[Logo: The Clifton Pool]

Home

The Campaign

History

News

Pictures

Links

Guest Book

Contact us

Site Index

Planning Document


Below is the planning document produced by Bristol City Council's Planning Transport and Development Department for the meeting of the Planning, Transport and Development (Central) Area Sub-Comittee meeting which took place on 17 November 1999. Our thanks to the council for letting us reproduce the document here.

SUMMARY

This application relates to the proposed redevelopment of a Grade II* listed building with a residential scheme, comprising 6 no.2 bed flats and 3 no. three storey houses with 9 off street car parking spaces, on the site of the former Clifton Pool in Oakfield Place. It seeks listed building consent for the demolition of the former open-air swimming pool and associated structures, except the main frontage building on Oakfield Place, which is proposed to be altered and extended to form part of the proposed residential scheme. The site lies within the Whiteladies Road Conservation Area.

The key issues relating to this proposal for residential development are:-

  1. Is there sufficient justification for the substantial demolition of this Grade II* listed building within the Whiteladies Road Conservation Area?

    National and local policies presume in favour of the preservation of listed buildings of special architectural and historic interest, and it is the statutory duty of the local planning authority to have "special regard to the desirability of preserving the building or its setting or any feature of special architectural or historic interest it possesses", when considering applications for listed building consent.

    The demolition of any Grade I or II* building should be wholly exceptional and should require the strongest justification.

    Clifton Pool is a Grade II* listed building and was developed from the outset as a purpose built swimming bath. It is a unique example of a nineteenth century late subscription pool and quite clearly has significant intrinsic architectural and historic interest, illustrating for example an important aspect of the nation's social and cultural heritage.

    It has strong associations with the immediate locality and is believed to have been integral to the development of the surrounding streets; evident in stylistic and architectural links. The architectural and historic composition of the site and its social heritage, despite its poor structural condition, still make a positive and valuable contribution to the character of this part of the Whiteladies Road Conservation Area.

    A structural survey of the site undertaken by the applicant has revealed that some of the site is in poor structural order, but identifies certain components which would be capable of repair and/or restoration. The level of demolition proposed cannot be justified solely on the basis of the condition of the building.

    English Heritage acknowledge the poor condition of the building, but nevertheless oppose the demolition of the listed building. In recognition of the comparatively high repair costs associated with any restoration of the Pool, they have confirmed support of an application for Section 3A grant aid.

    Investigations into alternative funding mechanisms have been limited and insufficient No information has been produced by the applicants to show that the preservation of the Pool through charitable trusts and/or community ownership is neither possible nor suitable. No details have been produced to indicate that other alternative uses for the site are unviable, unsustainable or unachievable and there is no indication of any marketing of the site by the applicant/owner following its listing.

    The works of substantial demolition would result in the loss of an outstanding Grade II* building of special architectural and historic interest and no overriding reasons in favour of such works have been produced, when assessed against the criteria in PPG15.

  2. Would the proposed works of alteration and extension preserve the Grade II* Listed building. its setting and any feature of special architectural and historic interest and would they harm the character and appearance of this Dart of the Whiteladies Road Conservation Area?

    It is important that the proposal preserves the special interest of the Grade II* listed building, and does not harm the character and appearance of the Whiteladies Road Conservation Area.

    The Officer's Committee report in March 1998 relating to the planning application considered that the design of the redevelopment responded to the character of the surrounding Conservation Area in terms of scale, massing and form. However, these conclusions should be considered in the revised context of the listed status of the building and its consequential enhanced contribution to its historic surroundings.

    The proposed extension is too substantial in form and has an unsatisfactory relationship both in architectural detailing and in scale and bulk to the Grade II* listed building, and as such represents unacceptable works to a building of special architectural and historic merit.

    Furthermore, the proposals are intrinsically linked to the works of demolition considered in Key Issue (A) and by virtue of this fact are unacceptable, as the redevelopment proposal would lead to the loss of a building of special architectural and historic interest.

