Planning Applications Reference:19/03211/LBA

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Type of Application:Listed Building Consent (Alts/exts)
Status:Pending Decision
Address of Proposal:Sydney Gardens, Sydney Place, Bathwick, Bath,
Ward:Bathwick
Proposal:External alterations to include repairs and installation of railings to low balustrade wall.
Decision Type:Delegated
Planning Portal Reference Number:PP-08001487
Applicant Name:Network Rail
Agent Name:No Agent
Case Officer Name:Caroline Power
Date Application Received:16/07/2019
Date Application Validated:19/07/2019
Standard Consultations sent on:20/09/2019
Last advertised on:25/07/2019
Latest Site Notice posted on:25/07/2019
Expiry Date for Consultation :15/08/2019
Target Decision Date06/12/2019

Documents

ConstraintsAgric Land Class 3b,4,5, Air Quality Management Area, 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 HE1 Historic Parks and Gardens, Policy LCR5 Safeguarded existg sport & R, Railway, River Avon and Kennet & Avon Canal, SSSI - Impact Risk Zones
Related Property:Sydney Gardens,Sydney Place,Bathwick,Bath,
Reference Proposal Application Received Status
10/04109/TCA .Various tree works23/09/2010No Objection
18/03452/REG13 .Internal and external alterations for works at Sydney Gardens Public Park including erection of cafe kiosk with accessible toilets following demolition of existing Bowls Pavilion. Restoration of Listed Ladies and Gents toilets to be used for park related uses and events. Relocation of listed ladies toilets. Conservation works to the grade 2 listed Loggia and Minervas Temple. Conversion of Bothy and modern toilets to community / park related activity use. Consolidation of the lower half of the derelict structure in the current depot area and associated site wide repairs and landscape works.02/08/2018Consent
18/03451/REG03 .Works at Sydney Gardens Public Park including erection of cafe kiosk with accessible toilets following demolition of existing Bowls Pavilion. Restoration of Listed Ladies and Gents toilets to be used for park related uses and events. Relocation of listed ladies toilets. Conservation works to the grade 2 listed Loggia and Minervas Temple. Conversion of Bothy and modern toilets to community / park related activity use. Consolidation of the lower half of the derelict structure in the current depot area and associated site wide repairs and landscape works.02/08/2018Application Permitted
19/03211/LBA .External alterations to include repairs and installation of railings to low balustrade wall.16/07/2019Pending Decision
19/04357/CONDLB .Discharge of conditions 13, 14, 15, 16, 17 and 18 of application 18/03452/REG13 (Internal and external alterations for works at Sydney Gardens Public Park including erection of cafe kiosk with accessible toilets following demolition of existing Bowls Pavilion. Restoration of Listed Ladies and Gents toilets to be used for park related uses and events. Relocation of listed ladies toilets. Conservation works to the grade 2 listed Loggia and Minervas Temple. Conversion of Bothy and modern toilets to community / park related activity use. Consolidation of the lower half of the derelict structure in the current depot area and associated site wide repairs and landscape works.).04/10/2019Condition Discharged
19/04987/CONDLB .Discharge of conditions 19 and 20 of application 18/03452/REG13 (Internal and external alterations for works at Sydney Gardens Public Park including erection of cafe kiosk with accessible toilets following demolition of existing Bowls Pavilion. Restoration of Listed Ladies and Gents toilets to be used for park related uses and events. Relocation of listed ladies toilets. Conservation works to the grade 2 listed Loggia and Minervas Temple. Conversion of Bothy and modern toilets to community / park related activity use. Consolidation of the lower half of the derelict structure in the current depot area and associated site wide repairs and landscape works).15/11/2019Pending Consideration
19/05015/COND .Discharge of conditions 20 and 21 of application 18/03451/REG03 (Works at Sydney Gardens Public Park including erection of cafe kiosk with accessible toilets following demolition of existing Bowls Pavilion. Restoration of Listed Ladies and Gents toilets to be used for park related uses and events. Relocation of listed ladies toilets. Conservation works to the grade 2 listed Loggia and Minervas Temple. Conversion of Bothy and modern toilets to community / park related activity use. Consolidation of the lower half of the derelict structure in the current depot area and associated site wide repairs and landscape works).18/11/2019Pending 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
Keith Rowe - Sydney Gardens Project Manager Royal Victoria Park Nursery, Drive Through Royal Victoria Park, Lower Weston, Bath, BA1 2LZ, S 12/08/2019: The Sydney Gardens Project which is aiming to revitalise the historic Pleasure Gardens is funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and is currently in its Delivery Phase. The Project has had a number of site meetings with Network Rail to discuss and understand what is achievable in terms of balancing the need to secure the railway line and respect the special heritage value of the Gardens.
We consider the proposals put forward in this application by Network Rail to be an entirely appropriate solution for this sensitive location. The design has been through a considerable number of iterations and consultations with heritage interest groups and has been consistently supported. Other options have been favoured by one group or another on single issue requirements, but they don't manage to balance all the competing interests in the way this solution does. For example, glazed panels may initially provide a less interrupted view, but over time they will become cloudy and rely on a maintenance commitment that is unlikely to be achieved - therefore they will obscure the view in the and cause harm to the historic landscape character of this part of the Pleasure Gardens in the long term.
The Sydney Gardens Project have agreed with Network Rail that once they have completed their railing installation work, they will provide a Hoggin surfaced path adjacent to the balustrade for its entire length. This will be a significant practical contribution to the restoration of the railway path identified within our restoration plans.
12/08/2019
The Victorian Society 75 Cowcross Street, London, EC1M 6EJ O Documents Tab 16/08/2019
Mark Cleland British Transport Police, Reading Railway Station, Brunel Arcade, Station Hill, Reading , RG1 1LT S 02/08/2019: The application is supported as this will restrict access to the railway lines and contribute towards the Great Western Suicide Prevention Strategy for the area. Historically there have been a number of self harm and safety type incidents over the previous number of years at this location. By installing fencing it should prevent individuals being able to access the railway for that purpose. 02/08/2019
David Lacey-Goodman 68 St John's Road, Bathwick, Bath, BA2 6PT, O 12/08/2019: Dear Sirs,

