Land To The Rear Of 89-123 Englishcombe Lane, Southdown
The Trust finds this application broadly acceptable (given that the principle of development on this land has been established). We have some observations on the scheme as follows:
The site plans looks to be reasonably well laid and spaced out which is commendable but we would comment that the success of the assimilation of this scheme will rest with the effectiveness and quality of the landscaping and tree planting, especially to allow the scheme to blend into the urban townscape in long views.
We do observe however that individual house gardens are quite small compared to the garden character suburb of the surrounding area.
It has been difficult in wading through the information on the application to get a proper visual understanding of the scheme; contextual 3D street or aerial views would be useful to see how the individual housing types sit together as a whole scheme and how they integrate with the surrounding housing. Similarly we welcome the provision of LVIA’s but a series of photomontages would have been useful to understand how the scheme would appear on the hillside in long views.
We have some reservations about the elevational treatment of the houses; not only does there appear to be a lack of reference to local character design-wise but we question the extensive use of timber cladding. This is not a material seen in large quantities in Bath’s urban areas and we are not convinced it is appropriate in the context of an urban extension as this is, rather than a rural scheme. The use of buff brick is becoming more prevalent in housing applications, and we are concerned that its use is again not contextually relevant or appropriate given the surrounding area is largely built in Bath stone ashlar. Departing from the materials palette in this conservation area would potentially fail to retain or enhance local distinctiveness. The use of clay roof tiles is also of concern given that if they are a bright red colour they will stand out on the hillside until they weather which could take some time. We would recommend the use of a pre-patinated clay tile to ensure that the scheme would not be built out with a highly visible red roofscape.
In conclusion we find the scheme to be broadly acceptable but we feel the architects should reconsider aspects of the design and materials in relation to contextual character and provide more 3D visuals so that the scheme can be better understood and analysed in context.