Planning Applications Reference:18/04248/FUL

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Type of Application:Full Application
Status:Pending Consideration
Address of Proposal:4 - 5 Railway Place, City Centre, Bath, Bath And North East Somerset, BA1 1TH
Proposal:Erection of extension at the fourth floor level, front and rear infill extensions, external alterations and revisions to existing entrance onto Railway Place.
Planning Portal Reference Number:PP-07025227
Applicant Name:BEGG Nominees Limited C/O CBRE Global Investors
Agent Name:GVA Grimley Ltd (Berkeley Place)
Agent Address:St Catherine's Court, Berkeley Place, Bristol, BS8 1BQ
Case Officer Name:Chloe Buckingham
Date Application Received:21/09/2018
Date Application Validated:26/09/2018
Neighbourhood Consultations sent on:26/09/2018
Standard Consultations sent on:28/12/2018
Last advertised on:04/10/2018
Latest Site Notice posted on:15/10/2018
Expiry Date for Consultation :05/11/2018
Target Decision Date22/02/2019


ConstraintsAgric Land Class 3b,4,5, Article 4 Bath Demolition Wall, Article 4 HMO, Article 4 Reg 7: Estate Agent, British Waterways Major and EIA, Conservation Area, Contaminated Land, Flood Zone 2, LLFA - Flood Risk Management, MOD Safeguarded Areas, Placemaking Plan Allocated Sites, Policy B1 Bath Enterprise Zone, Policy B2 Central Area Strategic Policy, Policy B4 WHS - Boundary, Policy B4 WHS - Indicative Extent, Policy CP12 Bath City Centre Boundary, Policy CP9 Affordable Housing Zones, Policy NE1 Green Infrastructure Network, Policy NE5 Ecological Networks, River Avon and Kennet & Avon Canal, SSSI - Impact Risk Zones
Related Property:4 Railway Place,City Centre,Bath,BA1 1TH.
Related Property:First And Second Floor Offices,4 Railway Place,City Centre,Bath,BA1 1TH.
Related Property:Ground Floor Offices,4 Railway Place,City Centre,Bath,BA1 1TH.
Related Property:Parking Spaces,4 Railway Place,City Centre,Bath,
Related Property:Search Star Limited,4 Railway Place,City Centre,Bath,BA1 1TH.
Reference Proposal Application Received Status
05/01894/FUL . Provision of air conditioning condensor on flat roof at third floor (part) of rear of building01/06/2005Planning Permission Not Required
15/05023/TCA .T1 - London Plane located at the front of the property - raise lower branches to a height of 5-0m to improve clearance over the road, reduce crown height and spread by approx 4-3m to make the tree smaller in size06/11/2015No Objection
16/00297/TCA .1x Cherry Group - fell21/01/2016No Objection
18/04248/FUL .Erection of extension at the fourth floor level, front and rear infill extensions, external alterations and revisions to existing entrance onto Railway Place.21/09/2018Pending Consideration
18/04848/TCA .T1- Plane tree- Crown reduce by 1m and thin by 40%30/10/2018No Objection
19/00018/ODCOU .Prior approval request for change of use from office (Use Class B1a) to 21 apartments (Use Class C3).03/01/2019Pending Consideration
17/05422/TCA .T1- Plane tree- Crown lift to 5m, thin by 20% and crown reduce by 2m07/11/2017No Objection

The Comments tab lists all public comments received on this application (not statutory consultees, e.g. The Environment Agency, Highways DC, etc). The majority of comments are submitted via our Comments Form through the website and you can expand the comment to view all of the text by clicking on the plus button. A minority of comments are submitted by post or email and it is not possible to include all the text here, however when you expand the comment you will see a link to our Associated Documents page where you can search for the comment.

