Street Record, Devonshire Buildings, Bear Flat, Bath
This application concerns a section of pavement on the junction between Wellsway and Devonshire Buildings, situated within the Bear Flat area of the Bath conservation area and World Heritage Site. The site is directly adjacent to the boundary wall of the Grade II early 19th century terraced Shaftsbury House, and the wider ancillary setting of the rest of the terrace at Devonshire Buildings, of which each house is individually listed. The site already features two telecommunications cabinets as of July 2019 (Google Street View) in a light grey colour that better complements the area’s neutral Bath stone colour palette.
The D&A Statement notes that in relation to the site’s context, the proposed cabinet would be situated in “a position that does not affect the visual impact too much.” However, the Trust feels that this application would propose the addition of further, concentrated visual clutter to a pedestrian route through the conservation area and directly outside the curtilage listed boundary wall of a Grade II building without appropriate material or visual mitigation. We remain concerned that the site has been selected on the basis of ease of installation with a lack of consideration for the resulting cumulative impact on the appearance and character of the conservation area. We do not feel that existing cabinets necessarily establish a precedent for further installations.
We further highlight the insufficiency of information provided as part of the application, with no details regarding the size, footprint, and location of the proposed cabinet and how it would interact with the current amenity of the public realm.
Should the principle of this application be deemed acceptable by the LPA, we maintain that the box should be in a light grey colour rather than the proposed ‘Fir Green’ to ensure a consistent appearance with the existing cabinets and its historic streetscape setting. We strongly discourage the introduction of varying colours which would result in a contrasting and discordant appearance that would neither conserve nor enhance the appearance and character of the conservation area.