The Studio, 19 Caroline Buildings, Widcombe, Bath
19 Caroline Buildings forms part of a Grade II early 19th century residential terrace situated in the Bath conservation area and World Heritage Site. It forms an elevated, three storey elevation to the roadside with an elevated pavement, and backs onto the Kennet & Avon Canal towpath to the south-east. 19 Caroline Buildings has been the subject of extensive rear expansion from the mid-19th century onwards. The building has since been internally subdivided into four flats.
There is some uncertainty as to the current and proposed use of the extensions to the rear of the main building, which the application identifies as “a self-contained one-bed house”. This is not indicated in the existing plans; whilst a kitchen, bathroom, and living/office space are identified, there is currently no bedroom and therefore this space cannot be defined as a dwelling. This would suggest that this application potentially proposes a change of use, but this is not addressed within the documentation provided. We therefore suggest that the case officer seeks further clarity on this aspect of the scheme, particularly with regards as to whether there would be any change with how ‘the studio’ interacts with the ground floor of 19 Caroline Buildings to facilitate access.
In light of the current Climate Emergency, the Trust is supportive of the installation of PV panels where this would not significantly compromise historic fabric or the distinctive character and appearance of the historic environment. Due to the shallow roof pitch of the rear workshop, we feel that the addition of PV panels on the south-eastern roof slope would not be of significant visibility from the canal towpath, but there is longer-range visibility from the south from Abbey View Gardens and the allotments that should be considered. The Trust strongly recommends that further design information is provided for the panels to ensure a low visual impact; the use of monochrome, non-reflective panels with a matte finish is recommended in accordance with Policy SCR2 of the Core Strategy and Placemaking Plan. Black frames are favoured to mitigate an otherwise strident appearance out of character with Bath’s roofscape. We additionally suggest that the panels sit as flush as possible with the roof line to lower them out of the line of sight from the towpath.