Yew Tree Barn, Church Close, Bathampton
Yew Tree Barn is a residential 3-bed dwelling situated within the Bathampton village conservation area and Green Belt, and the indicative landscape setting of the World Heritage site. It is situated outside of the village’s Housing Development Boundary. It is positioned directly adjacent to the northern elevation of the Grade II* Church of St Nicholas, with the existing single storey and two storey roofscape forming a considerable visual aspect of the church’s graveyard setting, whilst the varied roof levels adds some diverse visual interest whilst breaking up what could otherwise be an over-dominant building massing.
Following the submission of revised drawings to amend previous discrepancies present in the available plans, the Trust has the following concerns:
We would highlight that there is no provision of a proposed percentage volume increase. We note that the previous application 12/00662/FUL was calculated by the officer to have a general volume increase of 25%; we would therefore recommend that the proposed volume increase percentage is provided in comparison with the pre-1948 original building’s volume to ensure this application constitutes appropriate development within the Green Belt, and matches the previously predicted growth in volume by the LPA. The total volume of all post-1948 additions should fall below a maximum volume increase of 30%.
Nonetheless, due to the close proximity of Yew Tree Barn to the Grade II* church, the building’s significance in form, scale, massing, and use of materials is heightened in its contribution to the immediate boundary appearance and character of the setting of a listed building, as well as its wider context. We therefore feel that the proposed cumulative increase in roof height to a homogenous two-storey height would be detrimental to the setting of a listed building and the internal aspect of the church as viewed through the north aisle windows, and would create a ‘tunnel’ shadowing effect in conjunction with the church’s northern elevation.
Furthermore, the current roofscape’s variation in height adds visual interest, with the current 2-storey block featuring as an architectural centrepiece, whilst breaking down the massing of the building into a more recessive, less overwhelming addition to the graveyard’s northern boundary. This application would therefore create a solid, over-dominant mass out of character with the low-level appearance of Yew Tree Barn whilst constituting unmitigated harm to the setting of a Grade II* listed building.
We therefore feel that should further development be permitted along the southern boundary of this site, so long as it falls under appropriate development within the Green Belt, should be retained at a maximum of one storey.