Planning Applications Reference:17/02275/FUL

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Type of Application:Full Application
Status:Pending Consideration
Address of Proposal:114 - 116 Walcot Street, Bath, BA1 5BG
Ward:Abbey
Proposal:Change of use of 1no retail unit, 2no offices, 2no two storey maisonettes and 1no flat into 1no retail unit, 2no three storey maisonettes, 2no three storey houses and 1no flat following demolition of existing 1988 two storey rear extension.
Planning Portal Reference Number:PP-06064748
Applicant Name:Luxio Properties Ltd
Agent Name:Designscape Architects
Agent Address:Bath Brewery, Toll Bridge Road, Lower Swainswick, Bath, Bath And North East Somerset, BA1 7DE
Case Officer Name:Emma Hardy
Date Application Received:12/05/2017
Date Application Validated:18/05/2017
Neighbourhood Consultations sent on:02/10/2017
Standard Consultations sent on:20/10/2017
Last advertised on:05/10/2017
Latest Site Notice posted on:10/10/2017
Expiry Date for Consultation :31/10/2017
Target Decision Date15/12/2017

Documents

ConstraintsAffordable Housing, Agric Land Class 3b,4,5, Article 4, Article 4, Article 4, Conservation Area, Forest of Avon, Hotspring Protection, Listed Building, Local Shops, MOD Safeguarded Areas, River Avon and Kennet & Avon Canal, SSSI - Impact Risk Zones, World Heritage Site
Related Property:114 Walcot Street,City Centre,Bath,BA1 5BG.
Related Property:116 Walcot Street,City Centre,Bath,BA1 5BG.
Related Property:Flat 1,114 Walcot Street,City Centre,Bath,BA1 5BG.
Related Property:Richard Hathaway Lighting,114 Walcot Street,City Centre,Bath,BA1 5BG.
Related Property:Second Floor Flat,116 Walcot Street,City Centre,Bath,BA1 5BG.
Related Property:Studio 2,114 Walcot Street,City Centre,Bath,BA1 5BG.
Related Property:Upper Floor Flat,114 Walcot Street,City Centre,Bath,BA1 5BG.
Related Property:Upper Maisonette,114 Walcot Street,City Centre,Bath,BA1 5BG.
Reference Proposal Application Received Status
17/02275/FUL .Change of use of 1no retail unit, 2no offices, 2no two storey maisonettes and 1no flat into 1no retail unit, 2no three storey maisonettes, 2no three storey houses and 1no flat following demolition of existing 1988 two storey rear extension.12/05/2017Pending Consideration
17/02276/LBA .Internal and external alterations to refurbish and reconfigure existing townhouse to facilitate the change of use of 1no retail unit, 2no offices, 2no two storey maisonettes and 1no flat into 1no retail unit, 2no three storey maisonettes, 2no three storey houses and 1no flat following demolition of existing 1988 two storey rear extension.12/05/2017Pending Consideration

