wall fabric through the insertion of service halls is mitigated by efforts made to reuse existing service lines, and protect surviving details such as skirting boards by spacing the unit away from the wall.
BPT encourages the appropriate and sensitive adaptation of historic buildings to enable a sustainability of use that can, in turn, ensure their successful and effective maintenance. The insertion of water fountains will better enable the Guildhall’s public function and service, and bring the building further into Bath’s social streetscape.
Furthermore, in light of the current Climate Emergency as declared by B&NES Council, we commend the insertion of facilities within the Guildhall that will help mitigate the uses of single-use plastic, and hope this can be used as an example for other similarly sensitive and environmentally friendly measures throughout Bath.