Percy Community Centre, New King Street, Kingsmead

Refurbishment of the Percy Community Centre including demolition of a detached prefabricated building and construction of a new sports hall (Resubmission).
Our Response

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.

Application Number: 19/03337/FUL
Application Date: 24/07/2019
Closing Date: 30/08/2019
Address: Percy Community Centre, New King Street, Kingsmead
Our Submission Status: Comment