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
George Batterham Washmeres Farm, Washmeres Lane, Colerne, Chippenham, Wiltshire, SN14 9DQ O View Associated Documents 09/06/2017 This comment also has associated documents: View Associated Documents
Music Venue Trust Not Given O View Associated Documents 07/07/2017
Bath Preservation Trust Bath Preservation Trust , 1 Royal Crescent, City Centre, Bath, Bath And North East Somerset, BA1 2LR R 15/06/2017: The Trust has carefully reviewed the plans for this scheme and we find the proposals broadly acceptable. The rear new build element appears to have been carefully thought out, and the building forms, massing and use of materials appears to respond well and comfortably to the character of its backland context whilst also delivering viability for the developer. We commend that applicant on a thorough and detailed Heritage and Design & Access Statement.
We have some concerns regarding the extent of works to the significant listed building, though without the benefit of a site visit our understanding of the full extent of the works is gathered only from the technical drawings. These concerns are:
• The lower ground floor kitchens in the old building appear to have no natural light. Whilst we tend not to comment on internal alterations, we do comment where we feel normal residential amenity is severely compromised. These vaulted spaces were originally service and storage areas, and do not convert well to habitable spaces. Whilst we understand the desire to squeeze the maximum income from this scheme, we question whether these historic areas should be developed in this way or if they are, whether they should have no natural light
• Similarly we question the proposed insertion into the shop area. We accept that the shop is more viable as a smaller space than existing but the insertion of staircase and washroom ‘pod’ within the historic shop area, and so close to the historic fireplaces strikes us as harmful overdevelopment of the asset and one which will neither retain nor enhance its significance. The NPPF is clear that aspects of an asset that contribute to its significance should be protected in a way that is proportionate to their contribution to the value of the building. The shop area and its frontage is a key part of the historic, aesthetic, evidential and even communal value of the building. We suggest that the ground and lower ground floor configuration is re-examined to understand whether a better solution that is less intrusive to the front portion of the shop can be achieved.
Whilst there will be good conservation benefits achieved through the refurbishment of the listed building, including sympathetic repairs and reinstatements, these benefits do not, we feel, totally outweigh the scale of intervention to the ground and lower ground floor.
15/06/2017
Ladymead Management Company Limited Ladymead House, 110 - 112 Walcot Street, Bath, BA1 5BQ, R View Associated Documents 13/09/2017
Henry Dicks Flat 29, Ladymead House, 110 - 112 Walcot Street, Bath, BA1 5BQ, R 30/05/2017: Good morning.

Whilst I am pleased that these buildings will be put to good use I am concerned that no consideration seems to have been given to the provision of car parking spaces. Where does the council expect the significant number of extra cars coming to Walcot Street as a result of the additional footfall and new residents to park?

Thank you,

Henry Dicks
16/06/2017: My concerns remain the same, what provision will be made to cope with the significant increase in the demand for parking spaces? 16/06/2017
Sue Creak & James Russell 12B Chatham Row, City Centre, Bath, Bath And North East Somerset, BA1 5BS O 12/06/2017: Our objection has been submitted by post as it includes the copy of our title deed and a photograph. The reasons for objection are included in our postal objection but are also copied below for completeness:

We own 12B Chatham Row, and have looked in detail at the plans for 114-116 Walcot Street. We strongly object to the proposals to build two new 3 storey houses replacing the existing office and store room. We are objecting to the proposals on reasons of land ownership, loss of privacy, overbearing development, loss of light and noise as detailed below.

Land Ownership
The area on the plans marked as a ‘Communal Yard’ is not communal. 12B Chatham Row owns the half of the yard between 12B and the existing store room as shown in the attached Title Deed ST322868. The other half is owned by 12A. Hence the courtyard acts as the front garden to the two properties.
Though there is a right of way for the occupiers of 114-116 Waltoct Street to pass and repass the courtyard ”..at all times on foot only to access Walcot Street and Chatham Row…” , there is no right for owners of 114-116 to use the yard for any recreational purpose.
The lower ground floor plan for the two new houses, each show with a lounge with sliding doors opening into our front gardens. This is not acceptable and is a gross loss of privacy to us. At the moment the building is used as a store room and so usage is restricted to office hours. Our neighbours’ young children use the courtyard to play.
I am sure it would not be desirable for any residents of the new build, for them to be looking at us using it through their large glass windows, without being allowed to access it themselves.
The plans also cheekily show bands of planting to create mini courtyards in front of their sliding windows, thus taking away front garden land from us; clearly we will not allow this They also show the removal of a wall and large shrub/tree from our garden area in front of 12B.

Overlooked / Loss of Privacy
The ground floor plan for the new builds shows bedrooms with large windows facing into our properties and the first floor plan details large roof terraces. We object to this as it adversely affects our privacy.
Although our houses slope to the river, we have a window into the kitchen on the ground floor and windows into the bathroom and upper hall on the first floor. The bedrooms are at the east side of our house, but if the bedroom doors are open we look straight out through the hall window to 114-116 Walcot street. The proposed new builds are much closer, and have large windows, and hence they would be able to look straight into our property.
Hence we refute the comment made in the Design Access Statement that says “The internal spaces on the west side are circulation spaces (stairs) and bathrooms; so works proposed for Nos 114 - 116 will have little or no impact on the amenity of these two houses.”

