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Bath - A World Heritage Site

 

COMPLETED PLANNING APPLICATIONS

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06/ Series and earlier 07/ Series
08/ Series 09/ Series

We are watching these for signs of any appeal against rejections, or amendments to the approval given.
It has been suggested that visitors to this website would be most interested in the more recent applications, so I have reversed the order of the list below, so that the oldest is at the bottom, and added some Quick Links to jump to the earlier ones.

09/01291/FUL - 2 Stall Street
This application is for the the extension of the hours that tables and chairs can be placed outside Prêt à Manger.  On 9th June, planning permission was granted.
09/00402/LBA - 4A Burton Street Street
This application says it is for internal alterations, yet the documentation included descriptions of alterations to the outside too.  Most of the internal alterations are acceptable except the possible removal of a historic feature, but the outside changes (described as "Brand Standardisation" conflict with the shopfronts guide and the Planning Services Advertisements guide and we therefore object.  The repainting of the shop front appears to have been done without planning permission, and once the planning application has been dealt with we will consider whether this is an enforcement issue.  On 16th March 2009, planning permission was granted, and in the case officer's report it is clarified that the redecoration of the shopfront, the exterior seating and advertisements are not part of this planning application.  The repainting of the shopfront was given permission in a previous application 06/04228/LBA.
09/00313/LBA - 15 Northgate Street
This application is to make connecting doors through from Number 15 to Number 16 which is also owned by the White Company.  This area is one of the few where relics from Bath's medieval past survive (the remains of the city wall can be seen in the basement of Number 15), and whilst it is accepted that changes have been made internally to the two buildings, the structural walls have survived undamaged so far, and the argument that it would be easier for staff and customers to move between the two buildings is insufficient justification for the scale of alterations to be made to the plan form of two listed buildings on two floors.  On 6 April 2009 this application was refused on the grounds that it was too much of an intervention into the fabric of two listed buildings.  We agree.
09/00302/FUL - Chapel Court
This application is to fit draught-proofing and double glazing to windows.  The building in question is modern, but is listed as part of the group around St Michael's Chapel, and therefore it is the group appearance that is important.  The general advice is that if double glazing is to be fitted to listed buildings, it should be of the secondary type, which is not what Chapel Court are proposing.  Watchdog is happy with the draught-proofing proposals but not the double glazing.  On 26 March 2009, planning permission was granted on the grounds that it is only curtilage listed so not a real listed building and therefore double glazing is acceptable.  We disagree, and have asked English Heritage for their advice.
09/00301/FUL - Chapel Court
This application is to replace an existing set of aluminium framed windows with double glazed windows in timber frames.  The building in question is listed as part of the group around St Michael's Chapel, and therefore it is the group appearance that is important.  The general advice is that if double glazing is to be fitted to listed buildings, it should be of the secondary type, which is not what Chapel Court are proposing.  Watchdog is happy to see the aluminium frames go, and with the draught-proofing proposals but not the double glazing.  On 26 March 2009, planning permission was granted on the grounds that it is only curtilage listed so not a real listed building and therefore double glazing is acceptable.  We disagree, and have asked English Heritage for their advice.
09/00283/LBA - Bellotts Hospital
This application is to to build two extensions and to join Bellotts Hospital to the Gainsborough Hotel with a subterranean tunnel.  There is insufficient information provided for these changes to be evaluated.  Without a proper assessment on the impact on the host building of the extension proposed, and without a full evaluation of the risk to the hot springs from the construction of the tunnel, neither aspect can be supported.  Despite all these deficiencies the case officer granted permission on 29 May 2009.
09/00273/LBA - Chapel Court
This application is to replace an existing set of aluminium framed windows with double glazed windows in timber frames.  The building in question is listed as part of the group around St Michael's Chapel, and therefore it is the group appearance that is important.  The general advice is that if double glazing is to be fitted to listed buildings, it should be of the secondary type, which is not what Chapel Court are proposing.  Watchdog is happy to see the aluminium frames go, and with the draught-proofing proposals but not the double glazing.  On 24 March 2009 consent was given on the spurious grounds that curtilage listed buildings are not so important as buildings listed in their own right.  There is nothing in the listed building legislation to support this view.
09/00272/LBA - Chapel Court
This application is to fit draught-proofing and double glazing to windows.  The building in question is modern, but is listed as part of the group around St Michael's Chapel, and therefore it is the group appearance that is important.  The general advice is that if double glazing is to be fitted to listed buildings, it should be of the secondary type, which is not what Chapel Court are proposing.  Watchdog is happy with the draught-proofing proposals but not the double glazing.  On 24 March 2009 consent was given on the spurious grounds that curtilage listed buildings are not so important as buildings listed in their own right.  There is nothing in the listed building legislation to support this view.
09/00204/LBA - 15 The Paragon
This application is to fit the "Ventrolla" draught-proofing system to the window frames as they are refurbished. Watchdog is happy with that draught-proofing proposal for the listed building.  On 22 April 2009, Listed building consent was granted.
09/00125/CA - Twerton High Street (Marjorie Whimster House)
This application was to replace demolish the former nursing home to replace it with affordable housing and extra-care housing units.  We have no objections in principle to the demolition or the chosen reuse of the site, but the buildings proposed are in the wrong materials and are designed wrongly for the location, and Conservation Area consent for demolition should not be given unless the replacement is at least as beneficial to the area.  Somewhat prematurely, the planning permission was granted on 13 March 2009.
09/00124/FUL - Twerton High Street (Marjorie Whimster House)
This application is to replace the former nursing home with affordable housing and extra-care housing units.  Unfortunately, the area is in the vicinity of listed buildings and has a characteristic street scene, and this development is in the wrong materials and is designed wrongly for its location.  After negotiating changes which addressed some, but by no means all, of Watchdog's objections, the case officer granted permission on 29 May 2009.
09/00047/LBA - Herman Miller Building, Lower Bristol Road
This application is for some internal and external alterations in preparation for use as a Lidl store and three other retail units.  Watchdog has reservations over the colour and materials chosen for the exterior and the loss of visibility of the listed spaceframe roof and the rooflights, but does not object to the principle of the change of use.  We would be happy to discuss our concerns with the developer.  On 4th March 2009 Listed Building consent was granted with conditions.  We are happy with this;  the conditions cover the reservations we had.
09/00045/FUL - Herman Miller Building, Lower Bristol Road
This application is for some internal and external alterations in preparation for use as a Lidl store and three other retail units.  Watchdog has reservations over the colour and materials chosen for the exterior and the loss of visibility of the listed spaceframe roof and the rooflights, but does not object to the principle of the change of use.  We would be happy to discuss our concerns with the developer.  On 9th April 2009 the planning application was refused.  We think that this was a correct decision, but cannot support all the reasons given.
09/00023/LBA - 53 Lyncombe Hill
This application is for the cleaning of the front elevation.  We do not object to the principle of cleaning, but the application does not explain the method to be used, and some methods can damage the stone or remove all traces of the patina of age.  There is also nothing in the application undertaking to conduct any restoration such as repointing that might be found necessary during the cleaning process.  On 9 April 2009, planning permission was refused on the grounds that what was proposed was an unacceptable intervention to a listed building.  We are happy with that decision.
08/04791/LBA - Bath Spa Railway Station
This application is an amendment to the position of the downside lift approved in 06/02656/LBA and the restoration of a window on the south elevation.  Watchdog has concerns about the obscuring of windows in the south elevation with the new lift mechanism, and also about the damage that might be caused to the mechanism and inspection pit of the historic lift.  On 17th March 2009, permission was granted, subject to a number of conditions.
08/04743/FUL - Englishcombe Inn
This application was to convert and extend the former public house into a nursing home for 40 residents and their care staff.  There are council policies on retaining public houses where possible, but there are also demographics to show that more care homes will be needed.  The first design was unacceptable to the neighbours, but the developer agreed to changes to make it more suitable.  Despite this, on 13 February 2009 the case officer refused permission on the grounds of over-development of the site and overlooking of neighbours.
08/04709/LBA - 14 Kingsmead Square (sic)
This application is for the conversion of an empty shop into a cafe, with some redecoration.  From the details in the application, it is evident that the premises referred to is No 12 Kingsmead Square, which forms part of a Grade I listed building, Rosewell House.  Therefore any proposed or altered shop front should be historically credible  This one is not, so we objected to it.  Nevertheless on 24th April GOSW indicated that the Secretary of State was happy for the Local Planning Authority to make the planning decision and on 29th April 2009 planning permission was granted without conditions apart from a start data.  We remain unhappy about the colour scheme.
08/04708/FUL - 14 Kingsmead Square (sic)
This application was for the conversion of an empty shop into a cafe, with some redecoration.  From the details in the application, it is evident that the premises referred to is No 12 Kingsmead Square, which forms part of a Grade I listed building, Rosewell House.  Therefore any proposed or altered shop front should be historically credible  This one was not, so we objected to it.  On 14 February 2009, permission was granted with the emphasis on change of use, with other details being considered relevant to the Listed Building application and to be determined under 08/04709/LBA.
08/04693/CA - 12-14 Great Bedford Street
This application was for the demolition of existing garages in preparation for the erection of a new surgery annexe.  Whilst the existing garages are of no particular merit, demolition in a conservation area should not take place unless the replacement is of at least equal merit, and we think the design of the replacement is inappropriate in size, style and materials.  Despite this, on 12 February 2009 the case officer granted permission.
08/04692/FUL - 12-14 Great Bedford Street
This application was for the erection of a new surgery annexe.  We thought the design is inappropriate in size, style and materials.  Nevertheless the decision went to the DCC on 18 March 2009 with a recommendation to permit, and permit it they did.  The report to the committee was written on 11th March, the same day that a revised drawing was lodged, so there was no opportunity for the public to comment on that drawing.
08/04612/FUL - Mount Road
This application is a resubmission for a pair of semi-detached houses.  Whilst this is an improvement over the earlier proposal, the designs still do not fit the local vernacular.  We think some relatively simple amendments would improve it enormously.  The case officer refused permission on the grounds of inadequate parking and vehicle access.
08/04585/LBA - 8-10 Old Bond Street
This application is for structural repairs to the basement the repainting of the Cecil Gee shopfront.  We do not object to the idea of repainting the shopfront, but unless the rotting timber underneath the current paint is restored, new paint seems pointless.  We also think that the colour chosen is not historically credible.  Despite this, on 13 March 2009, the case officer granted permission, with a condition that the paint must be "eggshell" finish.