  3. What are the implications of (i) granting listed building consent (ii) refusing listed building consent?

    1. Where proposals raise issues of exceptional significance or controversy, such as significant implications for a Grade II* listed building, the Secretary of State may require such applications to be referred to him for decision.
    2. Where listed building consent is refused, the owner can claim that the building is incapable of any reasonable beneficial use in its existing state and without the benefit of listed building consent, and cannot be made capable of such use through acceptable works. The owner can serve a listed building purchase notice on the local authority, requiring the authority to purchase the owner's interest in the site. The authority may either accept the notice, or if not it is referred to the Secretary of State.

    The applicant has made clear his intention to serve a listed building purchase notice upon the Council in the event that listed building consent is refused, but this is not a material consideration in the determination of this application.

CONCLUSION

Clifton Pool is a late example of a nineteenth century subscription bath: most of its contemporaries have been lost. As such it provides a rare example of the survival of a building of intrinsic historic interest and rarity in both national and local terms.

It is considered that, given the change in circumstances, the applicant has failed to demonstrate overriding reasons in favour of the substantial demolition of the listed building, when considered against the criteria contained within PPGI5. Inadequate effort has been made to find alternative schemes or end users for the site which would provide for the retention and restoration of the buildings and it has not been adequately demonstrated that the costs of repair and renovation would be financially prohibitive and unviable.

Notwithstanding that planning permission and conservation area consent were granted for the scheme, prior to the listing of the buildings, the proposed works would fail to preserve the special interest of the Grade II* listed building and the associated demolition works would result in the loss of a valuable asset of significant architectural and historic importance, to the detriment of the character of this part of the Whiteladies Road Conservation Area.

It is recommended that listed building consent be refused.

BACKGROUND

This application relates to the site of the former open-air swimming pool, Clifton Pool also known as Clifton Lido, located on a prominent corner of Oakfield Place and Southleigh Road. This Grade II* listed building has frontages to both streets, with the Victoria Public House forming the corner building and is set within a strong architectural and historical context of three storey Victorian terraced houses. It is situated in the Whiteladies Road Conservation Area.

A Victorian purpose-built swimming baths, it opened in 1850 and remained in this sole function until its closure in 1990. Its construction was based on an original concept of a front building incorporating a range of ancillary activities, including residential, and a large swimming pool surrounded by changing rooms and ancillary structures. However, it formed an integral part of the development of the surrounding streets, which is evident through the architectural style and detailing.

The site is 885 square metres and comprises five component parts:

The western boundary of the site forms the rear of properties in Oakfield Grove and the northern boundary is the side elevation of Southleigh Mews.

RELEVANT PLANNING HISTORY

As stated above, Clifton Pool closed to the public in 1990 following structural problems with the pool tank. The site was then owned by the City Council, and despite marketing of the site, no interest in a continued leisure use of the site was found at this time.

In 1997, following an open market sale, Sovereign Housing Association entered into a contract with the City Council to acquire the site for residential development subject to planning permission being obtained. This transaction was completed in March 1998 following the grant of planning permission. The building was not listed at this time.

In October 1997, applications for planning permission and associated conservation area consent were submitted on behalf of Sovereign Housing Association. On 11 March 1998, the following approvals were granted:

These approvals remain unimplemented.

On 12 June 1998, the Secretary of State authorised the listing of the Clifton Pool and its buildings together with The Victoria Public House as Grade II*. A full copy of the listing description is attached at Appendix 1, but briefly, the listing identified the

"front range [main building] in classical style, probably originally containing medicinal and washing baths and other offices including the manager's house and boiler room, behind which is a rectangular open-air swimming bath with later C19 partly glazed galleries on two sides and a range of changing cubicles on the other side."

APPLICATION

On 17 September 1998, an application for listed building consent was submitted on behalf of Sovereign Housing Association for the residential redevelopment of the site: works which had already gained planning permission and conservation area consent some 6 months previously. Accompanying documentation included a structural report and supporting planning statement.

A further supporting statement was submitted on 5 January 1999, setting out and assessing the applicant's case in favour of the substantial demolition of parts of the listed building, particularly in viability terms.

The application seeks to:

PUBLICITY AND CONSULTATION

The application was advertised on 7 October 1998 with an expiry date of 28 October 1998. included the display of a public notice on the site.

