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Historic cottage near Bath saved from demolition after plans slammed by locals

Plans to demolish a historic cottage near Bath have been revised by the developer, who hopes to extend the building instead.

Waterworks Cottage on Charlcombe Way has stood on the site since the 1850s and is steeped in the industrial history of Bath.

Nearly 300 people objected to the developer’s original plans to knock down the cottage and build three new houses in its place.

Among the concerns raised were fears about extra traffic and the impact building work would have on the migration route of the Charlcombe toads.

The site is owned by Jeremy Flavell and his wife Sarah, who run Point Three Design, an architecture and interior design practice with offices in Bath and London.

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In November, Ellie Burgess said in her objection to the couple’s plans: “This site is of historical value due to the Victorian waterworks, and this proposed site will destroy not only the site but the neighbourhood’s views of the surrounding countryside.

“I grew up in this neighbourhood and visit my parents who still live in the neighbourhood, and so I know the value this site holds for this area.”

Caroline Power, a conservation expert for Bath and North East Somerset Council, also refused to support the scheme on the grounds that the cottage met “the criteria for designation as a locally listed heritage asset”.

Now, under pressure from locals and experts alike, the developer has decided not to demolish the original building. Revised plans show an extension to the 19th-century cottage, which will still allow for two new-builds on the plot.

Catherine Dale, who lives nearby, said: “I welcome the fact that the cottage is not going to be demolished. That is the result of the conservation expert’s report, which the developer has taken on board.”

The proposed extension will alter the east facade of the house – which is well-known for its period character, and the new-build planned for “plot two” will be in a very modern style compared to the existing building.

However, as noted in Ms Power’s report, the cottage’s “roof structure and fenestration” have been replaced relatively recently, so the building is not wholly original.

You can comment on the planning application here until February 22, 2021.