08/04573/FUL - 6 Sion Road
This application was for an extension above the existing garage and changes to the external materials.  All the horrors of timber and zinc cladding and render over stone are here, along with the removal of perfectly serviceable roof tiles for a zinc sheet replacement.  It is inappropriate for the location, despite this being a relatively modern house.  However, the case officer disagreed on the grounds that the building is not easily visible, and on 5 February 2009 granted permission.  We are left with the consolation that the south facing timber cladding will be a permanent maintenance nightmare for the applicant.
08/04570/LBA - 41 Lyncombe Hill
This application is for the conversion of an existing store room into guest accommodation and an office for home working.  We do not object to this, indeed some of the proposals would be a positive improvement.  But we have a slight reservation about whether the higher roof might be intrusive in what is a picturesque area.  The case officer had no such reservations and granted consent on 12 February 2009.
08/04531/AR - City of Bath College, Milk Street
This application is for new signs on the Milk Street elevations of the college buildings.  We think the number of signs is excessive and the materials for some are inappropriate.  Nevertheless, on 30 January, on the basis that one of the signs has been relocated, permission was granted.  Yet there is no drawing showing where it is relocated to, and therefore there was no opportunity (which should have been offered, according to PPS1) to comment on the revised scheme.
08/04528/AR - City of Bath College, Avon Street
This application is for new signs on the buildings.  We think the number of signs is excessive and the materials for some are inappropriate.  On 19th March 2009, the Case Officer granted permission, after securing an agreement from the applicant that the biggest (and in our opinion the worst) sign would not be installed at all.
08/04449/AR - 3 The Hollow - One Stop Shop
This application was (retrospectively) for the display of an internally illuminated wall mounted display unit.  Watchdog objected on the grounds that illumination was unnecessary and had an impact on the amenity of the nearby residents, but the Case Officer disagreed, granting permission subject to conditions on the brightness of the illumination.
08/04447/LBA - York Street - Friends Meeting House
This application was the third for this building, requesting the insertion of a doorway and steps to it into the frontage, and major changes to the inside which have a serious impact on the historic fabric.  On the 21 January 2009 the Development Control Committee proved once again that they are prepared to ignore the policies in the Local plan whenever it suits them.  The events at the meeting can be read on the Friends Meeting House page.
08/04398/FUL - 30-31 Moorland Road
This application was for retrospective permission to install a sun blind.  As it is a cafe not a shop with goods that could spoil in the sun, this seems unnecessary. The premises when open for business always has lights on inside.  The Case Officer refused permission on the unexpected grounds of Highway Safety, because the awning fitted left insufficient headroom for pedestrians.
08/04364/LBA - 8 St James Street
This application was for listed building consent for the conversion of an existing shop into a residence.  Whilst we have slight concern about the loss of a retail unit, the existing shopfront is a later addition of little architectural merit, so we welcome the plans to restore the frontage and interior.  The case officer agreed, and on 3 February 2009, granted consent.
08/04349/LBA - 10 North Parade Buildings
This application was for listed building consent for a new gas flue.  Whilst we understand the need for a flue, we think that the position chosen, on an uncluttered elevation overlooking Lilliput Court, is unacceptable.  We would not object to such a flue in an inconspicuous location.  The Case Officer took a similar view, refusing permission and recommending consideration of an efficient electric boiler, which would need no external flue.
08/04312/AR - Tramshed, Beehive Yard
This application was a revised proposal for illuminated signage for the Ha Ha Restaurant in the Tramshed.  We think that it is not as bad as the earlier plans, but illuminated signs are still incompatible with the building on which it would be installed in that particular Conservation Area.  The case officer gave permission for the illuminated signs on the grounds that previous signs there had been illuminated.  While we can see the logic used , it means that where inappropriate lighting has been installed in the past, there is no hope of improving the street scene if case officers treat that fact as a precedent to be followed.  "Once spoiled, always spoiled" is not the target that should be aimed for.  This was a bad decision.
08/04218/LBA - 26 Stall Street
This application was regularise the presence of antennae on the front of the building.  This building has a long and interesting history before the Halifax moved into it, and there seems to be no real justification for the antennae to be sited where they are.  An alternative location may well be possible and preferable.  The documentation fails to show the size or route of the associated wiring or the impact on the building of making an entry point for it.  We objected to these plans.  On 6 January 2009 this application was refused on the grounds that the antenna would harm the appearance of a listed building.  We agree.
08/04220/LBA - 14 Queen Square
This application was for external alterations and repairs. Number 14 is at the southern corner of the west side of the square, and Watchdog supported the repairs proposed, though in the absence of a full historical survey we have to leave the precise details of how the repairs are to be made to the Case Officer.  The case officer on a site visit discovered that work had started in anticipation of approval, and that inappropriate materials were being used.  The planning application was accordingly refused.
08/04201/LBA - 6 Pierrepont Place
This application is to convert the premises from offices to residential.  We are happy with that, but consider the alterations to the rear window unnecessary and unwelcome.  The case officer was also concerned about the proposed loss of historic fabric in the basement and recommended a revised scheme that was less harmful to the building.  Permission was refused.
08/04176/LBA - 15 Johnstone Street
This application is for the internal alterations necessary to convert from office use back to a dwelling.  We would have liked to have seen a historical survey and more photographs to gain a better understanding of what the interior would look like after the work is finished, and we would also have liked the restoration to have included the form of the windows, but there is enough detail in the descriptions and drawings to give Watchdog the confidence to fully support this application.  On 2nd January 2009, this application was referred to GOSW stating that B&NES was mindful to approve.  On 30th January GOSW replied that the Secretary of State was happy for the Local Planning Authority to make the planning decision and on 6th February 2009 planning permission was granted with a few sensible conditions.  We are happy with he decision
08/04003/FUL - Granville Road - Ensleigh Lodge
This application is for the erection of a new dwelling and office and associated car parking following demolition of existing dwelling.  There may be designs that would look good on this site, but the one proposed fails to consider the impact on the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, or to take any cues from the residences nearby.  Watchdog objected to it. The decision went to the DCC on 21 January 2008 where they decided by 11 votes in favour and 0 against with 1 abstention, the Committee members decided "that the Divisional Director of Planning and Transport Development be authorised to grant permission subject to (1) no additional matters being raised as a result of advertising the application as a Departure from the Development Plan; (2) the Planning and Environmental Law Manager entering into a S106 Agreement to secure that the office element of the proposal could not be used or disposed of independently of the residential element; and (3) the imposition of appropriate conditions. It was clarified that if for any reason it was not possible for these matters to be dealt with under delegated powers, the application would be brought back to the Committee."  It remains to be seen what the Secretary of State decides on the departure from the Local Plan.  The words in italics above were added to the minutes of the meeting at the 18th February DCC and subject to that amendment the minutes were agreed
At the 15th April DCC, this application was again on the agenda, because the applicants had refused to enter into a S106 Agreement containing the restrictions proposed.  The DCC decided by a significant majority (8 to 2) that without such an agreement the application should be refused.
08/04001/LBA - 9 Green Street Ugh
This application is a retrospective one for external alterations to the outside of "Belushis" (formerly the St Christopher Inn).  The documentation is pathetic:  There is no Historical Survey and the Design and Access Statement lies about when the lighting was installed (see the details on the News Summary page.  This work has already been carried out, and the external appearance is incompatible with the Shopfronts Guide, hence its inclusion on our Enforcements page.  On 17 December 2008, planning permission was refused on the grounds that swan-neck lighting is inappropriate on a listed building in a Conservation area.  We support that conclusion.
08/04000/FUL - 9 Green Street Ugh
This application is a retrospective one for external alterations to the outside of "Belushis" (formerly the St Christopher Inn).  Swan-neck lightThe documentation is pathetic:  There is no Historical Survey and the Design and Access Statement lies about when the lighting was installed (see the details on the News Summary page.  This work has already been carried out, and the external appearance is incompatible with the Shopfronts Guide, hence its inclusion on our Enforcements page.  On 17 December 2008, planning permission was refused on the grounds that swan-neck lighting is inappropriate on a listed building in a Conservation area.  We support that conclusion.
08/03976/LBA - 1-3 Lilliput Court
This application was for the subdivision of the vaults.  From the little information provided, it was not possible to gauge the impact of what is proposed, and we encouraged the Case Officer to either look for himself before determining this application, or to seek further information from the applicant.  On 6 January 2009, consent was given, which included a condition that historical features not shown in the application as being removed must be retained.  We are happy with this.
08/03963/AR - Rossiter Road - Travelodge
This application was for the display of 4 internally illuminated signs and 4 non illuminated signs.  Watchdog objected to the signs on the grounds that they were overly large, some were internally illuminated and they followed a corporate style that bore no reference to the location.  On 11 December 2008 the Case Officer issued a split decision, approving signs 1, 4, 5, 6 and 7 with conditions about light levels but refusing signs 2, 3 and 8.  As a compromise this was acceptable, since the ones refused were those that we objected to the most, but we think that in the environs of listed buildings something more in keeping would have been possible and forthcoming had all the signs been refused.
08/03927/FUL - Sydney Buildings
This application sought permission to build an orangery at 10 Sydney Buildings, in a location that has a nondescript garden structure.  The design chosen is compatible with the main building and Watchdog supported it.  On 15 December 2008 the Case Officer granted permission.
08/03926/LBA - Sydney Buildings
This application sought listed building consent to remove a garden structure (a roofed timber frame) at 10 Sydney Buildings, to replace it with an orangery.  The design chosen is compatible with the main building and Watchdog supports it.  On 15 December 2008 the Case Officer granted consent imposing sensible conditions on approving materials before construction started.
08/03924/LBA - Sydney Place
This application for a covered walkway across the open area to the vaults of 93 Sydney Place is unsuitable for the style of these Grade I listed buildings, and then to make matters worse, inappropriate materials were chosen.  On 9 December 2008 the Case Officer refused consent on the grounds that the plans were for an incongruous feature.  We consider that to be a sound decision.
08/03907/LBA - South Parade - Georges Hotel
This application is for internal alterations to ground floor of hotel.  Watchdog considered that the description of the work to be carried out was insufficiently detailed for the impact on the Grade I fabric to be properly assessed, but the Case Officer was satisfied with it and has recommended permission be granted.  This was supposed to be a recommendation subject to the Secretary of State's agreement, but the decision notice was sent to the applicant the same day, so it looks as though the Secretary of State was not consulted.
