Percy Community Centre, New King Street, Kingsmead
NB: This response is based on drawings dated 5 August. BPT understand from the Percy Centre that new drawings are to be submitted superseding these drawings. BPT may choose to withdraw tis comment depending on the future designs.
We welcome proposals to refurbish, expand and revitalise this site for the community. This site is entirely suitable for redevelopment and we would welcome an improved contemporary design. We find a contemporary approach acceptable in the sense that it is a highly readable modern intervention in the historic street scene.
We recognise that attempts have been made to address design concerns. However, we are still concerned with appearance, scale and bulk of the proposed remodelling and new building, and the extensive use of metal cladding.
The sports hall is set well back from Cumberland Row, which is good, but as drawn still looks overbearing from Monmouth Place, with an uncertain visual axis. The proportions of these elevation divisions look to be out of scale with the rest of the street scene.
We would encourage the architect to look along Monmouth Place with a view either to echoing a series of more broken down in scale and form linked traditional narrow gable ends with pitched roofs and lower eaves; or to reflect in some way scale and symmetry of the original buildings, in a contemporary manner.
We welcome the ambition to repair the broken building line in New King Street. We are aware that the domestic building line was ‘broken’ by the original 19th century Gothic chapel and that therefore the historic Georgian roofline does not represent an absolute datum point on this street. However we note that the a very narrow road width, with a repetitive rhythm of facades, and historic residential buildings needs a very considered statement, even if bold, in order to take its place amongst the listed buildings, and we are of the opinion that the current design falls short.
Zinc(?) with a lead appearance may be acceptable but used for a whole façade in a residential area becomes a very dominant statement unless punctuated by glazing. We would encourage the use of some Bath stone to reinforce local character and distinctiveness and sense of Bathness.
We would encourage the application to improve their design and access statement substantially as it appears to lack visual montages before and after, and assessment of impact in the context of the conservation area and surrounding listed buildings.
We would also encourage the submission of an energy statement, evidence of sustainability in design and construction, and consider provision for onsite renewable energy production.
We welcome the retention of the historic school facade remnant and would like to see proposals included to repair and repoint this wall where needed.
We are unable to support the application in its current form. We consider there is much potential for improvement and would be happy to engage in future discussion about the development of the design.
Bath Preservation Trust objects to the proposed development, which in its current form fails to conserve or enhance the conservation area, though replacement of the current buildings should be able to do so. The proposed scheme, by virtue of its design, bulk and materials would harm the setting of the listed buildings, and would detract from the special character and appearance of the conservation area and special qualities of the World Heritage site. The application is therefore contrary to the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas Act) 1990, Section 16 (Conserving and enhancing the historic environment) of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), policies; B1, B2, B4, CP6 of the B&NES Core Strategy and policies CP6,D1, D2, D5, D9, HE1, BD1, B2, B4, of the Placemaking Plan.