Land To Rear Of 43 Upper Oldfield Park, Junction Road, Oldfield Park, Bath
The proposed site of development is to the rear of 43 Upper Oldfield Park, now the Charters building that was built in 2015, situated within the Bath City-Wide Conservation Area and World Heritage Site. The area of Upper Oldfield Park is noted of particular interest in the Bear Flat and Oldfield Park Character Appraisal as “an interesting example of a more ambitious form of speculative development, which not only provided for large plots served by a generous curving avenue, but included, for the benefit of residents, its own park area.” This area of townscape is historically defined by a loose grain with Victorian villas set back from the road within generous garden settings. There are some examples of development along Junction Road where later 20th century development has encroached upon these garden settings, resulting in subdivision into smaller residential plots. Other examples include the separate development of previously ancillary/service buildings, such as at Norland College and 33 Upper Oldfield Park. The proposed site of development remains visually open and prominent in views from the corner of Junction Road along the east approach and should therefore be considered in relation to the setting of the wider conservation area.
Whilst BPT is supportive of the principle of residential development, we took the view that previous application 19/04909/FUL was inappropriate for the location on grounds of overdevelopment and harm to the Bath City-Wide Conservation Area. This application has since been allowed at appeal and there is therefore a planning permission for development of the site.
The proposed design approach, which is and was previously indicated to follow an established built precedent to the rear of Norland College, is supported. The appearance of the proposed dwelling would be derived from that of the historic ancillary buildings noted above, and its materials, positioning, profile and form would otherwise be similar to that of development to the rear of adjacent plots.
It is indicated that the development would be marginally larger and the overall internal floor area of the house has increased by 11.6%. This includes an increase in width by 2m, although with an overall 0.6m decrease in total building height. Where the scale of development has therefore increased upon the previous planning permission, we maintain townscape concerns that the scale of the built footprint would have an over dominating effect resulting detriment to the openness of the site and the character and appearance of the conservation area.
Where the proposed dwelling has been pulled 1.6m away from the western boundary line, this has helped improve its position in relation to its setting, but the continued risk is of an over cramped and dense built form constrained to the far side of the site.
We note the officer requirement for additional material details and methodology as to how the proposed southern gable end would intersect with the existing rubble stone boundary wall, which remains a positive feature of the conservation area. And encourage the submission of these details to allow for a proper assessment of the impact.
Where we previously objected to application 19/04909/FUL on grounds of overdevelopment of the site and a failure to preserve or enhance the character and appearance of the conservation area, we maintain that this development as proposed is similar enough in its scale, layout, and massing to uphold this position, though we recognise that the recent appeal decision must be taken into account by the case officer as part of the planning decision.