Spar, 2A Rivers Street Place, City Centre, Bath

Erection of air-con unit to front of commercial property.
Our Response

2A Rivers Street is an unlisted building situated within the Bath conservation area and World Heritage Site. It forms part of the setting for a number of Grade II late 18th century terraced buildings along and around Julian Road, including 1-2 Gloucester Street and 1-3 Burlington Road. From map progressions, it is suggested that 2A Rivers Street had merged into a single unit from multiple, smaller plots by the mid-20th century. Whilst a comparatively late addition to the streetscape, the building presents a traditional-style two bay frontage with corniced window surrounds, hipped slate roof, and twin chimney stacks. The shopfront is of limited interest, but features a well-detailed stone surround with Corinthian pilasters and a dentilled string course, which seems to intentionally draw from other similar examples of shopfronts along Julian Road.

We maintain that the installation of an AC on the principal elevation would be inappropriate and out of keeping with the strong retail character of this local shopping street. The installation of an AC in this area would introduce an unwelcome backland, services feature in a well-used local centre. The AC may result in increased noise or emissions in this area which would have an adverse impact on the character and amenities of the street scene.

It is unclear as to why this could not be located in a more appropriate location screened from public view, such as the rear elevation of the building. There is further a lack of detail as to how the AC would interact with the shopfront, in particular the decorative stone shop surround which is a recognised feature of local distinctiveness in the streetscape.

As such, the proposals would be of harm to the street’s shopfront character and would fail to conserve or enhance the character or appearance of the conservation area, contrary to the Planning (Listed Buildings & Conservation Areas) Act 1990, Section 16 of the NPPF, and Policies CP6, D1, D2, D3, D9, and HE1 of the Core Strategy and Placemaking Plan and should be refused or withdrawn.

Application Number: 22/02371/FUL
Application Date: 10/06/2022
Closing Date: 21/07/2022
Address: Spar, 2A Rivers Street Place, City Centre, Bath
Our Submission Status: Object