Monkton Wyld, Court Lane, Bathford
The proposed application site is located within the setting of Monkton Wyld and its coach house, early 20th century buildings situated on the intersection of Court Lane and Pump Lane within the edge of the Bathford conservation area. The area is characterised by its vernacular usage of coursed rubble masonry and either clay or clay pantile roof tiles or natural roof slates. This has formulated a distinctive character and material and colour palette throughout the village to which Monkton Wyld contributes, and that any new development needs to incorporate, acknowledge, or respect within its design.
This applications follows a previous scheme that was submitted and permitted earlier this year for a three bedroom new-build that acted as an extension to the existing coach house.
Following the consideration of the most recent application, BPT acknowledges the suitability of the Monkton Wyld site for development of an appropriate density, scale, and quality of construction. We favour the use of brownfield sites over greenfield sites for the provision of much-needed residential accommodation, and welcome the addition of additional housing within the village without the loss of public amenity.
However, whilst the Trust is not opposed to sensitive and complementary contemporary design within historic spaces, we ultimately feel that this revised scheme is potentially harmful to the character and setting of the conservation area due to its elevated roof height and dominant visibility above Monkton Wyld’s boundary wall. Due to the proposed use of a flat roof coated in a single ply membrane, this will have a distinct visual detriment on a historic lane within the Bathford conservation area that directly conflicts with local building traditions. It is this rural, material character that contributes towards the village’s recognised historic and architectural value which the proposed new-build would neither preserve nor enhance in accordance with the Planning (Listed Building and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 or section 16 of the NPPF.
We emphasise the particular, aesthetic sensitivity of the Monkton Wyld site due to its position along Pump Lane on the outskirts of the Bathford conservation area. This site forms an integral part of the entrance to the conservation area, and therefore has an expected duty to accurately and positively reflect distinctive elements of the area including building form, design, green infrastructure, and rural charm. In this capacity, the existing structure could better incorporate itself within its setting and context, and will instead devalue this historic route into the village due to the evident incongruity of its materials, massing, colour, and form.
The demolition of a section of the coach house is an additional detriment to the area through the removal of part of the retained historic streetscape that continues to utilise appropriate forms, materials, and colours that suitably match the rest of the Bathford conservation area. Whilst the proposed portion of the coach house for demolition is not of historic origin, we feel that it is an unnecessary removal of functional space that will not have a consequent aesthetic or functional benefit.
Due to a lack of provided information within the application, we cannot determine the impact of the new-build on the streetscape of Court Lane. We would appreciate the submission of a proposed street elevation before this application progresses further.
Instead, we would like to express our informed preference for the permitted design due to the visible retention of the existing roof line along the boundary wall that positively contributes to the conservation area, as well as the comparative invisibility of the new structure from the roadside. Due to its low profile and recession from the boundary wall, it becomes subservient to the existing coach house, and minimises any negative visual impact on the established aesthetic style of the conservation area.
Furthermore, the Trust is disappointed by the lack of energy-efficient measures incorporated within this design. Whilst the possibility of an air source heat pump is acknowledged in the Sustainability Statement, we advocate the appropriate implementation of micro-renewables to lower carbon emissions and create green energy alternatives in accordance with Policies CP2 and CP3 of the Core Strategy and Placemaking Plan. We ask that documentation is provided to demonstrate that steps have been taken to consider the integration of solutions such as non-reflective PV panels.
Therefore, whilst BPT does not oppose the integration of contemporary buildings into the historic environment, we feel that the proposed scale and placement of the building is inappropriate within this crucial entryway into the Bathford conservation area, and will neither preserve nor enhance the area due to its jarring use of material and design. We instead emphasise our preference for the low visibility of the previously-approved scheme that still allows for the inclusion of new residential development within the village conservation area and a more sensitive integration of contemporary design.