Name Address Comment type Comment1 Comment2 Comment3 Date
Varian Tye 8 Bargates, Box, Wiltshire, SN13 8LT, O Documents Tab 15/10/2018
Bath Preservation Trust Bath Preservation Trust , 1 Royal Crescent, City Centre, Bath, Bath And North East Somerset, BA1 2LR O 25/10/2018: Object: The Trust objects very strongly to this application on the basis of harm to the setting of multiple significant listed buildings, to the conservation area and the World Heritage Site. Whilst we support the sustainable principle of refurbishing buildings rather than demolish and rebuild, in this case the proposed result of refurbishment will introduce a building of unacceptable height, scale, design and materiality into this part of the cityscape.
Whilst there is certainly scope to upgrade this building, the visual contribution it currently makes to the WHS is neutral in effect. The proposals will have a negative effect on the WHS and are the opposite of sensitive adaptation (HE.1); they will therefore not maintain the significance, integrity and authenticity of the WHS. The reasons for this are:
• The adding of an extra storey to the building results in a scale of building that dominates over and intrudes upon the setting of multiple heritage assets, including the Grade II* Brunel Railway Station, Royal Hotel, Argyle Hotel, Bayntun’s Bookshop and Ralph Allen House. These assets form an historic grouping around the station and part of their significance derives from their association with it. An intervention into this grouping should be sensitively scaled and designed to assimilate and complement not to overpower the historic context.
• The building is situated in an important gateway location to the WHS and as such should be a building of exemplary design and comfortably, contextually scaled so as to complement and enhance the qualities of the WHS, not detract from them.
• The ‘boxing in’ of elevations creates a lack of articulation to the elevations and the roofscape, and results in a bland, barren design which does not add interest to the cityscape either at street level or at long views level. In particular the proposed flat roof results in an intrusive expansive form in long views, the current building roofscape is broken down which reduces its impact and helps it assimilate with the overall roofscape character of the WHS.
• The use of extensive glazing with intrusively lit internal space is harmful both in long and short views, especially as this level would be visible from many vantage points across the city. The visual harm caused by the glazed top floor of 20 Manvers Street is now apparent to all, and is especially exacerbated when the lights are blazing well into the night in an historic city where low light levels are the norm. We assume there will be ecological issues relating to this as well.
• We do not see the increase in the height of 20 Manvers Street should act as a precedent for other insensitive and inappropriate development as this will also cause cumulative harm to the character and appearance of the conservation area and the OUV of the WHS.
• We believe the LVIA’s show the level of harm this building will have on important long views into and out of the city. In particular it eats into and erodes the important green views of Beechen Cliff when viewed from points such as South Parade. Views into the city from Beechen Cliff show the impact of the building, dominating the sensitive historic context, neither visually contextual nor respectful but over-domineering and therefore harmful.
We strongly urge the case officer to consider the issue of the increased height of the building, the extent of glazing and the light pollution created. We would recommend the building is reduced in height by one storey at the very least.
The proposed scheme would neither preserve nor enhance the special interest of the adjacent listed buildings nor their setting, it would harm the character and appearance of the conservation area and would detract from the special qualities of the WHS. The scheme would be contrary to Section 16 (Conserving and Enhancing the Historic Environment) of the NPPF, policies B1, B2, B4, and CP6 of the B&NES Core Strategy and policies CP6, D2, D5, HE1, D8, B.4, B.2 and BD1 of the Placemaking Plan. We would therefore recommend the application be withdrawn or refused.
Brian Webber 3 Henrietta Court, Bathwick Street, Bathwick, Bath, Bath And North East Somerset, BA2 6PG O 04/11/2018: Although the existing building is not architecturally distinguished, I have long held it in high regard. It is obviously a creature of the post- WW2 modernisation of the city. But unlike many of the new buildings of that era, which were disastrously bad, this one tried to be neighbourly and did not intrude on or overwhelm the historic buildings in its vicinity. Its appearance was restrained and its height and bulk were not excessive.

No doubt it needs extensive internal refurbishment. Fair enough. The fenestration is dated, and enlarging the panels somewhat could give the building a more cheerful appearance. But storey-height glazing panels will give the world outside a full-on in-your-face view of the mundane activities inside the building. Do passers-by and neighbours want that spectacle; do the people inside the building want to be a spectacle? Very large glazing panels will also increase light spillage, unless strict conditions are imposed and enforced. The ambience of the Rec has been damaged by light spillage from new developments on its edge. We don't want the city lit up every evening like a giant cruise liner.

However, my main objection to the enlarged building is its height and bulk. Too many blocky monolithic buildings are being dropped into the central area, making the surviving historic buildings seem midgets by comparison. For that reason I have never been a fan of the massive Southgate shopping precinct, but it was a price we had to pay to get rid of what preceded it.

4 November 2018