Piccadilly House, Piccadilly Place, Walcot, Bath
Piccadilly House is a Grade II 18th century pair of houses with commercial/retail ground floors and shopfronts, situated within the Bath Conservation Area and World Heritage Site. The proposed location of works appears to actually be the adjoining Grade II late 18th century Pennard House, a three bay building with a double shopfront at ground floor. It is further distinguished from the neighbouring Piccadilly House due to its slightly larger three storey height attributed to the elongated height of the first floor. The property is also noted as featuring a large four storey pitched roof extension to the rear which is attributed to the 19th century; it is the north-facing elevation of this extension which is included as part of the proposals.
In light of the Climate Emergency, BPT is generally supportive of the principle of slimlite double glazing installation where this would be sensitive to the identified character and appearance of the historic environment and would sustain the special architectural and historic interest of a listed building. We maintain the importance of the sympathetic upgrade of traditional building stock to better meet modern standards of living.
The existing windows are indicated to be a mix of timber sashes and metal-framed pivot windows, and incorporate a variety of different fenestration types and finishes. This is overall indicative of a narrative in which the building has been subject to a number of alterations and window replacements over time, although it is unclear as to whether any windows of historic interest have survived.
We therefore note a positive opportunity for the sensitive implementation of energy efficiency retrofits and thermal improvements where this can be demonstrated to result in no loss of historic fabric. Works would be restricted to the north elevation, enclosed on all three sides by development and facing onto a private car park, and as such would not be publicly visible.
Pending further clarification as to whether any of the windows are of historic origin, we therefore conclude that proposals would result in less than substantial harm to a listed building, and would be outweighed by the public benefits of improved thermal efficiency and a reduction in carbon emissions in accordance with B&NES net zero objectives.
The proposed 8-over-8 fenestration of the third floor is somewhat awkward and cramped, particularly considering that the window openings at this level are of a shallower height than the windows at first and second floors. We therefore recommend consideration of a more sympathetic fenestration such as 3-over-3 or 3-over-6, which would also generally better relate to the 3-pane fenestration width on the windows below.
In relation to the proposed roof re-surfacing works, we are supportive of the opportunity to replace the existing “fibre cement asbestos cladding” with a more aesthetically and materially sympathetic alternative. The use of a double Roman pantile would reflect and reinforce the existing roofscape character of the area, although where possible we emphasise a preference for the use of clay pantiles rather than an ‘imitation’ concrete tile as being more coherent with the material integrity and authenticity of a listed building.