Mitchells & Butlers Retail Ltd, Old Police Station, Orange Grove

Cleaning of and repairs to front facade of building. (Retrospective)
Our Response

The Old Police Station is a Grade II Victorian police station, now a restaurant, situated within the core of the Bath conservation area and World Heritage site. It is located within a significant cluster of Grade II and Grade II* buildings of Victorian or early Edwardian origin including the Empire Hotel, the Guildhall Market, and the Victoria Art Gallery. Consequently, the Old Police Station strongly contributes towards the visual presence of distinctive and positive Victorian architecture within the city’s otherwise primarily Georgian character.

This application notes that the cleaning work that has been undertaken formed a part of the wider works to the building permitted under application 19/03801/LBA. However, this previous application makes no mention to any intended stone cleaning, or consequent detailing of cleaning methods, materials, and justifications, and therefore this reasoning cannot be considered to justify the retrospective nature of the current application.

With regards to the proposed cleaning works, BPT acknowledges the visual and material detriment that pollution damage and algae growth can have on the frontage of a listed building. We therefore support appropriate remedial cleaning works for the improved health of building as well as improved appearance and reveal of architectural detail.

In lines with the BPT/B&NES Guidance for Cleaning Bath Stone, we support the use of a low-pressure DOFF system to minimise any damage to or ‘overcleaning’ of the stone, and emphasise the importance of involving heritage professionals to oversee and conduct the works required to a high conservation standard. The Trust further supports the use of lime mortar repointing where necessary to ensure the visual and material consistency of the building’s front-facing elevation.

While the Trust welcomes efforts to enhance this area of the city, and clean and repair the existing historic frontage, we remain disappointed in the retrospective nature of this application, with works having gone ahead without listed building consent. We do not condone any unconsented alterations or changes to the fabric of a listed building.

Application Number: 19/04839/LBA
Application Date: 06/11/2019
Closing Date: 05/12/2019
Address: Mitchells & Butlers Retail Ltd, Old Police Station, Orange Grove
Our Submission Status: Comment