Third Floor Flat 5, 1 Sydney Place, Bathwick, Bath

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Proposal

External alterations to replace third floor windows on the principal elevation with double glazed, plain sash windows.

Our Response

1 Sydney Place forms part of a Grade I series of eleven terraced townhouses situated within the Bath conservation area and World Heritage Site. The terrace was constructed in 1808-1809, designed by John Pinch the Elder, and form part of the unfinished vision of Sir William Johnstone Pulteney for the residential setting of Sydney Gardens, flanking the junction to Great Pulteney Street. At 3 ½ storeys in height, the terrace is of a more modest scale than the Grade I 93-103 Sydney Place adjacent, but remains notable for its uniform, palatial façade punctuated with a pediment at roof level on the central townhouse and an ornamental frieze at first floor level. The uniformity of the terrace does vary slightly at 1-12 Sydney Place with the addition of a pediment on the end of the terrace and a blind elevation onto Sutton Street. Sydney Place remains a significant indicator of an unfinished, speculative plan for the further expansion of Georgian Bath to the east and forms part of the Georgian Town Planning and Georgian Architecture OUV of the World Heritage Site.

In the light of the declared Climate Emergency, BPT is generally supportive of retrofit measures that protect elements that contribute to the special architectural and historic interest of a listed building; alterations are expected to be visually coherent with the character of the building, and the wider shared character of the two listed buildings and surrounding conservation area.

We acknowledge that the existing windows proposed for replacement are non-historic in origin and are in a poor condition, necessitating replacement.

This offers a positive opportunity for the implementation of energy-efficient retrofits without the loss of historic fabric, and the reinstatement of timber-framed sash windows with associated heritage gain. The double paned glass at high dormer window level would have little visual impact on the collective appearance of windows in this house and terrace.

Whilst the use of multi-pane sash windows is more in-keeping with the traditional historic detailing and age of this building and the wider terrace, we appreciate that the rest of the windows across this building have already been replaced with one-over-one sashes. Within this context, dormer replacements in a matching design would therefore better integrate with the existing fenestration across the principal elevation.

However, we maintain that this application does not provide sufficient detail proportionate to the significance of a Grade I listed building. We are unable to make an adequate assessment of the suitability of the proposed windows without further information. The proposed sections are incomplete and do not include the intersection of the proposed top and lower sash. We continue to strongly recommend that further details, photographs, and/or measured sections regarding the articulation and thickness of the existing windows are provided to enable adequate comparison. Currently, the extent of change proposed by this application remains unclear. Where possible, we encourage the proposed windows to closely match those already existing to sustain the coherent detailing and appearance of the building.

We therefore recommend that sections of the existing windows are submitted to enable the LPA to make a proper assessment regarding any potential change in glazing bar thickness and consequently the overall visual character of the windows.

Application Number: 21/05573/LBA
Application Date: 16/12/2021
Closing Date: 03/03/2022
Address: Third Floor Flat 5, 1 Sydney Place, Bathwick, Bath
Our Submission Status: Comment
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