A total of 188 letters were sent to neighbouring properties, including individuals and interest groups who had made representations to the previous planning and conservation area consent applications in 1997. Letters were dated 20 October 1998 with an expiry date of 10 November 1998.

At the time of writing, this notification process resulted in 61 letters of representation (60 objections and one letter of support) and a petition containing 26 signatories also objecting to the scheme.

The additional supporting statement was the subject of a further consultation period on 21 January 1999, which expired on 4 February 1999. This resulted in the receipt of a further 5 letters of objection.

A considerable level of objection to proposals has been raised by local residents and the wider public. They fall into two broad categories: effect on the listed building and the conservation area, and other planning related issues. This last category is not a relevant material consideration to this listed building consent application, and these issues were dealt with during the consideration of the planning application in March 1998. A more thorough summary of the relevant comments raised is contained at Appendix 2 to this report.

A detailed response was received from The Clifton Victoria Baths Management Company Limited dated 15 October 1998, including an alternative business plan. A more detailed Business Plan was submitted on 9 February 1999. In summary, the objections raised are as follows:

Comments received from others in support of the proposal were:

English Heritage considered the application at a meeting of the Historic Areas and Buildings Advisory Committee and formally responded on 24 August 1999. The comments were as follows:

"There are three related issues that English Heritage has considered in fulfilment of its statutory remit. They are the significance of the buildings and site, the demolition of large parts of the listed structures and subsequent redevelopment, and the related issue of potential grant aid.

As far as the significance of the buildings and site is concerned, English Heritage can now confirm that Clifton Pool is outstanding in the national context. I have already given you a copy of our consultant's report (by Jane Root) which ably demonstrates that this is both an important and relatively intact example of a subscription bath: such baths, sponsored by private subscription, were overtaken by the provision of municipal baths from the late C19 onwards, so the survival of Clifton Pool, comparatively complete in its layout, is very rare.Given English Heritage's view that Clifton Pool is of outstanding importance, it follows that the demolition of substantial parts of the listed structure and the partial redevelopment of the site, including the building over the pool, is unacceptable. Although the submitted scheme was negotiated in good faith, the now established architectural and historic significance of the site must radically change the planning context. PPGl5 demands that demolition should be justified against various criteria, and it is English Heritage's view that such justification has not been achieved by the re-submission of the original proposals in these new circumstances.

This is of particular relevance to the issue of potential grant aid for English Heritage. The probable repair costs of putting the pool and its associated buildings right are comparatively high, so it would be unrealistic of English Heritage to recommend refusal of listed building consent without considering the principle of whether Section 3A grant aid might be available. English Heritage therefore also wishes to confirm that, in principle, the outstandingness of the building makes it possible to entertain applications for their repair.

I appreciate that this is a highly unusual case, but in formally recommending that listed building consent be refused for the present proposals because they would destroy nationally significant listed buildings and the historic character of the pool, I hope you will see that we have given it the most thorough consideration."

The Conservation Advisory Panel met to discuss the proposal on 19 October 1998, and made the following comments:-

> "The Panel decided as the pool was now listed Grade II* the proposed works should not be carried out. A specialist consultant should be appointed to prepare a conservation plan in order to identify the important element of the building and appropriate treatment and future uses."

Comments were received from the Bristol Civic Society on 29 October 1998, which stated that in light of the listed status of the building:-

"The Society does not believe it is good enough merely to resubmit the earlier application. The reasons for listing are not explained in the application and it is therefore not possible to give proper consideration to the proposals under the changed circumstances."

The Clifton and Hotwells Improvement Society, in their correspondence dated 12 October 1998, considered the proposals to be reasonable should residential accommodation be decided upon. However they sought the investigation of the possibility of a leisure centre, and prove an ideal opportunity for Clifton to have the benefit which it lacks.

RELEVANT POLICIES

Bristol Local Plan, December 1997.