08/03858/FUL - Co-op SCALA, Shaftesbury Road
This application was for new air conditioning plant outside the store.  The application contains no information about noise levels or any acoustic screening proposed, and the store appears to have jumped the gun and installed the plant without waiting for permission.  On 24 December 2008 the Case Officer refused permission for this plant on the grounds that insufficient information had been provided to enable the impact on the amenity of the nearby residents to be assessed.  We are happy with this decision, but note that the equipment refused permission has already been installed.  Hopefully the Case Officer has placed that matter in the hands of Enforcement.
08/03857/LBA - 34 Belvedere
This application was for the installation of a shop blind.  Watchdog is happy with the principle of installing the blind, but urges the Case Officer to put conditions on the method of fixing and the colour of the box into which the blind is stowed, in order to have the minimum impact, physically and visually, on the historic fabric.  On 24 December 2008 the Case Officer granted consent with conditions along the lines of our suggestions.  We are happy with that decision.
08/03732/CA - Old Orchard
This application was for the demolition of existing buildings on the site off Walcot Street.  On 16th December 2008, consent was grantedSite sketchDespite the documentation from the previous appeal being available and the recommendation being clearly stated that workshop use should be retained on this site, the Case Officer's report has interpreted this as employment use which is not the same thing at all.  This is the artisan quarter of Bath, and artisans need workshops, not a health clinic or a martial arts centre. The Planning Inspector understood that, so why was it too difficult for the Case Officer to comprehend?  And the replacement is supposed to be in keeping with the conservation area.  The applicant has openly admitted that "itís completely alien in choice of materials and form", so the Case Officer's view "that it will complement and enhance this part of the conservation area" has no basis in fact.  This was an extraordinarily bad decision.
08/03693/LBA - Holburne Museum
This application is an amendment to the previously granted listed building consent to erect an extension on the back of the Holburne Museum.  During the delivery of the conditions for the earlier permission it was discovered that changes would be necessary to protect some newly excavated historic fabric, so this is a repeat application with those changes incorporated.  On 17 December the DCC granted permission, again ignoring the national guidance and Local Plan policies to do so.
08/03689/FUL - Holburne Museum
This application is an amendment to the previously granted permission to erect an extension on the back of the Holburne Museum.  During the delivery of the conditions for the earlier permission it was discovered that changes would be necessary to protect some newly excavated historic fabric, so this is a repeat application with those changes incorporated.  On 17 December the DCC granted permission, again ignoring the national guidance and Local Plan policies to do so.
08/03680/FUL - Warminster Road
This application was for the construction of four large "environmentally friendly" houses on a field between Bathampton village and the Warminster Road.  On 23 December 2008, planning permission was refused.  In a thoroughly researched and comprehensive report, the Case Officer has established that the field is a Visually Important Open Space, so building on it would spoil its character and formalising it as a park would also harm its character.  We fully support these conclusions.
08/03676/AR - 43 Milsom Street
This application is for the display of one externally illuminated metal hanging sign, plus window decals and artwork.  On 3rd December, after the applicant had submitted revised drawings changing the positions of the signs to match what had actually been installed, consent was given.  We thought the signs inappropriate, but we can't fault the process by which this decision was reached.
08/03669/LBA - 43 Milsom Street
This application is for the display of one externally illuminated metal hanging sign, plus window decals and artwork.  The case officer granted consent on 27th November 2008, even though he acknowledged in his report that the window decals already installed failed to match the drawings submitted.  So instead of asking the applicant to revise the drawings to show what was actually installed (which is exactly what the case officer did for the advertising approval application before granting its consent), he has created an anomaly where one or other of the planning applications must be wrong:  an issue for Enforcement to resolve.  This was simply bad judgement.
08/03628/FUL - 45 Lyncombe Hill
This application was to remove an existing conservatory, to replace it with a traditional style orangery.  The design chosen is compatible with the main building and Watchdog supported it.  The Case Officer disagreed however and refused permission on the grounds that it ought not to be visible on the front elevation.
08/03550/LBA - 2 Broad Street
This application is for internal and external alterations to ground, first and second floors.  This work has already been carried out, and the external appearance destroys the reason why this building was Grade II listed, hence its inclusion on our Enforcements page.  Nevertheless on 11 December 2008, based on a report that misrepresents the true facts, the case officer granted permission.  For the record, the shop front that was described as "of little merit" is Grade II listed by English Heritage for its group value with the remainder of Broad Street.  It should not have followed the design philosophy of the shop fronts within Milsom Place because this one isn't in Milsom Place but in Broad Street.  No mention is made of the removal of the fascia board, which had a group value with the remainder of Broad Street.  And apparently, a set of bright spotlights shining straight at a sign is subtle and does not directly illuminate it.  And so with this work of fiction, another historic part of Bath is given permission to be destroyed.  Disgraceful!
08/03549/AR - Broad Street
This application was for advertising signs for Phase Eight, at 2 Broad Street to authorise the signs already installed (though the application claims not to be retrospective).  The signs proposed conflict with the advice in the Shopfronts Guide, hence its inclusion on our Enforcements page.  However, on 24 December 2008, planning permission was granted (wrongly in our opinion), so enforcement action will cease accordingly.
08/03374/LBA - Penn Hill Road
This application was the listed building application to go with the new development application.  Permission should have been refused according to the guidance in PPG15.  Despite this, on 3rd November 2008, the application was permitted:  another bad decision that ignored the Government guidelines.
08/03373/FUL - Penn Hill Road
The proposed buildingThis application was for a single storey dwelling in the grounds of a listed building. The footprint of the new building is about twice the size of that of the listed building, and the structure looks like a giant garden shed with oversized windows.  No attempt has been made to reflect the style or scale of its surroundings.  Despite this, on 5th November 2008, the application was permitted:  another bad decision that ignored the Government guidelines.  The only saving grace is that the timber cladding is high maintenance, and will cost the owners a lot of money over the years.  Serves them right!.
08/03231/LBA - Prior Park Road
This application is for listed building consent for a two storey extension on Number 69.  It was granted listed building consent on 23rd October 2008.
08/03230/FUL - Prior Park Road
This application was for planning permission for a two storey extension on Number 69.  It was granted permission on 16th October 2008.
08/03205/LBA - Milsom Street
This application was submitted by Lloyds TSB for internal alterations to the ground, first and second floors of their branch at 47 Milsom Street.  The alterations look acceptable, but Lloyds arranged to start work before listed building consent was granted, so Watchdog reported it to Enforcement.  On 1 December 2008 after the Case Officer negotiated changes to the ceiling height and removal of window vinyls, planning consent was given.  This removes any need for further enforcement action.
08/03203/FUL - Lower Borough Walls
This application was submitted by Lloyds TSB for "Internal and external alterations to refurbishment and lowering of existing window cill on main facade to increase natural light to branch" though Watchdog's investigations reveal that there will be no increase in natural light, only an easier view of the internal advertising.  On 28th November 2008, the Case Officer refused consent.  The equivalent Listed Building application negotiated the removal from the plans of the intention to lower the front windows, which had not been reflected in the full application so the refusal is appropriate.
08/03201/LBA - Lower Borough Walls
This application was submitted by Lloyds TSB for "Internal and external alterations to refurbishment and lowering of existing window cill on main facade to increase natural light to branch" though Watchdog's investigations reveal that there will be no increase in natural light, only an easier view of the internal advertising.  Lloyds have already installed unapproved signs, which have been reported to Enforcement.  On 28th November 2008, the Case Officer granted consent having negotiated with the applicant to remove the intention to enlarge the front window, the only aspect of the plans we objected to.  We are therefore content with the outcome, though we wish that more of the correspondence had been made available on-line.
08/03101/LBA - Prior Park Road
This application was for listed building consent for the erection of an extension to the listed Welton Lodge.  Despite Watchdog's objections that the building was too big and too out of keeping with its surroundings, planning permission was granted on 8th October 2008.
08/03100/FUL - Prior Park Road
This application was for the erection of an extension to the listed Welton Lodge.  Despite Watchdog's objections that the building was too big and too out of keeping for its surroundings, planning permission was granted on 9th October 2008.
08/03079/FUL - New Bond Street
This application was for the installation of air conditioning condensers which had in fact already been installed.  The previous application was withdrawn because no acoustic report was available, yet this replacement was been submitted without an acoustic report in the first instance, though it was supplied a week later.  It looked acceptable.  On 7th October 2008, permission was granted, with a condition that the air conditioning unit should not operate outside the hours of 8am to 8pm, which should avoid night-time disturbance to nearby residences.
08/03047/LBA - Milsom Street
This application is for the alteration of the shopfront of 1 Milsom Street, currently occupied by Goldsmiths.  On 31 October 2008, this application was refused consent on the grounds that it is inappropriate for a listed building.  We are in full agreement with this assessment.
08/03007/LBA - Bathwick Hill
This application is for listed building consent for the erection of a 2-storey building in the grounds of the listed "Oakwood" on Bathwick Hill. The grounds were designed by a famous landscape artist, and the new building will detract from that.  Watchdog is pleased to note that the application was refused on the grounds that the proposed building would be harmful to the historic setting and the environs of several listed structures.  A very sound decision.
08/03006/FUL - Bathwick Hill
This application is for the erection of a 2-storey building in the grounds of the listed "Oakwood" on Bathwick Hill.  On 12 February 2009, permission was refused because of an unacceptable level of overlooking and the detrimental impact on the listed building and the listed garden.  Again a very sound decision.
08/02903/LBA - Lower Bristol Road
This application is for the refurbishment of the former Herman Miller Building on the Lower Bristol Road, in preparation for retail use.  On 26th September 2008, listed building consent was granted with conditions:  that the colour and materials to be used for the cladding should be agreed by the case officer, along with details of the rooflights, internal partitions and external vents.  These conditions cover the reservations Watchdog had about the vagueness of some of the descriptions, and we are happy with them.
08/02807/FUL - Thornbank Place
This application is for the erection of two semi-detached dwellings on unstable ground using inappropriate materials (nothing near there is rendered), and so close to other buildings that it is an over-development.  On 20 January 2009 the case officer refused permission on the grounds of the impact on the amenity of the surrounding premises and the adverse impact on the conservation area.  A good decision.
08/02770/AR - Weston Lock Retail
This application was for three large, brightly coloured, internally illuminated signs for PC World.  Despite the advice in the council's own Shopfronts Guide that illuminated signs are rarely acceptable within the environs of a listed building (Grade II listed Albert Villa is opposite), consent was given on 29 October 2008.