Visually Imposing
This new build proposal is significantly higher and bulkier than the existing building and is visually overbearing. The current storeroom is about 2.6m high on the boundary line, and this proposal shows the two roof terraces to be at about 5.6m and 7.2m, excluding the height of any railings enclosing the terraces.

Light
At present, the courtyard is reasonably light despite being overshadowed by Ladymead House to the South. Extending the existing building to 3 stories high, and southwards into the alleyway, will make the courtyard darker overall, and restrict the natural light entering our properties through the windows that face onto the courtyard. The attached photo shows the courtyard with afternoon sun on 5pm on 25 May… as you can see an extended building will cast a lot more shade and cause 12A and 12B to be darker, especially in winter.

Noise
As well as being overlooked from the proposed roof terraces we are really worried about noise: Noise already carries downhill at night from The Bell pub on Walcot Street and from Chatham Row. Two roof terraces on our boundary line have the potential to cause serious noise disruption to us.

The alleyway / right of way
Owners and occupiers of 12A and 12B have a right to use the alleyway on the south side “..to pass and repass at all times on foot only to access to and from Walcot Street..”
There appears to be a restrictive covenant on the alleyway “not to alter, build upon or place any items on the alleyway to cause or create any obstruction on the alleyway to prevent access to Walcot Street.” (ST283128) I am not sure if the covenant prevents extending the property over part of the right of way, but felt it should be noted.

General area / walcot street / business use etc
As Bath’s Core Strategy states:, “Walcot Street is recognised as playing a more specialist retail role, supplementing the city centre retail offer, supporting small businesses and serving a wider catchment area“
We are sorry to see the Green Stationary Company being asked to relocate from their office space for this proposed redevelopment, and would prefer to see the lower floors of 114-116 Walcot Street continue to be used for business use.

Summary
12A and 12B were converted from a workshop and 1 flat to form 2 cottages in 1988/89; parts of them are much older being, we believe, a former pin factory and then a soup kitchen. The rear offices were built at the same time, and though they may appear a bit dated in appearance, they seemed to have been intelligently designed such that the sloping roof of the existing office and store does not impact the two cottages.
We note that the pre-application advice stated that the development will not be permitted unless…
” it does not seriously injure the amenities of adjoining residents through loss of privacy and visual and noise intrusion and it is not detrimental to the residential amenities of future occupants.”
And “will not cause significant harm … by reason of loss of light, or increased overlooking, noise, smell, traffic or other disturbance.”
The proposals for the new build fall seem to fall significantly short of this, and they themselves admit that if they followed the pre-application advice, the scheme would not be financially viable. We therefore believe the proposals should be rejected due to the negative impact on both 12A and 12B.

12/10/2017: These are our comments on the latest versions of the plans for 114-116 Walcot Street issued on 29 September 2017 on the Bath Planning Portal. [Plan references: Lower Ground Floor: 372.F.133 F2, Ground Floor Plan 372.F.134 F2 and First Floor Plan 372.F.135 F2]

As the owners of 12B Chatham Row, we still strongly object to the proposals to build two new 3 storey houses replacing the existing office and store room at the back of 114-116 Walcot Street. We feel that most of our concerns that we have previously raised have not been addressed in the revised application.

We are objecting to the proposals on reasons of loss of privacy, overbearing development, loss of light and noise as detailed below.

Overlooking / Loss of Privacy – NOT ADDRESSED

We can see that the lower ground floors are now to be bedrooms, and the glass doors opening into the courtyard have been removed which is welcome.

However the ground floor (i.e. first storey and now the kitchen, lounge space), now includes wider full length large windows with railings across the front, that face into our property. And roof terraces still remain on the first floor, overlooking the courtyard, although they have been removed from the south side.

