Lime Grove Cottage, Lime Grove, Bathwick
Lime Grove Cottage is an unlisted mid- to late 19th century detached dwelling, originally the site of an 18th century mill, situated in the Bath conservation area and World Heritage Site, bordering the Kennet and Avon Canal to the east. The area is predominantly characterised by its mid- to late Victorian gabled terraces, with Lime Grove Cottage featuring as a slightly unusual example of a detached dwelling in a more modest architectural form, set back from the roadside within spacious gardens and a stepped Bath stone ashlar boundary wall treatment.
In light of the declared Climate Emergency, the Trust welcomes opportunities for the suitable implementation of energy-efficient measures and micro renewables within historic buildings and landscapes so long as these retrofits are sensitive to the significance of their context, although we maintain that the suitability of installation should continue to be assessed on a case-by-case basis.
We commend the application’s sensitive approach to the potential visibility of the panels from the wider streetscape and the consideration of appropriate mitigation measures to ensure the panels are concealed such as the hanging of gates in the open access (see permit 01/00509/FUL). On this site, we feel the extensive gardens and height of the boundary wall offers a beneficial opportunity for the unobtrusive installation of ground-mounted PV panels, where roof-mounted panels would otherwise be visually prominent in public views, such as from Pulteney Gardens.
The use of a ‘frameless’ design in which the panels are a uniform, dark colour would mitigate potential visual harm by utilising a simple, uniform appearance and better blend in with its setting. The use of PV panels with a white or light-coloured frame can result in a more ‘flashy’ or blocky appearance that does not integrate as well within the established vernacular character and appearance of the conservation area.
We commend the proposed implementation of energy efficiency measures on an existing residential dwelling and consider this to be a positive example of the ‘greening’ of Bath’s Victorian housing stock.
We encourage the applicants to contact BPT with regard to gathering data to inform local case studies to encourage best practice.