Noya’s Kitchen, 7 St James’s Parade, City Centre, Bath
7 St James’s Parade forms part of a Grade II late 18th century section of terraced dwellings at 6-18 St James’s Parade, now with commercial/retail ground floors, situated within the commercial core of the City Centre sub area of the Bath City-wide conservation area and is within the World Heritage Site. 7 St James’s Parade currently contributes to the active commercial character of the streetscape with a traditional-style timber shopfront at ground floor, and the ground and lower ground floors are currently occupied by a restaurant. The upper floors form residential accommodation. The proposal focuses on the rear of the terrace, which has some restricted close to mid-range public visibility from Corn Street; the building rear remains largely unobscured from public view and views within the conservation area, with the addition of a single storey stairwell extension of an indeterminate age, although from map progressions could be of mid-20th century origin and therefore of limited historic interest.
There are a number of examples of later 20th century extensions of two storey height along the terrace, such as at the adjacent 8-11 St James’s Parade, which appear to be in a reconstituted stone and are of a square, heavy form. We maintain that by virtue of their scale and massing, these extensions constitute substantial additions to the terrace rear and are therefore considered an undesirable precedent for future alteration and development.
BPT originally commented on withdrawn application 21/05152/LBA with concerns regarding the previously proposed height and cumulative scale of the extension and the resulting material and visual impact on the listed building.
We are therefore pleased to see that our comments have been taken into consideration and a revised scheme has been submitted for a more modestly sized single-storey rear extension. Whilst the extension would sit out at a footprint depth to match neighbouring examples of later 20th century extensions, the extension would be limited in height to the lower ground floor and as such would be a much more recessive addition to the building. The extension would be of negligible visibility in mid-range public views, such as the limited perspective from Corn Street to the west of the Mission Theatre.
Impact on historic fabric is limited to the extension of a window opening at lower ground floor level into the access point between the extension and the host building, as well as the slight widening of the window opening and resulting loss of stonework; however, it is indicated that the lower ground floor window was formerly a door opening which has subsequently been infilled. There would also be material alterations to, and partial demolition of, the existing rear stack extension, although this appears to be a later 19th century addition and as such is attributed a lesser significance.
However, we note that we were previously supportive of the proposed glazed aspect of the previous proposals; we welcomed the opportunity for an appropriately designed contemporary extension (although in the previous instance we maintained concerns with the proposed scale of development), and the use of glazing as a ‘lighter touch’, legible intervention. It is therefore a slight shame that the design for the proposed extension is relatively ‘safe’ in its use of Bath stone ashlar.
Where using Bath stone ashlar as an external walling material, the use of a recon coping stone is not felt to be materially compatible and would have a different finish and weather to the rest of the extension façade. A coping stone in natural Bath stone is preferred.
We remain supportive of the opportunity for PV solar installation on the extension roof, in line with our previous comments. We maintain that further information is required regarding the type and material finish of the panels, and how they would be mounted and angled to ensure these integrate well with the roofscape. Given the low single-storey height of the extension, there is an additional technical question as to whether the panels would be sufficiently efficient within this location or whether their viability would be limited by the shading of neighbouring development.