As we stated previously: Although our houses slope to the river, we have a window into the kitchen on the ground floor and windows into the bathroom and upper hall on the first floor. The bedrooms are at the east side of our house, but if the bedroom doors are open we look straight out through the hall window to 114-116 Walcot Street. The proposed new builds are much closer, and have large windows, and hence they would be able to look straight into our property and over our front courtyard. Hence we refute the comment made in the Design Access Statement that says “The internal spaces on the west side are circulation spaces (stairs) and bathrooms; so works proposed for Nos 114 - 116 will have little or no impact on the amenity of these two houses.” And as before, we object to this as it adversely affects our privacy.

And as noted by Historic England: “the use of roof terraces would introduce a rather alien feature more or less absent within the historic city”

Visually Imposing - NOT ADDRESSED

As before, this new build proposal is still significantly higher and bulkier than the existing building and is visually overbearing. Although we note the northern building has been reduced in height, there has been no change to the southern one. The current storeroom is about 2.6m high on the boundary line, and this proposal shows the first floor roof terraces to be at about 5.6m high, excluding the height of any railings enclosing the terraces.

The revised drawings also show that the building line of the first floor is about 1.1m closer to 12B, than in the original proposals, and 1.8m closer to 12A, as the roof terraces have been reduced in size to accommodate larger internal floor space. Hence the revised proposals show the southern new build to be bulkier than before.

And as noted by Historic England: “should not be as dominant as currently proposed”

Urban Design: “the extension should remain subservient to the host building”, and “much more modest in scale and appearance that these proposals are”,

Conservation Consultation Response: “The design overall would appear over dominant in the local townscape where a greater degree of subservience to the scale and formality of the ‘grand’ buildings on the street frontage should be recognised in the form and scale of ‘secondary’ building types at the rear.” And “The design of the proposed replacement extension would cause considerable harm to the setting of 114 - 116 Walcot Street and adjoining listed buildings”

Noise – NOT ADDRESSED

As well as being overlooked from the proposed roof terraces we are really worried about noise: Noise already carries downhill at night from Walcot Street and from Chatham Row. Two roof terraces on our boundary line have the potential to cause serious noise disruption to us. (Imagine a Hen party there!!)

The Alleyway / right of way – NOT ADDRESSED

We are still concerned about the two storey extension of the new build (Ground and Lower Ground Floors) into the alleyway from Walcot Street. At the moment it is quite open; building over the space, would narrow the access to our courtyard, and create a bit of a pinch point, as well as making it a bit creepier in the dark, as even less of the courtyard would be visible.

And as mentioned before: Owners and occupiers of 12A and 12B have a right to use the alleyway on the south side “..to pass and repass at all times on foot only to access to and from Walcot Street..” and there appears to be a restrictive covenant on the alleyway “not to alter, build upon or place any items on the alleyway to cause or create any obstruction on the alleyway to prevent access to Walcot Street.” (ST283128)

And as noted by:
Historic England: “are unconvinced that extending the footprint of the replacement extension to the southern boundary of the site can be justified”

Urban Design: “The building line of the extension should not protrude into the pathway any further than the existing building line of the listed building”

Conservation Consultation Response “. ..It would also harm the character and appearance of this part of the Bath Conservation Area, including important views.”

Light – NOT ADDRESSED

At present, the courtyard is reasonably light despite being overshadowed by Ladymead House to the South. Extending the existing rear building to 3 stories high, and southwards into the alleyway, will make the courtyard darker overall, and restrict the natural light entering our properties through the windows that face onto the courtyard.

Applicant Email Document

There are a few things in the Applicant Email document (uploaded on 29th September) that either don’t tie up with the revised plans or that we have comments upon as follows:

“This amended, reduced scheme removes:…the 1st floor balcony and made this into living space; the outdoor amenity is now on a level up” – We can’t see that in the drawings as all the roof terraces are still shown on the first floor .( First Floor Plan 372.F.135 F2)

“What we are now proposing is an external terrace in order to provide a reasonable outdoor amenity space on the same level as the principle living space.” – This is not shown on the revised plans –the roof terraces are still shown on the first floor plan along with a bedroom, and there are no terraces on the ground floor plan (372.F.134 F2).