The Built Environment

B13 Conservation Areas and Listed Buildings : General Principles
B15 Conservation Areas: Streets and Open Spaces.
B16 Conservation Areas: New Buildings.
B17 Conservation Areas: Extensions to Buildings.
B19 Listed Buildings: Alterations
B20 Listed Buildings: Urgent Repairs and Demolition
B21 Buildings in Conservation Areas: Demolition
B22 Sites of Archaeological Significance.

PAN2 Conservation Area Enhancement Statements (November 1993).
PAN4 Archaeology and Development

KEY ISSUES

  1. Is there sufficient justification for the substantial demolition of this Grade II* listed building within the Whiteladies Road Conservation Area?

    Policy Background

    National and local policies presume in favour of the preservation of buildings of special architectural and historic interest.

    The starting point is Section 16 of the Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas Act 1990, which establishes that when considering whether or not to grant Listed Building Consent for any works, the Local Authority should have "special regard to the desirability of preserving the building or its setting or any features of special architectural or historic interest which it possesses.

    PPGI5: Planning and the Historic Environment (1994) elaborates on this Section of the Act, reinforcing the general presumption in favour of preservation of listed buildings, except where a convincing case can be made for alteration or demolition. The guidance sets out general criteria which should be applied when determining applications for listed building consent:

    1. importance of the building, its intrinsic architectural and historic interest and rarity in both national and local terms;
    2. the particular physical features of the building;
    3. the building's setting and its contribution to the local scene;
    4. the extent to which the proposed works would bring substantial benefits for the community.

    The applicants are required to justify the proposals and to demonstrate that the works are both desirable and necessary. Full information should be provided to the Local Planning Authority to enable an assessment of the proposals and any potential impact to be made against the above criteria.

    Where demolition or substantial demolition is proposed, particularly of Grade I and Grade II* listed buildings, the strongest justification is required for such wholly exceptional circumstances. Paragraph 3.17 states that:

    "…the Secretaries of State would not expect consent to be given for the total or substantial demolition of any listed building without clear and convincing evidence that all reasonable efforts have been made to sustain existing uses or find viable new uses, and these efforts have failed; that preservation in some form of charitable or community ownership is not possible or suitable; or that redevelopment would produce substantial benefits for the community which would decisively outweigh the loss resulting from demolition. The Secretaries of State would not expect consent to demolition to be given simply because redevelopment is economically more attractive to the developer than repair and re-use of a historic building, or because the developer acquired the building at a price that reflected the potential of redevelopment rather than the condition and constraints of the existing historic building."

    As well as the general criteria, PPGI5 establishes a further three considerations which should be addressed in proposals for the total or substantial demolition of a listed building:

    1. the condition of the building, the cost of repairing and maintaining it in relation to its importance and the value derived from its continued use, taking into account the availability of grants or funds from public and/or charitable sources.
    2. adequacy of efforts made to retain the building in use: demonstration that real efforts have been made to continue the present use or find compatible alternative uses, including the offer on the open market of the unrestricted freehold of the building at a realistic price reflecting the building's condition.
    3. the merits of alternative proposals.

    It is acknowledged that planning permission and conservation area consent have already been granted for the redevelopment of this site, prior to the listing of the buildings. However, PPG15 points out that such a decision "cannot be taken as predetermining the outcome of a subsequent application for listed building consent."

    The preservation of listed buildings is one of the primary planning responsibilities of the City Council, and these statutory duties are reflected in policies B13, B19, B20 and B21 of the adopted Bristol Local Plan (December 1997) which provide useful guidance. Planning permission will not be granted for development involving substantial or total demolition of listed buildings unless the applicant can demonstrate that:

    The site is within the Whiteladies Road Conservation Area and therefore it is also necessary to consider the effect of the proposed substantial demolition on the character and appearance of this part of the Conservation Area. The policies in the Plan also provide useful guidance in this case, which build on the advice contained in PPG15.

    The proposed works of substantial demolition are quite clearly the most contentious element of the application proposals, and consequently shall be assessed against the criteria set out in PPG15:

    Importance of the Buildings

    The importance of this building is twofold: firstly as a particular element of social historic interest, and secondly, its role, both architecturally and historically, in forming part of a group of buildings important in the context of the Whiteladies Conservation Area.

