Kelston Park, Kelston Road, Kelston
Kelston Park is a Grade II* country house originating from the late 18th century, set within the Grade II Kelston Park west of Bath city centre. It is located within the Kelston conservation area, and remains a significant Georgian landscape feature within the setting of the World Heritage site and the landscape setting of Bath. It additionally contributes to Bath’s Green Belt and the Cotswolds AONB.
In principle, BPT is wholly supportive of the proposal for a change of use. Up until recently, the building has been used as a “multi-tenanted” office space, and this has resulted in the inappropriate division and conversion of the building that has diminished its historical significance and interpretative value. Therefore, we would encourage a usage that would enable the building to be unified in its usage, presentation, and readability at benefit to its original value as a residential country house.
Considering the building’s originally private use, we do not feel that this new use as a hotel with associated customer facilities would be of detriment to public benefit, and would instead offer a greater opportunity for local engagement with the building socially and economically.
The Trust is additionally supportive of the plans to utilise guest-generated income to restore the Grade II park and gardens that contribute to the landscape significance of a listed building. Despite attempted restorative parkland works in the 1990s, we encourage the proposed tree planting works both to enhance the parkland’s original, designed aesthetic character, as well as contributing to the city’s overall planting efforts in response to the current Climate Emergency.
We do have some concerns regarding the position of the hotel outside of the city, and the consequent increase of car trips by both staff and guests into and out of Bath. Central Bath is already heavily congested with traffic, and we are inclined to advise against schemes that would contribute to this issue without suitable mitigation. Therefore, whilst the supplied Travel Plan indicates the planned promotion of public transport as part of the hotel experience, we would recommend that the hotel goes even further to address this potential impact on the character of Bath conservation area and World Heritage site by actively supplying forms of shared transport or loanable bikes. We would therefore consider the provision of eight on-site cycle parking spaces within the Piggeries to be inadequate.
Therefore, the Trust is supportive of Kelston Park’s proposed change of use due to the unification of the internal space of the building and its associated significance, although we have some concerns regarding the house’s accessibility. Our assessment of the suitability of the proposed material changes to Kelston Park will be included in response to application 19/05182/LBA.