“We are improving the currently approved plan; instead of having a pair full height glass doors with Juliette balcony on the property boundary by moving them back by 2 metres from the boundary.” - This is not shown on the Ground Floor Plan (372.F.134 F2) – they still line up with the site boundary

“…Given that the courtyard is a shared space with our property having full right of way / access over it …” - Though there is a right of way for the occupiers of 114-116 Waltcot Street to pass and repass the courtyard ”..at all times on foot only to access Walcot Street and Chatham Row…” , there is no right for owners of 114-116 to use the yard for any recreational purpose. This needs to be clear to the owners and residents of the proposed new build.

“Following the demolition of this original building, planning permission was given to build 12a and 12b Chatham Row thus blocking what would have been an uninterrupted view across the river. One has to ask the question as to why this was approved if the concern is so great?
….12a & 12b are relatively recent additions to the site, they are totally out of character of the surrounding buildings in the context of the overall view so we regarded this as a huge improvement….
Frankly, 12a and 12b are an “eyesore” particularly the roof; …. Moreover, the stonework of the front of these dwellings has been very badly constructed. Our building will obscure these houses.” -
12A and 12B are not new builds - they were converted from a workshop and 1 flat to form 2 cottages in 1988/89; parts of them are much older being, we believe, a former pin factory and then a soup kitchen. A former entrance to 12B existed below the current ground level, as we found this when trying to sort out a damp problem. Inside there are two fire places – one on the first floor, which was constructed well before 1988!. We believe they are part of the artisan nature of walcot street. Yes agree totally that the porches and roof materials are not great – but they applicant should not assume that we would not wish to change the front of our property in future, which could change the existing porch/ roof materials and extend out into OUR courtyard. Just because it is slightly ugly, there is no need to hide us and hem us in!

“Moreover, we’ll be replacing the rear office extension that can only be described as an architectural nightmare / carbuncle.” - Although the rear offices may appear a bit dated in appearance, they seemed to have been intelligently designed such that the sloping roof of the existing office and store does not impact the two cottages or impact on other houses in Chatham Row or Ladymead House adversely.

For the reasons listed above, we still object to the proposal. And as before, we note that the pre-application advice stated that the development will not be permitted unless:
" it does not seriously injure the amenities of adjoining residents through loss of privacy and visual and noise intrusion and it is not detrimental to the residential amenities of future occupants.”
And “will not cause significant harm … by reason of loss of light, or increased overlooking, noise, smell, traffic or other disturbance.”

I have no doubt that the applicant would endeavour to redevelop the site to a high standard, however that’s not where we have an issue. Some of their issues seem to have been caused by not establishing land ownership to start with, and ignoring the pre-planning advice.

