Maisonette, 4 Cleveland Terrace, Walcot, Bath
4 Cleveland Terrace forms part of a Grade II early 19th century terrace of townhouses at 1-6 Cleveland Terrace, situated within the Bath conservation area and World Heritage Site. The ground floor includes an early 19th century shopfront as part of the localised retail character of the terrace, including a number of late 19th and early 20th century adjoining examples. It forms part of a streetscape with a high concentration of Grade II late 18th to early 19th century listed terraces including 1-20 Walcot Parade, 5-10 Cleveland Place West, and 1-5 Nelson Place East. The principal façade is in Bath stone ashlar with a symmetrical, two bay articulation homogenous to the wider terrace frontage. The rear elevation is of a less formal character in the eclectic addition of window openings and later extensions, although it is suggested that the rear extension ‘stack’ to 4 Cleveland Terrace may be closely contemporaneous to the original construction of the building, appearing in the 1840s Tithe Map of Bath. Notably, the rear elevation is also finished in ashlar stone which somewhat diverges from Bath’s established backland terrace character.
In light of the declared Climate Emergency, BPT is supportive of the sympathetic upgrade of traditional and listed housing stock, where deemed appropriate, to better meet modern standards of living. As such, we therefore note a positive opportunity for the sensitive implementation of energy efficiency retrofits and thermal improvements where this does not result in harm or the loss of significant historic fabric.
However, we note that the proposed secondary glazing frames are comparatively chunky in comparison with the retained sash window frames. Where secondary glazing is an overly solid addition, this can result in increased visibility and associated impact to the listed building. We encourage consideration of a secondary glazing system with a more slender frame. Alternative, recessive options include magnetic secondary glazing that can be fixed directly to sash windows without the requirement of a separate frame, whilst remaining a reversible addition.
We question the suitability of triple glazing in the existing window reveals in the rear elevation (approx. 28-44mm) and suggest that further information is supplied regarding the proposed thickness of glazing in comparison to the existing reveals to ensure the windows would be able to sit appropriately within the reveals. A more traditional style window fenestration style in this location would be preferable.
BPT does not typically comment on internal alterations without the benefit of a site visit. However, we note that the Design & Access Statement highlights unauthorised cementitious tanking works to the vaults: “due to the further harm that would likely be caused to the vault structure, it is not proposed to reverse this installation through its removal.” We maintain that we do not support the use of cementitious or liquid tanking systems that can impede the natural permeability and ‘breathability’ of historic fabric, such as naturally porous Bath stone. In this instance, the application of cement-based systems can trap or displace moisture and cause long-term issues for the material performance and health of the building. We therefore encourage the removal of this type of system to prevent further, future detriment to the special interest of a listed building. We maintain that should this scheme be granted consent, the existing tanked condition of the vaults should be excluded and remain an unauthorised alteration to allow enforcement action should this be considered necessary, as well as avoiding setting an undesirable planning precedent.