08/02679/FUL - Lyncombe Vale Road
This application was for the erection of an extension and garage/studio following demolition of existing outbuildings.  Once again timber cladding was proposed in an area where everything else is stone built, and we objected on the grounds on inappropriate materials.  On 15th September 2008, the application was refused for this reason.
08/02654/LBA - Prior Park Cottages
This application was for internal and external alterations following demolition of an existing extension.  The existing extension had no particular merit and Watchdog does not comment on internal alteration to residences, so we were happy to leave the decision to the Conservation Officer.  On 15th September 2008, listed building consent was granted.
08/02624/FUL - Tyndale, Bathford
This application was to restore and reconfigure a currently disused nursing home so that it meets current standards and can be reopened.  Watchdog supported the application.  On 30th September 2008, planning permission was granted.  The only reservations the case officer had was whether mature trees would be put at risk because of building work near the root systems, and whether the parking provision was correct, and both of these have been controlled by conditions.  We think this was a sound decision, and are happy with it.
08/02532/LBA - Sydney Buildings
This application was for listed building consent for internal and external alterations to Number 36.  This restoration is consistent with the listed building status, and we were happy to leave the decision to the Conservation Officer, who imposed the necessary conditions to control materials and methods for fire surrounds flooring, soil pipe, vault conversion and paint removal.  Planning consent was given on 3rd September 2008.
08/02531/FUL - Sydney Buildings
This application was for internal and external alterations to Number 36.  Planning permission was granted on 11 September 2008.
08/02456/AR - Velo Lounge, Moorland Road
Velo Lounge frontThis application was to install external lighting to shine on the shop name.  Although the application form said that this is a new requirement, the lights were already in place and therefore this was a retrospective application.  On 17 September 2008, planning permission was refused.  We object to the illumination, and especially dislike the style of lights.  Enforcement has been informed of the installation taking place in the absence of planning permission, and you can keep up to date on this on the Enforcements page.
08/02361/FUL - Church Street, Upper Weston
This application was for the erection of four flats following demolition Numbers 17 to 20.  This is an awkward site, bisected by a public right of way, and the proposed design is a sensible approach.  However we thought that the rear elevation, which faces north-east so would get very little sun, had been provided with rather small windows.  On 30th October 2008, planning permission was granted.  We are happy with that decision.
08/02283/LBA - Friends Meeting House
This application was to convert the currently unused Friends Meeting House in York Street into a Restaurant/Bistro.  The previous application for this building was withdrawn.  This is externally an unspoilt original design and the changes proposed would do enormous damage to the street scene.  On 10th September 2008 the Development Control Committee discussed this listed building application and voted 7-3 with one abstention to refuse permission.  Fuller details of how this decision was reached is on the Friends Meeting House page.
08/02282/FUL - Friends Meeting House
This application was to convert the currently unused Friends Meeting House in York Street into a Restaurant/Bistro.  The previous application for this building was withdrawn.  We objected to the damage to be done to this historic building.  On 10th September the Development Control Committee discussed this full applications and voted 7-4 to refuse permission.  Fuller details of how this decision was reached is on the Friends Meeting House page.
08/02211/FUL - Old King Street
This application was to add a penthouse flat to the top of  the Phillips Auction House , which already has a planning application in hand to convert the building into a restaurant.  This penthouse would look completely alien to the area, and on 13 August, this application was refused on the grounds that it would be obtrusive and in an inappropriate design for the location.  We think the Case Officer was absolutely right.
08/02199/FUL - Brougham Hayes
photo montageThis application was for the erection of offices after the demolition of the Transport Depot.  Watchdog had worked with the applicants and arrived at a design that is acceptable in this location, and on 21 January 2009, a week after a Section 106 agreement was reached to improve the road layout and bus stop, planning permission was granted.  We are happy with this outcome.
08/02189/LBA - Southgate Street  
This application was for new signs on Number 20, the British School of Motoring. Permission was refused on 22nd August 2008.
08/02188/AR - Southgate Street  
This application was for new signs on Number 20, the British School of Motoring.  It was refused permission on 11th August 2008.  We are very happy with that decision.
08/02167/LBA - Marlborough Buildings
This application was for internal alterations to Number 10 Marlborough Buildings.  The applicant's agent got in touch with Watchdog to see if we wanted to discuss the plans, but because there will be no externally visible changes and the internal alterations are better than what has been permitted in the past, we were content to let the Case Officer deal with this one.  On 7th October 2008, listed building consent was granted.
08/02020/FUL - Westgate Buildings
Revised rearThis application is for an extension behind 11-12 Westgate Buildings (The Cork and Bottle public house).  Watchdog made contact with the architects, in the hope that the plans would be revised to remove our reservations.  New drawings were submitted on 27th August 2008, which were better, but  Urban Design thought that there were still some design clashes with the neighbouring buildings, and we would have done so too, had we been given the opportunity, particularly the style of the windows.  On 3rd September 2008 planning permission was granted, based on these revised drawings dated 27th August 2008, which gave no opportunity for public comment. Watchdog will formally complain about this.
08/01975/AR - Shaftesbury Road
This application was for new signs on the Scala. On 1st August 2008 the application was refused on the grounds that  the colour, design, materials and illumination were unsuitable. Spot on!
08/01971/FUL - Mount Road
This application was for the erection of two semi-detached dwellings.  On 28th July 2008 this application was refused on the grounds of over-development of the site and loss of amenity for the neighbours.
08/01898/LBA - Prior Park Road
This application was for an extension on the back of the listed Number 69.  We have now met the applicant to discuss our reservations about the design proposed and we expected to be able to comment positively on the revised design.  On 21 July.2008 the revised drawings were submitted.  The very next day, the Listed Building Case Officer refused planning consent, mostly on the grounds that the extension would be too tall, but also after making an assumption which we know was wrong because we had discussed this issue with the applicant and would have included the information in our comments, if only there had been time to comment before the decision was made.  This was yet another example of foreclosing the opportunities to comment, and a particularly frustrating one because we had a lot more to say than was in the simple e-mail that we sent to the applicant.  The Government guidelines emphasise the expectation that public consultation should take place, and it is unacceptable that such guidelines should be ignored.
08/01897/FUL - Prior Park Road
This application was for an extension on the back of the listed Number 69. We met the applicant to discuss our reservations about the design proposed and we expected to be able to comment positively on the revised design.  On 21 July.2008 the revised drawings were submitted.  On 23 July the Case Officer for the new construction refused permission, and after our discussions with the applicant we knew something that might have affected the decision but didn't have the opportunity to submit our comments.  This was yet another example of foreclosing the opportunities to comment, and a particularly frustrating one because we had a lot more to say than was in the simple e-mail that we sent to the applicant.  The Government guidelines emphasise the expectation that public consultation should take place, and it is unacceptable that such guidelines should be ignored.
08/01864/CA - Bailbrook House
This application is for the demolition of the existing extensions prior to the development of the outbuildings to Bailbrook House.  On 20 October 2008 planning permission was granted.
08/01807/AR - Cheap Street
This application was for new signs and fascia on the Orange Shop.  Despite planning permission being refused on 1 August 2008, the sign was erected.  The matter is now in the hands of Enforcement.
08/01741/LBA - Monmouth Street 
This application was for the internal modification and refurbishment of the Griffin Inn.  Watchdog supported this application and suggested the reversion of the windows to the original six over six layout.  On 30th July 2008, the Case Officer granted consent, with conditions on agreement of materials and detailing.  We are happy with this decision.
08/01714/LBA - Abbey Green
This application was for refurbishment of Number 2A Abbey Green.  It was given consent subject to a decision by the Secretary of State not to call it in, and in the absence of a call-in it was given consent on 7th August 2008.  We still think there is too much damage to the oldest fabric of this listed building.
08/01673/FUL - Shaftesbury Road
This application was for a change of use for Number 29A, from a shop to a Tanning Salon and hairdressers.  This was given permission on 2 September2008.  The conditions attached to the permission allow the tanning salon to operate for 9 hours on Sundays and for 3 hours all other days when the proposed hairdressers is closed, so it is unlikely that anybody will be checking that underage customers have parental consent.  We think this was a decision contrary to council policy, but as there is no appeal process against bad decisions to permit, we can only hope that trade turns out to be insufficient and a proper shop wants to take over the premises next.
08/01654/LBA - Monmouth Street
This application was for large vinyl window graphics in a Grade II listed building identified by English Heritage as having a group value with the adjoining buildings.  This scheme destroys the group value. More details are on the Quick News page (until 16 March 2009).  On 16th September, this application was quite rightly refused permission.
08/01617/LBA - Union Street
This application was for replacing existing film advertising on the inside of the windows with freestanding displays visible through the window.  On 4th September 2008, listed building consent was granted.
08/01612/AR - Shaftesbury Road
This application was for illuminated shop signs for Number 29A that will be overpowering in this location.  On 30 June, permission was refused on the grounds that the design, materials and illumination is out of keeping for the area.  We are happy with that decision.
08/01598/CA - Canal Bridge
Rear viewThis application was to demolish the derelict buildings on the canal bridge at the end of Pulteney Road.  The application was granted permission on 24 June 2008, subject to conditions on the type of building that replaces them, and plans to reclaim any of the materials in the existing buildings.  We are happy with that decision.  The proposed replacement (Application 07/01678/FUL) was refused permission by the council, and then again on appeal.  In their submission to that appeal, the council said:  The Council does not accept that the present condition of the existing buildings is such to justify their replacement by a development which itself is considered not to preserve or enhance the character and appearance of this part of the Conservation Area.  We couldn't have put it better ourselves, and provided this stance is adhered to we can be assured that when Canal Bridge is demolished, it will be to replace the existing buildings with something appropriate.
08/01572/AR - Westgate Street
This application was for illuminated signs outside 20 Westgate Street on change of use to Rymans Stationers.  The application was refused, and rightly so in our opinion, on 27th June 2008, but the signs were erected nevertheless.  This makes it an enforcement issue.
08/01554/LBA - Charlton Buildings
This application sought to unblock a bricked up doorway in Number 8 so that the modern (but in character) extension on the back of the building can be used as a site office.  This application was given consent on 26th June 2008, subject to conditions which seem very sensible.  Number 8 is currently unoccupied, and bringing it into use like this will help maintain the fabric of the building, particularly in the winter when it would otherwise be unheated.  We were happy for this application to be approved.