Yours sincerely

Sue Creak & James Russell, 12B Chatham Row

27/10/2017 This comment also has associated documents: View Associated Documents
Penny Rhodes 13A Chatham Row, City Centre, Bath, Bath And North East Somerset, BA1 5BS R 27/06/2017: Dear Emma,
I am concerned that the alteration from two storeys to three storeys will affect my window. I have permission to reopen an old window at the back of my property which is on the 2nd floor, this is work currently in progress. I would like to understand whether the flat roof which was the extension of 114/116, previously the lighting shop will be raised as this is the level of my planned window. If possible, can you call me to discuss the proposed third storey.
many thanks,
Penny Rhodes
03/10/2017: Is it possible to see a South elevation of the revised proposal incorporating the back of 13A and 13 Chatham Row to understand the height of terraces and rooves vs our back windows?
Many thanks,
Penny Rhodes
03/10/2017
Katarina Halvarsson 12A Chatham Row, City Centre, Bath, Bath And North East Somerset, BA1 5BS O 16/06/2017: Dear Bath Local Authority
I and my partner and children rent the property 12A, and object to the proposed planning application.
The property was rented out to us on the basis that the front area referred to as "the communal courtyard to the east" is to be enjoyed by the properties 12A & 12B only.
The courtyard also directly faces the windows of the kitchen kitchen, dining and bathroom area of 12A, and were the current application be granted with the new properties facing the courtyard, we would loose the privacy we currently enjoy.
Our children play in the communal courtyard as it belongs to 12A & 12B, and the current planning application seeks to eliminate this benefit.
The main reason we rented this property was because the communal courtyard belongs to the property 12A, and the proposed planning application proposal rescinds the benefits we currently enjoy for the rent we pay.
It would render the properties unsuitable for us to rent with 2 little toddlers
We very much hope that the developers can find another proposal that does not involve the use of the the communal courtyard area” as we object to the current planning application
Thank you
Katarina
19/06/2017
George Batterham Washmeres Farm, Colerne, Chippenham, Wiltshire, SN14 8DQ O 05/06/2017: I strongly object on three counts and have written a two page letter to Emma Harding setting out my justification.
1 The courtyard to the east is not communal , it is owned by 12A &12B Chatham row
2 Proposals overbearing impact of the massing on 12A Chatham row
3 Overlooking and detrimental impact on adjoining properties.
19/06/2017: Thank you for notifying me of the revised drawing that have been submitted. However I have checked through them and the two proposed drawings a section BB and the East elevation have not been revised ,hence my three fundamental objections to the proposed Use of our courtyard for the two town houses as garden space ,Overbearing massing , and Significant overlooking, still stand .
I trust that you will either be refusing the application or insisting on these three issues being addressed with a revised design.
19/06/2017 This comment also has associated documents: View Associated Documents
Alison Terras 7 Chatham Row, City Centre, Bath, Bath And North East Somerset, BA1 5BS O 31/10/2017: I object on the following grounds:
* The proposal shows a gross overdevelopment of the site far exceeding the existing retail, business and residential space. It will adversely affect all the surrounding residential properties by its "looming" presence, and reduce light to a number of them.
* The use of roof terracing is not only out of keeping with the historical context of the surrounding buildings, but also an encroachment of privacy in respect of residents in Chatham Row, especially nos.12A and 12B.
*My understanding is that the courtyard is the property of nos. 12A and 12B and should not be altered or affected in any way by the proposal, including the access pathways from both Walcot Street and Chatham Row.
*There appears to be no provision for rubbish storage in an area already beset by problems with seagulls and badgers, especially with the impending fortnightly collection service.
*Additional pressure of parking spaces in the area will be inevitable as a result of extra residents.
31/10/2017
Mark Mac Donnell 8 Chatham Row, City Centre, Bath, Bath And North East Somerset, BA1 5BS O 29/10/2017: Dear Ms Hardy

Though the revised scheme is better than the previous one. I would like to object on the following points:

. The terrace to the north of the development looking over Chatham Row and the Yard. This is out of character with the area where the privacy of those living in Chatham Row will be affected. This area has all its gardens at low level and a terrace will create overlooking and noise.

The balustrade would look very odd here and would suggest an ashlar wall high enough to keep privacy especially to the north elevation.

Could you explain the strategy for keeping bins. where will the occupants of the rear two houses keep their bins? We have issues with seagulls and badgers rifling through our bins and this should be addressed.

Will there be a condition imposed on the development to restrict the number of residents parking permits?

Regards
MMD

29/10/2017
Jane Knapp 6 Chatham Row, City Centre, Bath, Bath And North East Somerset, BA1 5BS O 29/10/2017: Although the reduced scale of the development has been reduced, which I see as some improvement,I still have the following objections:
The new houses will now overlook my garden from their proposed taerraces in a way that is more intrusive to our privacy than before or if their view were from the vernacular style sash windows. The drawings do not hsow people looking out from the terraces but
This can easily be imagined.
I can see no provision for rubbish storage . We have many rats, seagulls and badgers that attack sacks of rubbish left outside and so no area for bins will enocurage more vermin and unsightliness. In Chatham Row the houses have back yards and areas to store their bins untl rubbish day which I will remind anyone reading this is to be reduced to a fortnightly collection!
There is no provision for parking, depsite the increased capacity for further families and already there is too much pressure on any spaces for the existing reisdents.
29/10/2017
Neil Durham 10 Chatham Row, City Centre, Bath, Bath And North East Somerset, BA1 5BS O View Associated Documents 01/11/2017