    Many subscription baths were built in the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and formed a distinguished group with some affinity to the contemporary spas. Clifton Pool is a late example of a subscription bath built on the cusp of the change in legislation (1846 Act), which enabled local authorities to provide municipal/public baths primarily for the benefit of the poor.

    Clifton Pool was privately promoted, and the architecturally ambitious building, reflecting Egyptian design influences, indicated an area of high social status. English Heritage believe that the Pool was almost certainly designed by the architectural firm of Pope, Bindon and Clark: R S Pope was an important local figure and "an architect of very considerable gifts" [Gomme 1979) who was responsible for many buildings in Clifton, including Brunel House, Vyvyan Terrace, and Buckingham Place.

    Of the currently five listed swimming baths in Bristol, Clifton Pool is the highest grade at II*, and the only subscription bath: the other four are all municipal pools listed grade II.

    The site of Clifton Pool was developed from the outset as a purpose-built swimming baths, and subsequent alterations have never compromised this original concept. It is a unique example of a subscription pool and quite clearly has significant intrinsic architectural and historic interest, illustrating for example an important aspect of the nation's social and cultural history and development.

    The Building's Setting and Contribution to Local Context

    The application site is located within the Whiteladies Road Conservation Area. There is little doubt that the Clifton Pool, despite its poor condition, makes a positive and valuable contribution to the character of this special architectural and historic environment.

    The report commissioned by English Heritage reveals that the building has strong historical associations with the immediate locality, and it would appear was integral to the development of the surrounding streets. Stylistic evidence, particularly distinctive architectural detailing, links the Oakfield Place frontage with the adjacent houses in this street, as well as with the terraces of St. Paul's Road.

    The report indicates that initially the site for the baths was intended to extend northwards along most of the west side of Southleigh Road However, the original proposals ran into financial difficulty leading to the scheme and the site being reduced. The report continues:

    "Oakfield Place and Southleigh Road were developed on a very constricted site. The streets themselves are exceptionally narrow and the houses have tiny gardens. The principal elevation of the Pool itself is so hemmed in that it cannot be fully appreciated. Furthermore the building lines are erratic and the overall level of control over the development low. All this suggests that the finances of the scheme were marginal, which is consistent with everything we know about the history of the Pool."

    In the Committee Report in March 1998 (copy attached at Appendix 3), it was concluded that the Pool made little contribution to the appearance of the Conservation Area. However, this assessment was made prior to the listing of the building and this important change in circumstances.

    The architectural and historic composition of this site, including its social heritage which illustrates the character of a past age, make a valuable contribution to the character of this part of the Whiteladies Road Conservation Area.

    Condition of the Buildings

    A structural inspection of the site was undertaken by the applicant, and a report submitted detailing the findings and supporting the application. In summary, this report found that there were some components of the site which were capable of restoration and repair: the main building fronting Oakfield Place, and the pool (subject to further investigations). However, it continued that the timber structures around the perimeter of the pool have suffered extensive rot damage, and some parts are dangerous. The southern gallery to the rear of the main building, it claims, is beyond repair and demolition seems the only option. The report sets out that it may be possible to restore some of the timber framed area at the eastern side of the site, but would involve virtual replacement. Finally, the boundary wall to Southleigh Road is in poor condition, but the report states that:

    "If the wall is to remain extensive repairs will be required and additional buttressing and stiffening must be provided." [p.23 Clarke Bond Investigations report].

    In assessing this matter, it is quite clear that the main building can be retained; evident from the proposals for redevelopment which include restoring this part of the site. The structural report only identifies one element of the pool for which demolition is the only "realistic option." The remaining parts would require some appropriate reconstruction or repairs.

    Furthermore, the applicant has failed to provide evidence that all potential sources of funding for restoration works from public and charitable organisations have been fully investigated.

    The officers of English Heritage have clearly stated their opposition to the proposed works of demolition proposed for this site, which are associated with the redevelopment scheme, and are of the view that justification for such works has not been achieved. This decision has been formulated in light of this structural survey undertaken by the applicants.

