Oakfield, Weston Park, Upper Weston, Bath
Oakfield is a Grade II mid-19th century detached villa dwelling, now a nursing home, situated within the Bath conservation area and World Heritage Site. The rear extension is a late 20th century addition of no historic or aesthetic merit.
We commend the provision of residential flats that notably exceed the national space standards. The provision of a smaller number of spacious flats that are largely dictated by the original plan form of the building is preferable and considered a more positive and sustainable reuse of the building that would provide adequate levels of residential amenity.
We recognise the opportunity to improve the appearance of the concrete block rear extension, which has already resulted in harm to the setting of the listed building. However, the suitability of the proposed rendering over of the extension’s external elevations is highly dependent on the appearance, colour, and finish of the render and how this would sit immediately against the façade of a listed building. We therefore strongly recommend that further details regarding the proposed render, colour, and finish are provided as part of the overall scheme rather than left to condition to better assess its suitability within this context.
We note that as part of the proposed landscape plans, the 1960’s boundary wall is to be “removed and replaced with a low boundary wall”. However, in the photographs provided where these works have already gone ahead, it appears that the 1960s wall and gate piers have been lowered rather than replaced (see retention of weep holes in the stone). We suggest that the scope of works in this area is further clarified with regard to the proposed methodology, use of materials, and possible further historic and contextual reference to the wider streetscape where there is a variety of historic and later boundary walls that characterise Weston Park (eg. Lathom House).
Further details are also recommended regarding the proposed “covered cycle storage” which is located up against the north-west elevation of the building. We maintain a preference for the use of a simple and visually recessive cycle store; where the store is enclosed and consequently a more prominent addition, we recommend that this is set back from the listed building to prevent visually crowding the historic exterior. We strongly recommend that further design details are submitted as part of this application.