Planning Applications Reference:19/01391/FUL

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Type of Application:Full Application
Status:Pending Consideration
Address of Proposal:Land North Of Kennet House, Sydney Road, Bathwick, Bath,
Ward:Bathwick
Proposal:Erection of a three storey dwelling.
Planning Portal Reference Number:PP-07745042
Applicant Name:The Trevor Osborne Property Group
Agent Name:Nash Partnership
Agent Address:25 King Street, Bristol, BS1 4PB
Case Officer Name:Christine Moorfield
Date Application Received:03/04/2019
Date Application Validated:15/04/2019
Neighbourhood Consultations sent on:08/11/2019
Standard Consultations sent on:08/11/2019
Last advertised on:18/04/2019
Latest Site Notice posted on:25/04/2019
Expiry Date for Consultation :22/11/2019
Target Decision Date22/11/2019

Documents

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, British Waterways Minor and Householders, Conservation Area, LLFA - Flood Risk Management, Listed Building, MOD Safeguarded Areas, Policy B4 WHS - Boundary, Policy B4 WHS - Indicative Extent, Policy CP9 Affordable Housing Zones, Policy NE2A Landscapes and the green set, Policy NE5 Ecological Networks, River Avon and Kennet & Avon Canal, SSSI - Impact Risk Zones
Related Property:Land North Of Kennet House,Sydney Road,Bathwick,Bath,
Reference Proposal Application Received Status
18/03727/FUL .Erection of 4-bed dwelling on land north of Kennet House. (Resubmission).20/08/2018Application Withdrawn
19/01391/FUL .Erection of a three storey dwelling.03/04/2019Pending 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
Andrea And Keir Cooper Lonsdale, Sydney Road, Bathwick, Bath, Bath And North East Somerset, BA2 6NT O 25/09/2019: Dear Madam,

We remain entirely uncomfortable with the latest submission from TOG, for the development of the original Kennet House garden, and find all the supportive arguments spurious.
As the property which would directly overlook the proposed site, this latest carbuncle would in effect be an eyesore from the front of our home.

The fact that the land and fencing have been wilfully neglected, does not justify its development.

Our objections are as follows:

1 This is already a busy stretch of Sydney Road with access and egress from Lonsdale, Kennet House, Bath Orthodontics and Cleveland house in close proximity. To allow for another drive within this area seems irresponsible. In fact our drive will face two driveways rather than one.

2 The development of any structure on this garden severely compromises the wooded, open and undeveloped atmosphere of this road, which is unique in terms of the main roads leading out of the centre of Bath.

3 Once again the proposed design neither echoes that of Kennet House, its closest neighbour, nor is an unobtrusive contemporary dwelling. It is without any reference to the beautiful, and distinctive Grade II properties around it. Most importantly, it will be competitive within its environment, and dominate the visual impression of this part of the road. This is totally unacceptable given the quiet nature of the properties in situ - either set back from the road or set below.

Yours Sincerely,

Andrea and Keir Cooper

25/09/2019
Mr And Mrs Robinson Kennet House, Sydney Road, Bathwick, Bath, Bath And North East Somerset, BA2 6NR R Documents Tab 17/09/2019
Michael Coffey Ravenscroft, Sydney Road, Bathwick, Bath, Bath And North East Somerset, BA2 6NT O 24/09/2019: My wife and I live with our family at Ravenscroft, part of a Grade II listed building to the north and east of the site in the above planning application. We are writing to express our continuing strong objection to this application.

We note that compared to the most recent application the proposed structure is of reduced proportions. However, the fact remains that it will still be wholly out of character with the other buildings in the conservation area, and damage the relationship of Kennet House to its surrounding land, as originally designed. We do not believe that the creation of additional housing stock justifies, any more than it motivates, this application. This is not the kind of housing stock of which Bath is in need.

The last paragraph of the applicant’s supporting letter, and the arguments adduced to the application therein are themselves testimony to the illogicality of this development. The land has “little purpose or benefit to anyone” precisely because the developer has intentionally orphaned it from its intended environment. That it is has become under his ownership “an unkempt parcel of land” demonstrates eloquently that the developer has no concern at all for the conservation area, and the fact that “overgrowth and littering…has now become commonplace” suggests that, having created this spare land, he has a duty rather to take care, rather than obliterate it.

In short, we believe the design of the building will significantly damage a conservation area, but more importantly, that there are no grounds in principle for a development of any kind at this location.

21/11/2019: My wife and I live with our family at Ravenscroft, part of a Grade II listed building to the north and east of the site in the above planning application. We are writing to express our continuing strong objection to this application.

We have studied the most recent adjustments to the proposed development and remain unconvinced that this development is justified on planning, aesthetic or housing shortage grounds; it is of course nonsense to posit that because it is “making its own character statement” a building can justifiably be shoehorned into any architectural and historical context, however diverse that context may already be.

