Land To West Of 6 Hicks Field, Cycle Track At London Road Roundabout, Lambridge, Bath
The proposed site of tree works is Hicks Field, a contemporary 6-house development permitted in 2015, situated within the Bath City-Wide Conservation Area and World Heritage Site. The development as a whole overlooks the Green Belt boundary immediately along the southern line of the site. The development is of a lower density but with dwellings of a larger footprint than the dwellings along the roadside. The shared access road sits to the north of Hicks Field, with a lower southern access route to the sports field on the riverside. A public footpath cuts through the sports field to the south of the development and under the A4 bypass onto London Road. The site borders the rural periphery of Bath; the site sits at the bottom of a sharp north-south slope down from London Road with views out to the south towards Bathampton Down and the rear of Warminster Road across the Green Belt. This green space is particularly significant as a landscape ‘gap’ between Bath and its rural environs to the south and east which has gradually been encroached upon by further residential development. The Bath City-Wide Character Appraisal (2005) notes the south-west area of Bath as being “rural with an open character”; this is mixed with significant spots of dense tree cover such as along the River Avon and the south-eastern side of the A4 to retain the green, verdant character of the area.
We therefore have some concerns regarding the proposed tree works, particularly the felling of 3x hawthorn trees along the western boundary, and the absence of information as to how this would impact landscape views, and the visual amenity of the Conservation Area. We maintain that appropriate tree cover is required to ensure the development is well-screened in wider landscape views to sustain the rural character and visual openness of the Green Belt. As well as to sustain the verdant character and appearance of the Conservation Area.
Whilst the western boundary is of reduced visibility in longer-range views than the rear southern boundary, the western line of trees continues to form part of a shared belt of woodland/scrub which screens views of built development along the A46 on the approach into Bath, and maintains the transition between Bath’s green, rural setting and the beginning of the city. We therefore express the importance of maintaining tree coverage in this area wherever possible, whether through the maintenance and pruning of existing tree specimens, or replanting works with suitable native species where felling works are permitted.
As part of this application, there is generally insufficient information relating to the degree of visual impact, if any, that works would have. There is additionally no justification provided for the loss of trees in this area; it is recommended that any infection or structural issues should be clarified with the case officer and submitted in support of this application.