The Bage, Claverton Down Road, Claverton Down, Bath
Development proposals consist of the construction of a new dwelling on the site of an existing late 20th century bungalow, situated within the World Heritage Site and the indicative landscape setting of the Bath City-Wide Conservation Area. The site sits just outside of the Green Belt and Cotswolds AONB where the boundary follows the line of Norwood Avenue and Claverton Down Road.
We raise concerns with the use of a faux Georgian architectural style and appearance proposed for the new dwelling. The key architectural principles of Bath’s Georgian centre and its prevalent characterisation through the use of Palladian and Neoclassical architectural forms is the balance of symmetry and proportion (using the Golden Ratio principle) and the fine use of detailing, particularly around window and door openings and to distinguish between floors through the use of cornicing and string courses. The ability of the proposed building to successfully demonstrate “inspiration from the neo-classical proportions and materiality of central Bath” would be dependent on the building’s use of quality design detailing, proportion, and use of materials, none of which are evident from the currently proposed elevational drawings.
The immediate area is predominantly made up of later 20th century housing as part of the development of the infill suburb on the eastern end of Claverton Down, with the exception of the Victorian villa Wansdyke House which is the neighbour of the proposed development site. The historic ‘centre’ of the area is likewise characterised by a cluster of mid- to late 19th century detached dwellings where Claverton Down Road intersects with the tip of Bathwick Hill and North Road (with the exception of the early 19th century Round House, which is of a distinct lodge house typology). Given the later 19th and 20th century character and appearance of the local area, the use of a Georgian-inspired form and design would be contextually inappropriate where located on the edge of Bath rather than within the built-up centre of the Georgian City.
We encourage a design that references its setting, and there could be an opportunity here for a building of an innovative, contemporary appearance.
The application as currently proposed would fail to respond to the site context or contribute positively to local distinctiveness. There is insufficient information to demonstrate the expected level of elevational detailing characteristic of Bath’s Georgian architecture. Proposals would therefore be contrary to Section 16 of the NPPF and Policies DW1, B1, B4, BD1, CP6, D1, D2, D3, D5, D7, and HE1 of the Core Strategy and Placemaking Plan, and should be refused or withdrawn.