Highclere, Hayesfield Park, Lyncombe, Bath

Enlargement of two existing dormers and the erection of a new dormer to accommodate sufficient head height into the loft space to comply with fire regulations with associated works.
Our Response

Highclere is an unlisted semi-detached late 19th century villa situated within the Bear Flat and Oldfield Park character area of the Bath conservation area and World Heritage Site. It forms one half of a semi-detached pair with Rosemont, which is also included within the proposed works (see application 21/05551/FUL). As a whole, the pair of dwellings has an attractive symmetrical, four bay façade in Bath stone ashlar, with two storey bay windows with inset panel moulding and dentilled cornicing. This symmetry has been maintained in the addition of two single dormer windows either side of the roof slope. The generous garden setting of the building has since been eroded with a later 20th century residential development to the north, but the prominent scale and set-back placement of the building within the streetscape has been retained. A pedestrian cut through runs between Holloway and Hayesfield, from which the rear elevation of the building is likely clearly visible. The dwellings at Hayesfield Park are identified as one of the main groups of unlisted buildings of merit within the Bear Flat and Oldfield Park Conservation Area and Character Appraisal. Consequently, both Rosemont and Highclere can be considered Non-Designated Heritage Assets (NDHAs) that in their current form contribute positively to the appearance and character of the conservation area.

Due to the similarity of works proposed to both Rosemont and Highclere, and the associated impact of works on the cumulative appearance of the pair of dwellings, BPT will be addressing applications 21/05551/FUL and 21/05554/FUL in the same statement.

BPT maintains some concerns regarding the proposed extent of works to the roof, with the expansion of the existing dormers to the front and rear as well as the addition of two side dormers. The existing dormers are modest in scale and look like they could be original, or a slightly later historic addition. They currently sit well with the building as a complementary addition, reflecting its designed symmetry and closely aligning with the central sash window of the two storey bay.

Based on the greater restriction of visibility from the rear, a double sash window dormer on the rear roof slope in an appropriate material finish may be considered of lesser harm and therefore a more acceptable alteration. However, we feel that the addition of a larger dormer window to the front roof slope would result in a much bigger and overbearing feature to the detriment of the appearance of the building and the wider streetscape. The use of a 6-pane fenestration is out of keeping with the existing detailing of the building, and there is no clarification as to whether sash or casement windows are proposed. We strongly encourage that a dormer of a more modest scale and traditional finish is retained across the principal façade.

The proposed side dormer appears to provide light to the existing staircase into the loft space; a conservation style rooflight would be a less visually incongruous addition to the roofscape whilst still allowing for access to natural light and ventilation.

We note that the proposed windows will be “UPVC, Aluminium, or timber”. We maintain that the proposed window material needs to be clearly specified as part of this application. BPT is generally resistant to the introduction of uPVC windows into the conservation area and across the façade of traditional buildings. We note that the street-facing windows of Highclere appear to have already been replaced with uPVC, but Rosemont has retained its timber sash windows including at dormer level. We therefore strongly encourage the use of like-for-like materials to retain traditional-style timber sash windows where possible; this application could even provide a positive opportunity for the future restoration of Highclere’s sash windows.

Application Number: 21/05554/FUL
Application Date: 15/12/2021
Closing Date: 21/01/2022
Address: Highclere, Hayesfield Park, Lyncombe, Bath
Our Submission Status: Comment