    English Heritage acknowledge the poor structural condition of the buildings on this site, but consider that there is scope for some repair, restoration and reconstruction on this site. In recognition of the comparatively high repair costs associated with any restoration of the Pool, English Heritage have confirmed that, in principle, Section 3A grant aid may be made available for repair works.

    It is not considered that the level of demolition proposed can be justified solely on the basis of the condition of the existing building, given that there are elements of the building which can be repaired and restored, and some level of grant aid can be made available.

    Adequacy of Efforts to Retain the Building

    In the response dated 24 August 1999, English Heritage indicate that support would be forthcoming for any application for Section 3A Grant Aid for reparation and restoration works to the Clifton Pool. It is understood that an application has been made by Sovereign Housing Association for such assistance, but due to inadequate supporting information a formal decision by English Heritage cannot be made.

    The applicant maintains that adequate funding would not be forthcoming from either Section 3A Grant Aid or the Heritage Lottery Funding. It should be noted that applications for such funding generally require a comprehensive business plan in support of the proposed schemes.

    Investigations by the applicant into other funding mechanisms have not been pursued, nor into whether the preservation of the Pool through charitable trusts and/or community ownership is possible or suitable.

    The only other information produced to address the issue of other options or permutations of uses for the site has been a critique of a business plan submitted by the Clifton Victoria Baths Management Company (as part of their objection to the proposal) for only one considered alternative use. The applicant concludes that the proposals in the business plan are unviable, unachievable and unsustainable. The applicant has not submitted any information on alternative proposals for the site.

    The site has been vacant for nearly 10 years. Marketing of the site was carried out following the Pool's closure in 1990 by the then owners, the City Council. There is no evidence that the site has been marketed following its change in circumstances and its recognised importance as a rare example of a subscription pool. There is no indication that the unrestricted freehold of the site has been offered at a realistic price, reflecting the condition of the buildings.

    In light of this absence of information and evidence, it is considered that the applicant has failed to demonstrate that the Pool is obsolete in its current form and use. The substantial demolition of the Pool is unjustified in these circumstances.

    Merits of Alternative Proposal

    Key Issue (B) deals with the merits of the proposed scheme, for example, in respect of its design and scale and its impact upon the character and appearance of the Conservation Area and the setting of the listed building.

    The works of substantial demolition would result in the loss of an outstanding Grade II* building of special architectural and historic interest, and would significantly harm the character of this part of the Whiteladies Road Conservation Area.

    In the circumstances, it is considered that the applicant has failed to demonstrate that wholly exceptional and overriding reasons exist in favour of the substantial demolition of this listed building, when assessed against the criteria established in PPGI5.

  2. Would the proposed works of alteration and extension preserve the Grade II* Listed Building. its setting and any feature of special architectural and historic interest. And would they harm the character and appearance of this part of the Whiteladies Road Conservation Area?

    PPG15 states that the merits of an alternative proposal are a material consideration in the determination of the application, but "subjective claims for the architectural merits of the proposed replacement buildings should not in themselves justify the demolition of any listed building."

    The Bristol Local Plan seeks to provide built development which responds to a site's context and provides a high quality urban environment. In this particular instance, it is important to consider whether the proposal preserves the Grade II* listed building, and its setting, and any special features it possesses and preserves or enhances the character or appearance of this part of the Whiteladies Road Conservation Area.

    In the Officer's report to Planning, Transport and Development Committee on 11 March 1998 relating to the planning and conservation area consent applications, (see Appendix 3), the proposed redevelopment scheme of the site was considered in terms of its effect on the Conservation Area. At this time, none of the structures or buildings were listed. It was concluded that the design of the proposal responded to the character of the surrounding Conservation Area in terms of scale, massing and form. The retention of the building on the Oakfield Place frontage was welcomed, and although the loss of the timber pool buildings and the pool itself was regretted, it was considered that as they were not readily visible to the surrounding streets, their contribution to the appearance of the Conservation Area was limited.

    Regard should be had to these conclusions, but within the revised context of the enhanced contribution the Pool makes to the character of this part of the Whiteladies Road Conservation Area, and its impact on the listed building and its setting.

