The Boiler House, 11 Kelso Place, Lower Weston, Bath
The proposed site of development is 11 Kelso Place, an office space redeveloped in the 1990s, situated within the Bath conservation area and World Heritage Site. It physically adjoins the Grade II mid-19th century Kelso House, formerly serving as the headquarters for the Bath Gas Light and Coke Company as part of the wider Bath Gas Works complex. By virtue of the material connection with Kelso House, 11 Kelso Place is considered is therefore considered to be curtilage Grade II listed. From map progressions, Kelso Place is indicated to follow the original footprint of buildings associated with the gas works as early as the mid- to late 19th century where a significant amount of the built site has since been lost. The original 1989 planning application specifies the conversion of Kelso Place from “former boiler houses” to offices. Whilst the refurbishment works are evident in the principal elevation treatment, the historic footprint has been retained as well as possible areas of surviving historic fabric such as the western retaining wall in Bath rubble stone, which matches the internal finish of the northern boundary wall.
From the information available, it is difficult to ascertain what historic fabric, if any, was retained as part of the 1990s works. However, considering the building’s curtilage relationship with a Grade II listed building and its status as an unusual remainder of Bath’s 19th century industrial heritage, further details should be provided regarding the possible material value of the building, particularly in relation to the works proposed to the retaining wall.
Currently, there is inadequate information to make a fully-informed assessment of the impact of mounting AC units and EV charging points to the retaining wall. The Heritage Statement as submitted is insufficient to assess the historic and architectural interest of Kelso Place as existing, and further information specific to this building is required. However, given the high likelihood of resulting harm to historic fabric through multiple fixings into the stonework, we strongly recommend that alternative freestanding options are considered, such as floor-mounted EV charging points which have been used elsewhere in Bath (see Grade II Maltings Depository, Lower Bristol Road).
As an additional note, there appears to be a single parking space which runs parallel to the western retaining wall (see photograph in ‘Front Building and Parking’). We therefore query the practicality of locating the EV charging points along this wall which would require some renegotiation of parking layout.