Nelson House, Beechen Cliff Road, Bear Flat, Bath
Nelson House forms one of a pair of Grade II listed early 19th century terraced houses, situated within the Bath City-Wide Conservation Area and World Heritage Site. It presents a simple two bay façade to the road frontage, though now with an overlaid application of render, in a matching style to the neighbouring Weymouth House, though Nelson House has evidently undergone later changes with the addition of a single pane casement window and timber porch overhang at ground floor level. Nelson House features a varied mix of fenestration styles, with a more traditional 6-over-6 pattern at second floor level, with the lower floors comprised largely of single pane timber sashes. There is one example of a 4-over-1 sash at first floor level. This fenestration style is also indicated to apply across the rear elevation with single pane sashes at ground and first floor level, where this elevation is of restricted public visibility. The 6-over-6 multi-pane sashes at Weymouth House are suggested to post-date 2010.
We note that whilst the drawings appear to show proposed window replacement works at ground and first floor to both the principal and rear elevations, the ‘New Windows Details’ document indicates “four first-floor windows are involved in this application, two at the front and two at the rear. […] No ground-floor or second-floor windows are involved.” We therefore encourage that the scope of the application is clarified for the benefit of the case officer.
In response to the declared Climate Emergency, BPT is supportive of sensitive sustainability retrofits where these would sustain and reinforce the special architectural and historic interest of a listed building, and the wider character and appearance of the conservation area, whilst maintaining a balance with the need to sympathetically upgrade traditional and listed housing stock to better meet modern standards of living.
Given the established historic fenestration style of buildings from this period, it is presumed that the examples of single pane sashes are later additions and therefore of a lesser significance when considered as part of the special interest of the listed building. There may be opportunity for their replacement where their removal, and associated less than substantial harm, can be demonstrated to be outweighed by public benefit.
Works would be considered to offer the following benefits:
• Reinstatement of traditional 6-over-6 sash profile across the principal and rear elevations of a listed, with limited loss of historic fabric.
• Upgrade to double glazing and resulting improvements to energy efficiency and the windows’ thermal performance, though we maintain that any energy efficiency gains need to be considered from a holistic, ‘whole house’ perspective, which considers the ‘energy hierarchy’, including behaviour change and measures to reduce energy waste.
• Contributions to the Council’s net zero objectives.
We are therefore supportive of the opportunity for the installation of slimlite double glazing where this would help to improve the building’s thermal performance and reduce energy loss, and result in adequate demonstration of public benefit to outweigh the lesser end of less than substantial harm.
We emphasise the need for sufficient information to be provided at this stage, regarding the proposed replacement windows and further design details, such as the glazing thickness, and the proposed thickness and profile of the glazing bar design, to ensure that the proposed window design is coherent with the appearance and character of the listed building and the wider terrace. This should be appropriately illustrated using relevant elevations and detailed sections.