08/01528/LBA - Charlotte Street
This application to replace the relatively modern sash windows in a town house (Number 7) with the six over six style that the building would have had originally.  We supported this and it was given planning permission on 9th July 2008.
08/01524/LBA - Royal Crescent
This application was for listed building consent to demolish an existing extension and conservatory and build a new single storey extension.  We think that the application proposes an extension that is more in keeping with the building than what is there at the moment, and will be supporting this.
On 18th June 2008, the case officer produced a report recommending approval.  It is a well reasoned report and we are happy with it.  A Grade I listed building application cannot be given consent without the agreement of the Secretary of State, and that was given on 24th July 2008.
08/01523/FUL - Royal Crescent
This application was to demolish an existing extension and conservatory and build a new single storey extension.  We think that the application proposes an extension that is more in keeping with the building than what is there at the moment.  On 20th June 2008, it was granted permission.
08/01442/LBA - Royal High School
This application was for listed building consent to convert the chapel in the grounds of the school into a Performing Arts Centre.  We are concerned about the lighting rig, and think that for safety reasons it will be necessary to damage the fabric of the building in order to install it.  We will need to study this one carefully before making a recommendation.
We decided that whilst the principle of adapting the chapel was acceptable, we were concerned about whether the proposed lighting rig would damage the listed building. On 16th June 2008, the case officer granted consent subject to separate approval of the details and fixings of the lighting rig, service runs and fire equipment.  This seems to be a very sensible compromise, and we are happy with it.
08/01437/FUL - Holloway
This application was for the conversion of 9 Holloway into flats. A previous application, 07/02863/FUL, was rejected.  We thought the basement studio flat was awful, with hardly any natural light and a kitchen right outside the toilet.  The case officer clearly thought along the same lines, and his decision dated 16 June 2008 on the grounds of lack of internal and external amenities is on the council's on-line system, but so far not his report which would explain how he arrived at that.  We think this was a very sound decision though.
08/01423/FUL - St Marks Road - Appeal Raised but Rejected
This application is for Number 20A St Marks Road, the Coach House behind Number 20, to turn it into a residence.  The site is restricted by a covenant prohibiting any extension south of the building, yet such an extension is proposed.  The building is integral with the listed walls of Numbers 18 and 22, yet the Planning Office think that it is not curtilage listed.  There was an earlier application which went to appeal, when the Planning Inspector considered the vehicular arrangements dangerous, yet this application proposes an identical layout. There was nothing to recommend this application.
On 27th June 2008 The case officer refused permission, which was in our view the correct decision.  However, it was premature in the light of additional documents being provided as recently as 23rd June giving no opportunity for public comment, and the reason for rejection can best be described as the bare minimum.  For a much more thorough analysis of what was wrong with the application you can read this in the second window.
On 24th July 2008, an appeal against this decision was lodged. The appeal has been raised on the grounds that the conversion of the property would be in accordance with local, national and regional planning policies.  These are the same grounds as the previous appeal in 2006, which the Planning Inspector refused.  On 26 November, the appeal was dismissed.  More details are on the Quick News page.
08/01335/FUL - Old King Street
Section of wallThis application was to convert the Phillips Auction House into a restaurant.  Although the application states that it is for the change of use, the documents make it clear that there are significant external alterations, including the destruction of the wall bearing an extract from the Magna Carta.  And in a colossal error of judgement, the case officer has granted permission for the loss of the Magna Carta, thus invalidating a number of very popular guide books:
"The Pevsner Guide to Bath" by Michael Forsyth.
"The Naked Guide to Bath" by Gideon Kibblewhite
"Windows on Bath" by Kirsten Elliott
to name the most popular;  there are probably others.
Because of these published works, the building is most certainly a Locally Important Building, yet the case officer's evaluation didn't even mention that policy in the Local Plan.
08/01334/FUL - Moravian Chapel
This application was a replacement application for the previous one that was withdrawn in January.  The applicants are still assuming that they can commandeer a public right of way as part of their proposed development. Their design is nearly as bad as their previous one too and will ruin the distant views of this building.  Nevertheless the Case officer was fooled by it and on 18 August 2008 granted planning permission.  This was a really bad decision.
08/01332/FUL - The Podium
This application was for an additional external door for Crabtree and Evelyn in the Podium and an illuminated sign.  We objected on the grounds that the door would destroy the symmetry of the front of the Podium, the illuminated sign was inappropriate for the area (because an illuminated sign for the sports clothing shop a couple of doors along had been rejected for just that reason). Nevertheless the case officer granted permission on 3 June 2008, showing how little consistency there is over shop sign decisions.
08/01308/LBA - Lambridge Buildings
This application was for listed building consent to rebuild the mews building of 4/5 Lambridge Buildings, with change of use. This is a refresh of planning application 02/00869/LBA which was given planning permission but which is now time expired. On 2nd June 2008, it was given Listed Building Consent.  The plans were in keeping with the mews location and we are happy with the case officer's decision.
08/01306/FUL - Lambridge Buildings
This application was to rebuild the mews building of 4/5 Lambridge Buildings, with change of use.  This was a refresh of planning application 02/00902/FUL which was given planning permission but which is now time expired.  This is a traditional style mews conversion, we had no strong feelings about it and were happy to leave the decision to the Case Officer.  On the 23 June 2008 it was granted permission.
08/01302/FUL - Bloomfield Avenue
This application was to relocate a stone gatepost in front of Number 66 and pave the lawn to provide off-street parking.  We think this is a poor design which will set an unwelcome precedent for the rest of the street.  Nevertheless it was granted permission on 6 June 2008, but we don't yet know the justification because it has not been placed on-line.
08/01268/LBA - Kingsmead Square
This application to improve the drainage from the guttering around the parapets was very similar to the previous one (07/03788/LBA) which Watchdog supported but was nevertheless withdrawn.  This replacement application also earned our support, and was given consent on 21 May 2008.
08/01265/FUL - Lambridge Mews
As approvedAs approvedA new application for this location was lodged after the previous one was withdrawn.  This one was just as awful, making no attempt to fit into what is supposed to be a mews location.  The applicant is being greedy, trying to squeeze another floor in what should be a maximum of two floors, making it an uncomfortable fit among the neighbouring properties. More details are on the Quick News page (until 1 September).  On 30 May 2008, the case officer permitted this application on the grounds that in this area buildings are of varying heights and therefore would not look out of place.  We maintain that this is by location a Mews building, and it will look dreadfully out of place when built.
08/01262/LBA - Charlotte Street
This application for Number 15, sought to improve the residents amenity space by waterproofing one of the vaults and creating a roof garden above the cellars at the rear, with an access staircase from the Lower Ground Floor.  We supported it, and it was given planning consent on 4 July 2008.
08/01219/FUL - New Bond Street
This application was for the change of use from retail to a health and beauty salon including the alterations covered by an associated listed building application (08/01194/LBA) for Number 20 New Bond Street , the former Thomas Cook establishment, now taken over by Champneys.  On 1st August 2008, this application for the internal alterations associated with the change of use was given consent.
08/01096/FUL - Wells Road
This application is to build a prefabricated house on a plot of land that has no vehicular access.  How the emergency services are expected to deal with any resident's emergency is not explained.  How the rubbish and recycling collections are meant to collect is not explained.  On 22 April 2009 the case officer refused permission on the grounds of over-development, overlooking of neighbours and overhanging by trees.  We are happy with the decision but think there were other reasons that should have been mentioned.
08/01194/LBA - New Bond Street
This application was for Listed Building consent for Number 20 New Bond Street , the former Thomas Cook establishment, now taken over by Champneys.  On 11th July 2008, Listed Building Consent was given, after the Case Officer negotiated conditions to ensure that a full restoration of the interior will be done.  This condition overcame our reservations with the plans as submitted, and we are happy with the decision.
08/01166/FUL - Lilliput Court
This application was to install a gazebo in the low level area just along from Sally Lunn's in the winter.  As Lilliput Court was created at the original pre-Georgian ground level to exercise a right of ancient light is is perverse to block that light with a gazebo, the attachment points for which appear to have been already installed in the listed building without listed building consent.  On 12 June 2008, this was refused permission.
08/01165/FUL - Thornbank Place
Rear viewAs rejectedThis application was to construct two houses on a currently derelict piece of land at the end of Thornbank Place.  The ground is believed to be unstable (which is why it has been left as a wildlife habitat for so long), and the buildings proposed are not in the character of the Conservation Area.  On 23 May 2008, this application was refused by the case officer, very sensibly so in our opinion.
08/01155/FUL - The Oval
This application was for the erection of pair of semi-detached dwellings on land adjacent to 133 The Oval.  This plan made no provision for parking and destroyed the architectural rhythm of the street.  It was an over-development. On 9th June 2008, the case officer refused planning permission on the grounds of over-development in an inappropriate style, overlooking of neighbours, and traffic concerns.  Spot on!  We are very happy with that decision.
08/01153/AR - Englishcombe Lane
This application 08/01141/AR was for signs to be installed when the former petrol station at 243 Englishcombe Lane is converted to a Tesco Express shop.  Despite there being an illuminated sign on the shop front, and despite the Highways Officer advising refusal because the entrance did not comply with the national guidelines (it was made too narrow by the erection of the proposed signs), the case officer granted permission on 11 June 2008, (on the grounds that it was only "a bit" too narrow).
08/01049/AR - Stall Street
This application was for advertising consent for a new aluminium fascia board in place of the current wooden one on Number 6, with metal shop signs mounted on it. The case officer refused consent on 13 June 2008, and we think that it was absolutely the right decision.
Nevertheless one of the rejected signs was installed and we are urging the Enforcement Officer to have it taken down, see the Enforcements page.
08/01047/LBA - Stall Street
This application was for a new aluminium fascia board on Number 6 in place of the current wooden one, with metal shop signs mounted on it. The case officer refused consent on 11 June 2008, and we think that it was absolutely the right decision.
08/01041/AR - Stall Street
This application was for signs to be installed when the former petrol station is converted to a Tesco Express shop.  Despite the Highways Officer arguing that the entrance did not comply with the national guidelines which specify that there should have been a minimum width for the entrance, and despite there being an illuminated sign on the shop front which we objected to, the case officer granted permission on 11 June 2008.  We think that the case officer was wrong to ignore the advice of the Highways Officer.