The fact remains that Kennet House was designed to exist within its garden; a setting from which it has been shorn by the applicant with no regard for the “romantic inspiration” which they now claim is driving the latest submission. The NPPF specifically advises against development on any residential gardens, let alone those of a Grade II listed property. This development would materially alter the Bathwick Conservation area; for these and other reasons in local and national planning guidelines, we believe that there are no grounds in principle for a development of any kind at this location.
21/11/2019 This comment also has associated documents: Documents Tab
Richard And Julia Andrews And Virley Ravenswell, Sydney Road, Bathwick, Bath, Bath And North East Somerset, BA2 6NT O Documents Tab 25/09/2019
Cheryl Wilde Not Given O Documents Tab 02/05/2019
Kirsten Elliott 58 Minster Way, Bathwick, Bath, Bath And North East Somerset, BA2 6RL O 03/05/2019: After careful consideration, I feel I must object to this application. There is nothing intrinsically wrong with the design of the house. In the right place, it would be a great asset, but it seems to me to be more suited to a seaside situation. Overlooking a coastal view, it would look amazing. However, this is very definitely the wrong place.
It would interefere with the setting both of the Grade 2* listed Cleveland House, and Kennet House, which has now been almost obscured by the illegally erected fence. If the house is built, Kennet House will be completely overshadowed. It will also affect the setting of the two houses opposite, which date from 1853 and, to a lesser extent, particularly in winter, the setting of Sydney Gardens, Kennet House is an interesting buiding. Originally called Cleveland Villa, it dates from 1840 at the latest - it appears on the tithe map - and is in the style of JC Loudon. The two houses opposite were designed by the Bath architect James Peacock. In the Bathwick conservation area, all three houses are important features.
Given how sensitively the garages at the house next door have been hidden away, it seems extraordinary that anyone would consider this intrusive development acceptable. That is not to say that this plot should not be built on - an eco house, set further back on the plot with much less height might easily be acceptable. This development is not.
03/05/2019
Bath Preservation Trust Bath Preservation Trust , 1 Royal Crescent, City Centre, Bath, Bath And North East Somerset, BA1 2LR O 16/05/2019: Objection: The Trust maintains its strong objection to the principle of development of this front garden site, as it plays a key role in the open garden setting of listed buildings (particularly the Grade II* Cleveland House and the Grade II Kennet House), Sydney Gardens (Registered Park Grade I) and the spacious garden character of the streetscene of this part of the Bath Conservation Area and WHS in general.
The Trust continues to object to this application on the basis that the revised plans continue to propose a harmful impact on the distinct character and appearance of the conservation area and the setting of heritage assets.
Principle of development
We do not in principle support the loss of this garden nor the insertion of a new dwelling. However should the principle be accepted by the LPA any development in this location should be contextually respectful, very low impact (i.e. no more than one storey) and non-dominating or competing.
We refute the claim that this is a ‘vacant site’; it is as above an historic and created garden setting for a heritage asset. We note from the withdrawn application that Historic England have expressed regret that the site is proposed to be built on; ‘the large plot associated with Kennett House also reflects the picturesque landscape setting that was envisaged for the house. The loss of this land is therefore is detrimental in terms of understanding this assets setting and the architectural style that contributes to our understanding of the wider development of this part of the Conservation Area’.
The setting of heritage assets, the importance of the character of the CA, and contribution of the area to the town planning criterion of the OUV
Gardens form a significant contribution to the character of this section of the conservation area and this informal townscape layout contributes to the town planning criterion of the OUV. Kennet House and the adjacent Ravenswell show the later establishment of the Gothic and the Picturesque in this part of Bath, along with the rise of the villa: the large open gardens of these houses were intentionally created to provide the picturesque setting for these dwellings and as such they have visual and historic significance. Kennet House references the Gothic Farm House in Victoria Park, thus demonstrating the importance of its surrounding land. Their context next to Sydney Gardens further underlines the open, green, arcadian nature of this area,
Garden spaces not only help to provide the setting for listed buildings but punctuate the streetscape adding visual interest and provide a welcome break from existing urban built forms.
The revised design approach does nothing to change the views of the Trust that significant harm would be caused to heritage assets by any development on this site. The “look-at-me” design approach now pursued would give the proposed dwelling even more significant prominence than the previous approach, as illustrated in figs 7.2 and 7.8 of the Design and Access Statement (Part 2).
A conscious decision has been clearly made to make a “romantic” architectural statement in the street-scene, like no other to be found in the immediate or even wider context.
The c1820 ‘Spa Villa’ high up at 9 Bathwick Hill, was originally octagonal, but was designed to be seen in a highly gradiented setting unlike this site. This building has since lost this form as a result of extensions and alterations.
Octagonal buildings might work in expansive landscape settings, where the plan form is a natural and logical response to views in in all directions. However, this new dwelling, due to its scale, height and obtrusive design would compete for visual dominance with the adjacent Cleveland House, whose side elevation has been articulated with a symmetrical composition of pedimented blind window panels – clearly intended to be seen in views from Sydney Road. The building would also occupy the setting of Kennet House, whose romantic “cottage orne” facade was clearly intended to be seen through its “orchard” foreground, until it was sold away and fenced off in recent times.
The design includes the use of oak panelling on the upper floor. The Trust accepts that natural timber panelling is a material which can be successfully used in contemporary designs, but feels that it is at odds with this traditionally conceived design.
The harm caused would not “minor adverse”, but substantial in its accumulated impact on a number of heritage assets. The Trust holds that the design quality of this proposed villa is inappropriate and does not mitigate against the harm caused.
The NPPF paragraph requires that great weight is given to harm caused to heritage assets. Whether the harm amounts to substantial harm or less than substantial harm can be debated – but it’s certainly on the upper levels of less than substantial harm. The public benefit of one new dwelling is limited and low, so this proposal should be firmly rejected on the basis that it fails to comply with the requirements of the Framework, paras 194/195 or 196.
It would be therefore be contrary to the requirements of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990, and Placemaking Plan, Policies D1 (Urban Design Principles), D2 (Local character and distinctiveness), HE1 (Historic Environment), NE2 (Conserving and enhancing the landscape and landscape character), B4 (World Heritage).





