Street Record, Tow Path, Kennet And Avon Canal
This application concerns the access to the Kennet and Avon Canal footpath from Bathwick Hill, within the Bath conservation area and World Heritage site. The existing footpath and cobbled setts are encompassed within the Grade II listing of the late Georgian canal bridge due to its age, curtilage position, and consequent ancillary function and aesthetic significance. They are additionally situated adjacent to the Grade II early Victorian detached villa Miles House. The river footpath remains a significant ecological corridor and verdant space within the city that forms part of Bath’s green setting that contributes to the OUV of the World Heritage site.
The Trust appreciates the benefits of improved access for towpath users. We additionally acknowledge that this application is for the removal of five sycamores only, and not for the proposed installation of the new footpath. However, due to the significance of the riverside setting in the appearance and context of the Grade II bridge and associated cobbled slope, the potential visual harm to the setting of a Grade II heritage asset needs to be considered as part of this application.
BPT acknowledges that we cannot fully assess nor consider the suitability of the insertion of a new strip of towpath as part of this TCA application, and strongly advise that an accompanying LBA is submitted with further details regarding this scheme. However, we are concerned that the removal of trees from an important public green space within the city will be of detriment to the character and appearance of this portion of the conservation area. We also consider the associated loss of scrub and undergrowth to be of detriment as, whilst not of individual value, they contribute to the overall shared green appearance and significance of the area.
Therefore, should this application be consented, we would recommend that mitigatory planting measures are included, as part of the wider canal landscaping scheme, to ensure the continued green character of the Kennet and Avon canal setting, and to preserve and enhance the setting of a Grade II heritage asset, and the Bath conservation area and World Heritage site in accordance with Policies HE1 and NE2 of the Core Strategy and Placemaking Plan.