08/01040/FUL - Old Orchard
This application was to vary the previous planning application on this site(06/02086/FUL) which was granted on appeal.  One condition of granting the appeal and allowing two dwellings to be built was that workshop use must be retained on this site in addition to these dwellings.  This application enlarges the houses and removes the workshop use, substituting a Health Clinic and Martial Arts centre instead.  Despite the planning inspectors ruling, the Case Officer gave consent, a bad decision that was contrary to the council's Supplementary Planning Document.
08/01024/FUL - Holloway
This application was to transfer a piece of green space public land into private ownership in order to allow one resident who already has a garage to park a car on it.  On 13th June 2008, permission was refused.
08/01012/FUL - Westleigh Farm
This application was to demolish an existing house and outbuildings on the flanks of Little Solsbury Hill and replace them with something completely alien to the rural setting. 
The proposalFollowing a well argued recommendation by the case officer to reject this planning application, the Development Control Committee did just that on 11 June 2008, on the grounds of impact on the green belt, the prominence on the rural landscape, the damage to the views of the Cotswold Area of Natural Beauty and the way it would detract from the views of the Scheduled Ancient Monument of Solsbury Hill Fort.  See the News Summary page for more information.
If the past history of planning applications for this site is any guide, an appeal is likely.  If there is, Watchdog will be backing this council decision all the way through the appeal process.
08/00944/LBA - Bailbrook House
This application is the listed building application to remove or replace the modern additions to the Grade II* listed main building to improve the interior and to install disabled access facilities. More details are on the Bailbrook page.  The application was granted planning permission on 15 December 2008, with a comment in the Case Officer's report that the access ramp (which had an objection on health and safety grounds) was being withdrawn from the plans and a separate application would be raised.
08/00942/FUL - Bailbrook House
This application is to remove or replace the modern additions to the Grade II* listed main building to improve the interior and to install disabled access facilities. More details are on the Bailbrook page.  This application was granted planning permission on 31 December 2008
08/00934/FUL - Bellots Hospital (Beau Street)
This application was a simple change of use application, from its current Residential Care Home (Class C3) use to a Hotel (Class C1) use.  This is an investigative application only, to see if the principle of change of use will be permitted.  If it is, then further planning applications will be made to convert the accommodation to the new use, which would be as an Annex to the Gainsborough Hotel next door.  The Case Officer permitted this on 12th May 2008.
08/00868/LBA - Abbey Green
This application was for refurbishment of Number 2A Abbey Green.  We were unhappy about the scale of intrusion into some of the oldest parts of the building fabric, but nevertheless the application was granted consent on 16th May 2008.
08/00770/LBA - Technology House
As approvedThis application was to demolish Technology House, which is currently attached to the listed Albert Villa, on the Lower Bristol Road near the Weston Lock Business Park, and to replace it with a dreadfully inappropriate design.  On 15th April 2008, the case officer granted consent, ignoring numerous Local Plan policies to do so.  This was a truly dreadful decision.
08/00761/FUL - St George's Place
This application was to build residences and an office in St George's Place in place of the derelict Smile store.  The Development Control Committee gave consent on 6th August 2008, against the advice of the case officer that this was an over-development of the plot.
08/00708/AR - Westgate Street
This application was for new signs for the former Beau Nash from cinema to advertise the comedy club.  We objected to the large neon sign, but the case officer granted permission on 29th July 2008, arguing that as there was a similar sign there in the past it would be acceptable now.  Of course, that original sign wasn't a neon sign but a relatively low luminance fluorescent lit one, and it was in place before Bath became a World Heritage Site, so the impact of garish neon ought to have been considered with some thought to the fact that it will dominate the western view from the Abbey tower.  The case officer's imagination was no substitute for proper research, and this was a bad decision.  Luckily the decision was for a finite period, and it expires on 21 July 2011.
08/00706/FUL - Westgate Street
This application was to change the use of the former Beau Nash from cinema to comedy club.  It was approved on 14th May 2008, based on revised drawings that had never been previously associated with this planning application.  Logically, the case officer has approved a design we would have been less concerned about than the drawings we saw, so we don't have any real issues with the decision.  But procedurally this planning application was a travesty of public consultation
08/00676/LBA - Westgate Street
This application was for the alterations necessary to change the use of the former Beau Nash from cinema to comedy club.  On 24th April 2008, it was approved.  It is anybody's guess what will happen now, because the case officer forgot to check for consistency before signing on the dotted line, giving consent for both an e-mail apparently undertaking to retain the front elevation plinth and balcony and a drawing which shows the balcony and railings as absent.
08/00606/LBA - Terrace Walk
This application was for the installation of glass reinforced plastic signs on the Grade II* listed Huntsman.  The proposed signs are completely inappropriate.  The recommendation that went forward to GOSW is to approve.  We think that is a wrong recommendation.  On 15th May 2008, GOSW referred it back for determination and planning consent was given on 16th May.  We think the case officer's evaluation was faulty and this was a wrong decision.  See the News Summary page (Until 16 August) for more information.
08/00511/FUL - 14A Westgate Buildings
This application was to redesign the shop front of 14A Westgate Buildings to restore the style of the shop front back to the original form like the shop next door (and those with long memories might recall how this premises looked as a motorcycle shop).  We liked the design of the shop front and are happy that the case officer approved it on 14th April 2008.
08/00509/LBA - 14A Westgate Buildings
This application was for listed building consent to redesign the shop front of 14A Westgate Buildings. On 11 April the Listed Building application was approved, after the case officer had negotiated a less reflective material for the lettering [Well done!], and we are happy with this decision.
08/00485/FUL - Carr's Mill
This application was to redevelop the old Carr's Mill site, around the current Avalon Garage. The committee had discussed the plans with the developer, identifying the improvements that would allow us to change from our current position of opposition to one of support, and we waited to see if any revised drawings are lodged as a result.  They weren't.  Then on 16th May 2008, the case officer refused permission on a number of grounds:  inappropriate height scale massing and visual appearance;  failure to preserve land earmarked for road improvements;  an excessive level of demolition;  piecemeal development of part of a General Development Site. We think this was a sound decision.
08/00205/AR - Jolly's
This application was for signs to both front (Milsom Street) and back (John Street) of Jolly's announcing House of Fraser. Some of the signs are acceptable, but some block out an entire shop window, which would severely damage the appearance of Milsom Street as a row of shops. The committee opposed the plans and is delighted to see that the case officer also felt that the proposed signs were inappropriate for such a prestigious address.  On 10th March 2008, planning permission was refused.
08/00169/VAR - Tesco (Bathwick Hill)
This application was to waive on of the conditions attached to Tesco's 07/03110/FUL when permission for that was granted.  The condition was to prevent the store starting to trade until the loading bay and pedestrian crossing had been installed. The committee opposed the variation proposed, and the case officer clearly thought the safety of the public would be compromised by such a variation, because on 4 March 2008, he wisely refused planning permission.
08/00040/AR - Bear Flat
This application was for a new illuminated sign outside the Majestic Wine Warehouse on Bear Flat. The committee opposes internally illuminated signs in a Conservation Area, but recognises that the replacement sign is not as visually damaging as the existing one (which would remain if this application were rejected). The committee would have liked more information on the level of light that would be emitted before making a judgement on this one.  On 12 March 2008, the case officer granted permission for the sign, subject to two significant conditions: that the sign is only illuminated when the shop is open for business, and when illuminated, it should have a luminance value within the current guidelines.  The committee is happy with this decision.
08/00022/FUL - Oldfield Park Methodist Church
This application was to convert the now disused Oldfield Park Methodist Church in Moorland Road into flats.  The building is a prominent landmark, and the plan to pepper the roof with rooflights is wholly unacceptable.  The choice of a larger number of small dwellings brings a parking requirement which destroys the majority of the gardens, leaving the residents with precious little outdoor amenity space. Whilst there is merit in bringing this building back into use, the committee opposed this particular scheme as an over-development of the site.
Church GroundsNevertheless, on 26th June 2008, the case officer  granted planning permission, assuring the readers of the report that there were no unacceptable highways issues, despite the fact that several of the public comments highlighted the dangers to pedestrians that will arise when cars enter or leave the impractically shaped car parking area.  Planning permission was granted before getting a proper understanding of the terrain (pictured), hence the attempt to get that understanding by a condition.  But supposing that after having been provided with the landscaping details, it looks unacceptable?  It will be too late then!  This was a bad decision.
07/03825/FUL - Hampton Row
This application is for planning consent for the renovation of Hampton Row, and the conversion of the houses to 1-bedroom flats.  There is an associated Listed Building application 08/00386/LBA. Watchdog would like to see this terrace restored, but considers that the papers so far supplied by the developer are unsupportable, and have met with the developer to discuss alternatives.  On 26 January 2009 the case officer refused consent on the grounds that the extensions do not preserve the characteristics of the listed building, and insufficient details were provided to properly evaluate the full impact of the restoration of the listed buildings, plus concerns about the cramped living conditions in some of the units that amounted to overdevelopment.
07/03823/LBA - Bailbrook House
This Listed Building application was to restore Bailbrook House and add new wings in order to convert it to a hotel.  On 9th October 2008, planning permission was granted, despite concerns from both the Bath Preservation Trust and Watchdog that the timber clad extensions were not compatible with a Grade II* listed building.  We regard this as a lost opportunity to create a top class hotel that did justice to the main building, and we have ended up with "garden shed" extensions that will be a permanent maintenance overhead.
07/03822/FUL - Bailbrook House
This new construction application was to cover the new building work in order to convert Bailbrook House into a hotel. The plans for the restoration of the original house are excellent, but the interference by the council has led to the developer adopting "a rustic feel" to parts of the extension against his better judgement.  Watchdog offers guarded support: it would have been so much better without the council's input. Nevertheless, on balance, Watchdog considered that the benefits of the house restoration outweigh the disappointment in the use of timber cladding on the extension.  On 6 October 2008, a S.106 agreement was reached, which involved the applicant agreeing to landscaping plans, travel plans and contributing money to public transport enhancements, and on 16 October 2008, planning permission was granted.
07/03747/CA - High Street Twerton
This application was to cover the demolition of 105 High Street Twerton, to make way for a new building (application 07/03748/FUL). Permission was granted on 1st February 2008, on the recommendation of the case officer, who failed to follow the PPG15 advice "Consent for demolition should not be given unless there are acceptable and detailed plans for any redevelopment." in spite of the report stating "There are however initial concerns in respect of the proposed replacement scheme which by virtue of its design and detailing itself is out of keeping in the street scene and in turn does not make a positive contribution to the character and appearance of the conservation area."  The committee considers that this decision granting permission to demolish without an acceptable replacement was wrong.
