King Edwards School, North Road, Bathwick, Bath

Installation of solar PV array on roof of Sports Hall.
Our Response

The proposed site of works is the King Edward’s School complex, situated within the Bath City-Wide Conservation Area and World Heritage Site. It is closely bordered to the east by the Green Belt and Cotswolds AONB. The school site has grown up around a Grade II mid-19th century detached house, formerly Nethersole, which subsequently became St Christopher’s School in the early 20th century. This Grade II building is situated to the far south-east of the site, overlooking North Road; the wider school has grown up from the late 20th century onwards to the west. By virtue of the steep east-west incline of the site, the wider school site retains a degree of separation from the main Grade II school building, a visual effect which is reinforced by the building’s retained boundary wall treatment and the perception of a privately retained garden setting as experienced from the road.

In response to the Climate Emergency, BPT is broadly supportive of the principle of energy efficiency retrofits and microrenewable installations where this would be coherent with, and sympathetic to, the special historic and architectural interest of the setting of a listed building and the wider historic environment.

The focus of the proposed works is to the roof of the existing Sports Hall. As existing, it forms an innocuous addition to the site due to its low height and recessed position into the slope of the site. As such, it is largely screened by the tree belt along its eastern elevation. Its location means that it is well-enclosed within the footprint of the later extension of the school and set back away from the immediate setting of the Grade II building. Any changes to this building would therefore be expected to have a negligible impact on the special interest of the listed building.

The proposed installation of PV panels would result in no harm to or loss of historic fabric. We are supportive of the use of later, non-historic buildings that form part of the school site to allow for the integration of renewables with very limited impact on the setting of a listed building.

We are supportive of the opportunity to upgrade and improve the performance of the existing modern structures on the site, and consider that this approach may be applicable for wider application on other modern buildings of limited visibility.

We continue to recommend that further design details of the proposed panels are submitted as part of this application to ensure a non-intrusive appearance and finish in accordance with Policy SCR2 of the Core Strategy and Placemaking Plan. We suggest that PV panels should be monochrome with a matt finish to minimise reflectivity and associated sun glare, and should sit as flush with the roof slope as possible.

Application Number: 23/01547/SOLPA
Application Date: 26/04/2023
Closing Date: 09/06/2023
Address: King Edwards School, North Road, Bathwick, Bath
Our Submission Status: Support