Newton Hurst, Darlington Road, Bathwick, Bath
Newton Hurst is an unlisted, 1960s 3-bed 2 ½ storey house of neutral architectural significance, situated within the Bath conservation area and World Heritage site, overlooking the Kennet and Avon canal to the rear. It is additionally situated opposite 2 Canal Cottages, a Grade II early 19th century vernacular dwelling which originally functioned as a lengthsman’s cottage.
BPT previously commented on application 20/02406/FUL. Whilst we did not oppose the principle of development on the site, we had some concerns regarding the development’s potential impact on the setting of the Kennet and Avon Canal and an associated loss of vegetation screening.
Consequently, this resubmitted application has made some noted improvements in its proposal of a reduced 4-bed scheme that implements a more symmetrical, simplified elevational treatment with a greatly reduced volume of glazing across the rear elevation. This has resulted in a somewhat reduced aesthetic bulk and massing as viewed from the towpath.
We are pleased to see the retention of existing planting, including the western boundary hedging, which would better mitigate the visual impact of the proposed development by ensuring a continued ‘green’ view more congruous with the semi-rural, low-density appearance of this section of the canal.
The Trust is supportive of the inclusion of energy-efficient and micro-renewable features within new development, in light of the ongoing Climate Emergency. However, we query the development’s description as “carbon-neutral” based on a lack of provided information as to how this carbon neutrality or carbon negativity would be achieved as a fundamental design aspect of the proposed dwellings. Furthermore, we maintain that ‘the greenest building is the one that already exists'. New developments frequently do not account for or consider the embedded carbon value of the existing property, and the consequent embedded carbon cost of the new-build, nor the resulting generation of landfill waste and air pollution. We encourage the implementation of truly energy-efficient design in both new dwellings and the retrofit of existing homes, but unfortunately we are unable to see as yet how this development would constitute a carbon-neutral design.
We recommend further details regarding the design of the proposed PVs are included as part of this application such as their finish and whether they sit flush with the roofline in accordance with Policy SCR2 of the Core Strategy and Placemaking Plan.