07/03701/LBA - Ladbrokes (Westgate Street)
This was a listed building application for a new shop front for 16 Westgate Street. Ladbrokes had chosen a modern design, but one compatible with its location, constructed in traditional materials with high quality joinery. Watchdog supported it, and the case officer approved it with a number of sensible conditions, on 13th March 2008.
07/03642/LBA - Somerset Place
This was the listed building application for Somerset Place covering the conversion and restoration of Numbers 5 to 13 plus the demolition of the existing 1950s outbuildings and the erection of 6 Mews dwellings at the rear, plus the erection of a new Number 4 to create the same end style as Number 20.  On 14th October 2008 Listed Building Consent was granted, the last of the listed building applications for this development to receive its decision notice.  Watchdog is happy with this decision and thinks the conditions attached to the decision to be sensible.
07/03570/FUL - Walcot Yard
This application was for the creation of parking spaces and safety fencing after the demolition of the Timber Shed in Walcot Yard. On 22nd January 2008, planning permission was granted.  The reasons for permitting the parking spaces were sound and in accordance with planning policies, except that permission to demolish the Timber Store (see below) to make room for the parking spaces had been wrongly granted.
07/03569/CA - Walcot Yard
This application was for the demolition of the Timber Store in Walcot Yard, to make room for vehicle parking. The case officer under Delegated Authority recommended that permission should be granted, and it was on 22nd January 2008.  In the officer's report, are claims that the building detracts from the Conservation Area, yet in the paperwork there were several references to the fact that it contributes to it.  The claims that the building has no historic interest, yet in the previous application (which is referenced) even the applicant admits that it is the last remaining evidence of an industrial use for the yard.  In PPG15, there is the advice that demolitions of unlisted buildings in a Conservation Area should only be permitted where they will be replaced by something at least as beneficial as the building to be lost.  So now we know that parking spaces for private use enhance a conservation area at least as much as evidence of Bath's industrial heritage does.
07/03561/LBA - Holburne
This application was Martin Farrell's alternative approach to an extension for the Holburne.  Although the Development Control Committee have voted to recommend to the Secretary of State to approve Eric Parry's extension, that decision was not made in compliance with planning law, and there is the possibility that the Secretary of State will not approve it.  If it is approved, there are sufficient irregularities in the decision making process that a Judicial Review, if mounted, might well overturn the decision.  Therefore this alternative was worth following through the entire planning process. On 11 June 2008, the Development Control Committee unanimously approved it. Pictures are on the Holburne page, at the bottom.
07/03555/LBA - Charlton Buildings
This application was for the demolition of a listed wall that would be in the way of the proposed student accommodation on the former George Yeo site on Lower Bristol Road. Planning permission was illegally granted on 2nd January 2008 under delegated powers. Fuller details are on the Charlton Buildings page.
07/03489/FUL - Wellsway
Flats diagramThis application was for a block of flats on the site of the Oldfield Park Motors site at the top of Wellsway.  On 1st August 2008 this planning application was refused because of its scale, its design, its relationship to its neighbours and the failure to consider its transport and parking impact.  We think the Case Officer was spot on, and we decided that if the applicant appealed we will actively support the planning decision.  However, no appeal was lodged before the deadline, so no further action can be taken.
07/03448/FUL - Calton Walk
This application was to convert a house in Calton Walk into a flat in the basement and a maisonette on the other two floors. The application was referred to the Development Control Committee on 20 February 2008, with a recommendation from the case officer to approve it.  The report was an interesting exercise in interpretation, claiming that the plans did comply with Local Plan policies, which the actual text of the policies did not support.  The report also recommended a condition that the basement storeroom could not be used as a living space, but as the council has no right of entry to check, it would have been totally unenforceable.  Luckily, the Development Control Committee were not convinced by these arguments, and by 10 votes to 2, the application was rejected. Watchdog believes that this was the correct decision.
07/03406/LBA - Somerset Place
This was the listed building application for Somerset Place covering the conversion and restoration of Number 20 to a Georgian town house. On 10th March 2008, Listed Building consent was given by the case officer. The committee is happy with that decision.
07/03400/LBA - Somerset Place
This was the listed building application for Somerset Place covering the conversion and restoration of Number 19 to a Georgian town house. On 10th March 2008, Listed Building consent was given by the case officer. The committee is happy with that decision.
07/03394/LBA - Somerset Place
This is the listed building application for Somerset Place covering the conversion and restoration of Number 18 to a Georgian town house. On 10th March 2008, Listed Building consent was given by the case officer. The committee is happy with that decision.
07/03389/LBA - Somerset Place
This was the listed building application for Somerset Place covering the conversion and restoration of Number 17 to a Georgian town house. On 10th March 2008, Listed Building consent was given by the case officer. The committee is happy with that decision.
07/03386/LBA - Somerset Place
This was the listed building application for Somerset Place covering the conversion and restoration of Number 16 to a Georgian town house. On 10th March 2008, Listed Building consent was given by the case officer. The committee is happy with that decision.
07/03384/LBA - Somerset Place
This was the listed building application for Somerset Place covering the conversion and restoration of Number 15 to a Georgian town house. On 10th March 2008, Listed Building consent was given by the case officer. The committee is happy with that decision.
07/03380/LBA - Somerset Place
This was the listed building application for Somerset Place covering the conversion and restoration of Number 14 to a Georgian town house. On 10th March 2008, Listed Building consent was given by the case officer. The committee is happy with that decision.
07/03288/FUL - Wellsway
This application was to convert the disused garage opposite the junction of Entry Hill and Wellsway onto offices. On 21st December 2007, planning permission was granted.  The reasons for approval were properly described, and Watchdog is satisfied that the decision was sound and the conditions attached to it are sensible. Well done to the case officer: this one was faultless.
07/03255/FUL - Claverton Street
This application was to replace the disused public conveniences in Claverton Street with a one bedroomed house.  On 11th June 2008 this application was refused by the case officer on the grounds of exposure to noise and air pollution, and because the lack of amenities for residents.  We think that was a sound decision. The current position is on the news summary page(until 11 December).
07/03178/LBA - Royal School
This application was for ventilation works to allow the Royal School's food technology facilities to be relocated into the art studio building. The application was approved under delegated powers on 29th November 2007 (though the decision report has not yet appeared on the planning website), and the committee is happy with that decision.
07/03127/LBA - Royal School
This was a listed building application that was linked with 07/03122/FUL as a pair which sought to demolish the existing food technology building alongside the Royal School and replace it  with an new Art Department building. The application was approved under delegated powers on 29th November 2007 and Watchdog is happy with that decision.
07/03122/FUL - Royal School
This was a full application which was linked with listed building application 07/03127/LBA as a pair which seeks to demolish the existing food technology building alongside the Royal School and replace it with a new Art Department building. Because some later amendments were added, the consultation period was been extended and this application was approved on 5th December 2007, and the committee is happy with that decision.
07/03110/FUL - Tesco (Bathwick Hill)
This application was to install a new shop front in the Tallis Motors building on Bathwick Hill for Tescos. It was approved on 5th December under delegated powers, ignoring the Government guidelines in PPS1, ignoring the Council's own Conservation Officer's objections, ignoring the Urban Design Officer's detailed objections, ignoring PPG15, and ignoring Section 72 of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990.  We would hope that the Planning Department launches an internal enquiry to establish how and why an unlawful decision like this can be countersigned and sent to the applicant.  As a very minimum the decision should have been passed to the committee if the case officer was mindful to permit.
Furthermore, the case officer clearly had not understood the papers submitted by the applicant.  Planning permission was granted with a condition that a sample of the shop front joinery (implying timber) is to be supplied for approval,  but nowhere in the planning application does it say that the window surrounds are timber.  Indeed, looking at the scale drawings, any structural engineer will tell you that plate glass windows that large cannot be supported by timber that thin: it will have to be a different material.  And indeed, permission for powder coateded aluminium was subsequently given.
So this decision was illegally made, and shows such staggering inaccuracy in the preparation of the Delegated Report that the decision letter should not have been countersigned.  The fact that it was shows either that the planning legislation was not understood, or the report wasn't read properly.
In order to try to retrieve the situation, Watchdog has asked for a dialogue with Tesco in the hope that they will agree to put in a variation application to amend the window design.
07/03108/FUL - Tesco (Bathwick Hill)
This application was to install air conditioning in the Tallis Motors building on Bathwick Hill for Tescos. Planning permission was granted on 5th December 2007. This is in spite of the comment by the Environmental Health Officer that the Acoustic Report could not be trusted because the method of measurement was unsound, and the case officer's own assessment that "the noise assessment with regards to the above residential flats is not satisfactory and a condition will be imposed for further and more detailed assessments with regards to noise levels in these sensitive locations."  So in the report it says that the noise levels do not meet the conditions in Policy ES12 (which backs up what the Environmental Health Officer said), and in the Decision Notice it says that they do. They cannot both be factual! The approval was given subject to an acoustic report and noise attenuation proposals being approved by the Local Planning Authority, which removes any opportunity for the public to examine and comment on them.  It would have been far more sensible to ask for this information before making a decision.
07/03105/FUL - Charlton Buildings 
This application was for accommodation for 333 students (subsequently reduced to 327) on the former George Yeo site on Lower Bristol Road.  Fuller details are on the Charlton Buildings page.  On 11 June 2008, the DCC agreed to planning permission being granted subject to a satisfactory S.106 agreement.  On 22 September 2008, agreement was reached on the S.106 agreement and on 25 September 2008 planning permission was granted.
07/03057/AR - Tesco (Bathwick Hill)
This application was for Illuminated TESCOs signs across the front of the old John Tallis Motors building in Bathwick Hill was approved on 14th December under delegated powers, even though illuminated signs are inappropriate for that location.  The committee believes that it was a wrong decision, contrary to Local Plan Policy BH2. Commenting on the application for the shop front, the Heritage Officer said "It is considered that the modern and illuminated signage in this location is inappropriate. Raised illuminated plastic signs will be harmful to the setting of the listed buildings and the site is within the Conservation Area and World Heritage Site." but unfortunately this was not repeated as a comment on this planning application.  If it had been, it would have made the decision unlawful.
07/03055/LBA & 07/03056/FUL - Camden Mill
This was a listed building and full application pair which seeks to vary the ventilation arrangements previously approved in the earlier planning decision. Full details are on the Camden Mill page.