19/09/2019: Kennet House Amended Drawings

The Trust continues to object to this application on the basis that we do not concede the principle of development for this land. If the principle for development were to be conceded, we acknowledge that the revised plans are a considerable improvement on the previous unacceptable design: however, we would still prefer a single storey scheme to minimise impact on the distinct character and appearance of the conservation area and the setting of heritage assets.


Principle of development
We have a strong preference for the site to remain undeveloped. Please refer to our objection to the principle of development on this site and the reasons set out in our previous response to this application.

Kennet House forms part of the picturesque tradition of setting buildings in large gardens to be viewed through a garden landscape setting, the character of which should only be sustained or enhanced. The proposed development would not sustain or conserve the character and appearance of the conservation area. Whether this development would enhance is a matter for debate, we have submitted informed comments and ultimately this is for assessment by the by the LPA or planning inspector.

The division of Kennet House’s historic curtilage by the site owner(s) has created “a site without a purpose”. However the involvement of the developer in this process provided a speculative development opportunity which did not previously exist. The argument that the land is now poorly managed and therefore should be developed cannot be acceptable: if we accepted such an argument this would send a dangerous precedent with perverse and inappropriate incentives to sequestrate and neglect land. Neglect and fly tipping is no justification for allowing development on this site.

Height reduction
We refer to our previous comments that we have a strong preference for a single storey building IF development is considered acceptable in principle by the LPA.

However on consideration of the amended plans the proposed reduction in height is an improvement and would achieve a more subservient building in relation to those adjacent, as is the removal of timber cladding which is an alien material in the city setting.


Roof Lantern Design
Alternative 1: The slender version seems to achieve the functional and aesthetic aims of the architect while having the benefit of revealing more of Kennet House.

Alternative 2: The wider version relates better to the design and proportions of the proposed house so we also see a benefit to this approach.

Building positioning
A building of the height proposed, in the position proposed, undoubtedly has an impact on the views and visibility of Cleveland and Kennet House wherever it is located. We recognise that adjusting the siting would do little to mitigate this.



Boundary treatment
We would encourage hedge planting rather than any wooden fencing. The proposed wooden fence is too high and would have a harmful impact on the setting of Kennet House. A much lower fence or preferably a hedge would maintain some of the integrity of the setting, or indeed a shared driveway with no such intervention.



In conclusion

Our primary reasons for objecting to the principle of development remain applicable to the amended proposals.

The harm caused by the siting and height of the proposed house would be adverse its impact on a number of heritage assets. The NPPF paragraph requires that great weight is given to harm caused to heritage assets. Whether the harm amounts to substantial harm or less than substantial harm can be debated – in our views it is on the upper levels of less than substantial harm. The public benefit of one new dwelling is limited and low, so this proposal should be rejected on the basis that it fails to comply with the requirements of the Framework, paras 194/195 or 196. Paragraph 70 of the NPPF should also be taken into account by the LPA. The land is a domestic garden and remains as such and in accordance with the NPPF gardens are NOT brownfield sites.

The proposed development is contrary to the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990, and Placemaking Plan, Policies D1 (Urban Design Principles), D2 (Local character and distinctiveness), D7 (Infill and backland development), HE1 (Historic Environment), NE2 (Conserving and enhancing the landscape and landscape character), B4 (World Heritage).


19/09/2019
Thurdleigh Planning Consultancy On Behalf Of Mr And Mrs Tong 1 Walcot Gate, Walcot, Bath, Bath And North East Somerset, BA1 5UG O Documents Tab 16/09/2019
Bath Heritage Watchdog Not Given O Documents Tab 20/10/2019