I object to this application to alter an original I. K. Brunel structure, with what I consider a totally unnecessary railing. If Brunel had considered such to be required he would certainly have provided it.

I understand that Sydney gardens has recently been awarded a Lottery grant to enable complete restoration of the landscape and associated structures, including the derelict victorian public toilets. This is excellent news.

However the low wall bounding the railway line was designed as it was to show off the park from the trains, and vice versa. Indeed, a small section of the wall was temporarily removed to allow Queen Victoria to step down from her train directly into the park. It seems inappropriate to restore the parks original features, but change this historic one. Today people regularly use the spot to watch, and photograph, trains.

There will no doubt be some imagined safety reasons put forward in support. The wall has stood as it is since around 1845 without any pressing problems with safety. In fact after the horrible chestnut paling fence was erected at least one person has been killed on this stretch of railway, and I believe others have trespassed, so the fencing served no purpose at all. If someone wishes to access the railway, they will, railings or not!

I therefore see no reason, real or imagined, to alter an historic and intrinsic feature of a restored Sydney Gardens, to the visual detriment of the wall itself, and the railway viewing pleasure of the public.


12/08/2019
Bath Preservation Trust Bath Preservation Trust , 1 Royal Crescent, City Centre, Bath, Bath And North East Somerset, BA1 2LR R 14/08/2019: BPT has been engaged in the long process of discussions about the approach to improving the safety of the balustrade in Sydney Gardens, as part of the electrification of the GWR which has now been suspended. We recognise the need for Network Rail to improve safety and have encouraged a more permanent bespoke solution to the chestnut paling fencing which currently detracts from the public view and the open ‘theatre’ of the railway which the design of the gardens intended.

The submitted heritage statement provides sufficient evidence of the design solutions explored and why other design options are not considered feasible. The design of the railings proposed is taken approximately from the Sydney Road overbridge railings and the height proposed is the shown as the safe standard. While we preferred the more ‘bellied’ form of the railing solution proposed as an outcome of the previous design review process, we are satisfied that the solution proposed seeks to minimise adverse aesthetic impacts on the surrounding heritage assets.

We recognise that the proposed solution would create a permanent restriction of the view of the railway (intended to be open) and intervention into historic fabric of the balustrade and this causes a degree of harm to the significance of the grade II* listed balustrade and registered park and garden. However we consider that the design proposed solution maintains some transparency and visibility through the railings, retains the historic fabric of the balustrade and achieves the intended purposed of improving safety for public benefit while causing less than substantial harm to the listed balustrade, conservation area and WHS. The public will still be able to enjoy the drama of passing trains from a safer position.

The railings solution is dependent on the condition of the balustrade being sufficiently well restored and maintained to support the new structure. There has been some deterioration of the structure so we would recommend that a detailed specification for the repair of the coping stones and cleaning of balustrade stonework is required to be submitted for approval as a condition for support of this application.

The application should also be used as an opportunity to address the poor condition of the stone walls to the railway. The amount of vegetation which has been allowed to grow from the stonework is potentially harmful and Network Rail should take this opportunity to improve their care of the listed structures through the gardens. Vegetation should be removed and subsequent repairs to stonework undertaken.
14/08/2019
Varian Tye 8 Bargates, Box , Wiltshire , SN13 8LT, R Documents Tab 17/08/2019
Michael Logothetis 2 - 4 Park Street Mews, Lansdown, Bath, BA1 2SZ, O 15/08/2019: Sydney Gardens is an important and unique public green space at the Bathwick end of Bath, that provides for both outdoor recreation and an exploration of Bath's history. An important part of the Gardens' heritage is Brunel's Great Western Railway that bisected Sydney Gardens in such a way as to provide spectators with views the passing trains. This is still an important aspect of the Gardens' appeal today for visitors of all ages.

The barriers as proposed are of such a height and density that they will result in considerable harm to these views from the grassed areas on the western side of the railway. They appear so dominant that they will detract from the beauty of the original stone heritage structures, blocking views of a significant part of Brunel's retaining walls (listed grade II) on the eastern side of the railway.

With so much effort and expense being made to restore the Gardens and to attract more visitors to expand their use, it would tragic to approve such a proposal that would do little more than introduce the elements of an urban ghetto into Sydney Gardens.
15/08/2019