Street Record, Prior Park Road, Widcombe, Bath

Installation of 1no. telecommunications three bay cabinet, 1no. footway chamber and associated underground telecommunications ducting and electricity ducting.
Our Response

The proposed site of development is on the junction of Forefield Rise and Prior Park Road, within the Bath conservation area and World Heritage Site. This section of Prior Park Road is characterised by its attractive, verdant appearance and well-spaced detached dwellings set back from the roadside in generous gardens. The site forms part of the streetscape setting of numerous Grade II mid-19th century semi-detached villas along Prior Park Road. The proposed area for the new telecommunications cabinet is already occupied by several other cabinets of varying appearance and colour, as well as traffic signage.

The Supporting 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 without demonstration of considered 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. We strongly recommend that a design of a similar height, scale, and footprint with the existing cabinets is selected to prevent introducing further unwelcome variety in cabinet design.

Should the principle of this application be deemed acceptable by the LPA, we maintain that the cabinet’s proposed ‘Fir Green’ colour should match the existing green cabinet on site to ensure a relative consistency in appearance with existing infrastructure. 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.

Application Number: 20/04128/TEL
Application Date: 04/11/2020
Closing Date: 05/03/2021
Address: Street Record, Prior Park Road, Widcombe, Bath
Our Submission Status: Comment