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Monday, 3 November 2014

Planning Application 5 Bladud Buildings

This application seeks consent for the erection of a single storey block providing facilities for staff in what remains of the garden of a Grade II listed terrace property at 5 Bladud Buildings in Bath city centre.  The building is used for mixed restaurant and residential accommodation.

We ask that the application be REFUSED on the following grounds
Originally a residential terrace conceive by Attwood and Jolly in the 1750s Bladud Buildings is believed to have been converted to provide for shops on lower floors in the mid-19th Century.  When such uses are established, permitted or encouraged in a single terraced structure it is vital that commercial premises do not, as a result of accumulating planning applications, gradually undermine the amenity of local residents.

That is what we contend is occurring in this case.

As would be expected there have over time been a number of extensions at the rear of commercial premises at Bladud Buildings but generally some garden space has been preserved.  This application for a comparatively large and fully serviced building seeks for all practical purposes to eliminate the garden altogether thereby setting a dangerous precedent and adversely affecting the amenity of residents on higher floors.  The applicant appears to respect the amenity value of rear gardens in that in an application for consent to fell four sycamore trees in 2012 (12/02950/TCA) he undertook to replace each of the trees and carry out a landscaping plan for the garden.  However, although consent was granted and the trees were felled, no improvement scheme appears to have been carried out.

The potential for loss of amenity to neighbouring residents many of whom, to avoid traffic noise from the Paragon to the north, have their main bedrooms at the rear extends to the use of the facility by staff in the late evening hours when the restaurant is at its busiest and after it has closed.


For these reasons we ask that the application be refused.  Should the committee be minded to grant consent, however, we ask that a condition be imposed requiring that the removal of domestic and restaurant rubbish be carried out at the front of the building as is presently the case rather than using the rear entrance via Walcot Street.

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