07/02962/LBA - Holburne Museum
This application was one of a pair (with 07/02961/FUL) forming the second attempt to get planning permission for Parry's extension to the Holburne. 07/02962/LBA is for Listed Building consent. Apart from changing the colour of the ceramic and lowering the roof by two feet, little had changed. It is still as unsuitable in that location as it was before and the committee opposed it. On 28th November 2007, the Development Control Committee voted to give planning permission to 07/02961/FUL, and in the case of 07/02962/LBA recommended that it should be granted planning permission, but because the Holburne is Grade I listed the decision fell to the Secretary of State. On the 9th January 2008, GOSW wrote to the Planning Office to say that the Secretary of State did not need to call in the decision, and the following day B&NES granted planning permission.  So Watchdog has written to the Secretary of State pointing out exactly why the decision that was made in her name was unlawful and inviting her to rescind it. We still have the option of reporting GOSW to the Parliamentary Ombudsman if that fails.
07/02961/FUL - Holburne Museum
This application pair was one of a pair (with 07/02962/LBA) forming the second attempt to get planning permission for Parry's extension to the Holburne. 07/02961/FUL is the new construction. Apart from changing the colour of the ceramic and lowering the roof by two feet, little had and the committee opposed it. On 28th November 2007, the Development Control Committee voted to give planning permission to 07/02961/FUL, and in the case of 07/02962/LBA recommended that it should be granted planning permission, but because the Holburne is Grade I listed the decision went to the Secretary of State. The Government Office of the South West has confirmed that the secretary of State did not wish to call in 07/02961/FUL and B&NES granted planning permission. The current position is on the Holburne page.
07/02863/FUL - Holloway
This application was for the conversion of a single house in Holloway into three flats. In order to do so, the garage was to be converted into accommodation, as was the hard standing in front of it. The council's planning policies (specifically T.20) are very clear that developments which remove off-street parking cannot be permitted, and the committee opposed it on those grounds and because of the loss of a family home. The application was refused on 13th November 2007.  The notice of refusal states "The proposed development would fail to provide acceptable internal and outdoor amenity space for future occupiers of the proposed development, by reason of its layout, topography and intensity of use which would lead to unacceptable levels of privacy, overlooking, lack of natural light, overbearing impact and lack of private outdoor amenity space. This would be contrary to policy D.2 of the Bath and North East Somerset Local Plan (including minerals and waste policies) 2007."  This is a sound decision, but it is disappointing that refusal failed to mention the council's planning policies which make it  very clear that developments which remove off-street parking cannot be permitted. Planning Policies also provide for division of larger properties into smaller family units, but this conversion creates units too small for families. Again the refusal notice failed to mention that. As far as the committee is concerned, the decision to refuse was correct, but the quality of the report by the planning officer was below the standard that the public have a right to expect.
07/02602/FUL - Widcombe Studio
This application under the somewhat misleading name "Widcombe Studio" was for conversion of the old St Mark's School (currently the workshops of Timothy Richards) into residences and a studio workshop.  The committee was in favour of this in principle, but there were a number of concerns with the plans as initially presented.  But concerns about residents parking and the style of windows inserted into the roof resulted in updated drawings that the committee was happy with, and the application was given consent on 22nd October 2007. As far as the committee is concerned, the decision to consent was correct, but the planning officer allowed the public too little time to comment on the amendments before making the decision, and a complaint has been made about that.
07/02557/FUL -Lambridge Buildings Mews
This application was for the erection of three dwellings in Lambridge Buildings Mews in Larkhall. In principle, it would be acceptable to convert mews buildings into dwellings, but this application proposed that two of them should be three stories which would be wholly inappropriate for that location, and the committee opposed it on those grounds. Parking in that location would also be a problem. On 14th December 2007, this application was refused on the grounds that the height and visual mass would be out of keeping  with the pattern of development in the area.  This a is a sound decision and the committee is happy with it.
07/02461/FUL - Upper Oldfield Park
This application was for the erection of a block of 14 flats on the site of 43 Upper Oldfield Park (for which Conservation Area consent for demolition - 06/02075/CA - has already been granted). The Junction Road and Environs Residents Group wanted to try to negotiate changes before deciding whether to support or oppose, but this came to nothing. The committee opposed the style of building proposed but the application was given consent on 31 October 2007.  That decision was made in the face of legislation that is supposed to protect conservation areas and too soon after additional drawings had been submitted for the public to comment on them, and a formal complaint about how this planning application has been handled has been passed to GOSW.
07/02162/FUL - Soutghgate
This application was for alteration to the car parking beneath Southgate adding a few more spaces after adjusting the western boundary as a result of the findings from the archaeological survey, and by using spaces reserved for Debenhams for the general public because Debenhams have said they don't need them. The committee had not formed a view, when on 28th September the application was approved under delegated powers, even though the mandatory flood risk assessment had not been provided and the statutory consultation had not taken place (see the Southgate page for more information).
07/02160/FUL - Soutghgate
This application was for alteration to the design of part of Southgate (Blocks E and F) to make two large restaurants in place of several small kiosks, to make internal alterations to the layout of some units, and to replace the leisure facilities with a public library. The committee decided that it should oppose the library element and the loss of shopping kiosks. The implications of the change regarding disabled access were still being examined by the committee when on 28th September the application was approved under delegated powers, even though the mandatory flood risk assessment had not been provided and the statutory consultation had not taken place (see the Southgate page for more information).
07/02028/LBA & 07/2031/FUL - Old Labour Exchange
Old Labour ExchangeThe Listed Building application and its associated application cover the conversion of the Grade II listed ex- Labour Exchange, ex-WRVS building (the bomb damaged building in James Street West) into a training facility and workshop for the Genesis Trust. The committee supported this sympathetic conversion and reuse of a listed building and is happy that on 6 August, the Listed Building consent was granted followed by the Change of Use application on 16 August. Thank you to those who wrote letters of support.
Strangely though, having given planning permission for the building work and change of use, the council is dragging its feet over agreeing a lease for the premises, leaving the Genesis Trust with the prospect of funding the building work with no security of tenure thereafter.  As far as the committee is concerned, that looks like the council, as landlord, might have a hidden agenda and be abusing its position in order to achieve it.  In February 2008, the council announced that it intended to sell the building, which suggests it was abusing its position in order to sell the building without an extant lease.
07/01913/REG13 - Temple of Minerva (Victoria Park)
This application was for repairs to the Temple of Minerva in the Botanical Gardens, plus the erection of an educational facility and a disabled toilet.  It went to committee on 12 September with the Planning Officer's recommendation to approve, though a decision was not made on that date and it went to committee again on 3rd October. At that meeting, the decision was made to refer the final decision to the Secretary of State, but with a recommendation from the council that it be approved.  On 22nd November 2007, the Secretary of State granted planning permission, and this was recorded by the Planning Office two days later.  The committee supported the planning application, but would still like to see every effort made to preserve the very rare Pomegranate Tree behind the building, which could be endangered by the new construction.
07/01678/FUL - Canal Bridge
This application was to build four 3-storey houses after demolishing the derelict buildings on the canal bridge at the end of Pulteney Road.  The application was refused by the council (rightly so in our opinion) and the subsequent appeal was rejected on 10 June 2008 on the grounds that it was inappropriate for the location.
07/01673/LBA - Camden Mill
This application was for listed building consent for alterations to the Grade II listed Camden Mill building on the Lower Bristol Road. The committee is not against sympathetic change to the inside of the building but opposed the style of the proposed balcony and was unable to judge whether the internal alterations are sympathetic because the application papers do not include a full historical survey. The Development Control Committee nevertheless voted to approve it without insisting on the historical survey being provided, in direct contravention of the legislation and guidelines on planning applications for listed buildings. Look at the Camden Mill page for full details.
07/01272/LBA - Holburne Museum
This application was for listed building consent for alterations to the Grade I listed Holburne Museum. The committee opposed this. At a meeting of the Development Control Committee on 25th July 2007, the decision was made to refuse this planning application. The committee agrees that this was a correct decision, made in full compliance with the legislative framework and will oppose any appeal, vigorously.
07/01270/FUL - Holburne Museum
This application was for the erection of a modern extension behind the Holburne Museum. The committee opposed this. At a meeting of the Development Control Committee on 25th July 2007, the decision was made to refuse this planning application. The committee agrees that this was a correct decision, made in full compliance with the legislative framework.
07/01132/FUL - Wells Road
This application was to convert 54 Wells Road into 8 apartments by building an extension. We have mixed feelings about this.  On the positive side, the restoration of a listed building is welcome, and the architectural style and choice of materials is sympathetic with the host building.  But the size of the extension proposed is unusually large for a building with that original footprint.  The Development Control Committee voted to permit this application at their meeting on 10th September 2008.
07/01129/LBA - Wells Road
This application was for Listed Building consent to convert 54 Wells Road into 8 apartments by building an extension.  The Development Control Committee voted to permit this application at their meeting on 10th September 2008.
07/00653/FUL - Upper Oldfield Park
This application was for the erection of a block of flats in the Oldfield Park Conservation Area. The Development Control Committee refused this application in June, but the developer had threatened to appeal. The committee agrees that the decision was correctly made and would oppose any appeal, vigorously.
07/00449/FUL - Western Riverside (Victoria Buildings)
This application was for a footpath behind Victoria Buildings to enable Phase 1 of the Western Riverside scheme, primarily to meet the Protection of Badgers Act 1992, but the offer of new residents parking was made to give something back to the residents of Victoria Buildings who would be affected by it. The committee objected to the first issue of these plans, but agrees that after the plans were amended they were acceptable.  The decision was made to grant permission on 1st May 2008.
05/03779/FUL - Walcot Yard
This application was to demolish the buildings in Walcot Yard and replace them with 9 dwellings. The council refused planning permission and the applicant appealed. That appeal failed, largely because the development would harm the character of a conservation area. This is the full judgement.
97/01019/FUL - Southgate
This application was the outline for the erection of a number of shops and a bus station in the Southgate area. The council approved this application in 2003. The committee supports shopping development on this site, but opposes the style of bus station (especially the "busometer") and opposes the demolition of the station ramp. That ramp is a Brunel original and is part of the configuration of the GWR that is being considered for World Heritage status, so there is no support for its demolition in the council's World Heritage Management Plan, nor in the legislative framework protecting listed buildings. If the Government ever appoints a Secretary of State that cares two hoots about heritage, the committee will attempt to get that decision revoked, and the ramp restored if removed before then.