    This site was a purpose-built swimming pool and had remained as such for a period of 140 years, with subsequent alterations never compromising its original concept, use or setting.

    The element of the redevelopment scheme which requires listed building consent is the alterations of the main building and the extensions to its rear and side. Given the special architectural and historic merits of this building, any extension should preserve the design and style of the existing, and should not seek to dominate the main building.

    It is considered that there is scope for the conversion of the retained element of the building to residential use with associated internal alterations and an appropriate extension. However, the proposed extension to the rear of the main building and the side of the Victoria Public House would not preserve the special interest of this Grade II* building by reason of its bulk, design and architectural relationship to the building. The proposed works of new build alteration and extension would not harm the character and appearance of the Conservation Area.

    Furthermore, the proposals are intrinsically linked to the works of demolition as described in Key Issue (A), and by virtue of this fact are unacceptable, as the redevelopment of the site would lead to the loss of a building of special architectural and historic interest.

    The applicants contend that the provision of affordable housing units, through the redevelopment scheme, would bring substantial benefits to the community and should be weighed against the argument for preservation. Notwithstanding that no control was placed in the planning permission on the affordable nature of the approved dwellings, it is considered that the provision of affordable housing would not produce so substantial a community benefit to outweigh the harm to the listed building and Conservation Area. Nevertheless, other uses for the site, including continued use as a swimming pool, may also bring substantial community benefit.

  3. What are the implications of (i) granting listed building consent (ii) refusing listed building consent

    1. The Secretary of State may require applications for listed building consent to be referred to him for decision, where it is considered that the proposals raise issues of exceptional significance or controversy. This is likely to be the case in respect of this application if it is resolved to grant Listed Building Consent, given the spot-listing of the building, the strength of English Heritage's objection, the historic interest which is associated with this site and the significant implications of the proposals on this Grade II* listed building.
    2. Where listed building consent has been refused, the owner of the land/buildings may serve a listed building purchase notice on the local planning authority. The owner will claim that the building/land has become incapable of reasonably beneficial use in their existing state, by virtue of the refusal of consent, and cannot be made capable of such use through works which would be granted listed building consent. The purchase notice will therefore require, that in these circumstances, the local authority to purchase the owner's interest in the land. The authority will have three months to respond: to either accept the notice or challenge it. Where the authority decides not to accept the notice, it is referred to the Secretary of State who will hear the case for both sides at an inquiry, and may then confirm the notice or take other action.

    In both the supporting statement and subsequent correspondence (dated 27 July 1999) from CSJ Planning Consultants, the applicant has made clear their intention to serve a listed building purchase notice upon the City Council in the event that listed building consent is refused. However, this information does not constitute a material consideration for the proposals of the determination of this application.

CONCLUSION

The site of Clifton Pool was developed as a purpose-built swimming baths and remained in this use for the subsequent 140 years. Alterations have been made during this time to the Pool but its original concept, layout, design and function have never been compromised. It has been found to be an integral part of the development of the immediate locality and the building remains within its original context.

Clifton Pool is a late example of a nineteenth century subscription bath: most of its contemporaries have been lost. As such it provides a rare example of the survival of a building of intrinsic historic and architectural interest and rarity in both national and local terms.

The provisions of national planning guidance and legislation, together with the well-established policies of the adopted Bristol Local Plan, relating to listed buildings and conservation areas cannot be set aside.

The applicant has failed to demonstrate overriding reasons in favour of the substantial demolition of the listed building, when considered against the criteria contained within PPGI5. For example, alternative uses for the site, incorporating the listed building, and sources of funding have not been adequately investigated.

Notwithstanding that planning permission and conservation area consent were granted for the scheme, prior to the listing of the buildings, the proposed works would fail to preserve the special architectural and historic interest of this Grade II* listed building and would harm the character of this part of the Whiteladies Road Conservation Area.

Overall for the above reasons it is recommended that listed building consent be refused.

RECOMMENDED that permission be REFUSED for the following reasons:-

  1. The proposed works would result in the substantial demolition of this Grade II* Listed Building, which would fail to preserve the special architectural and historic interest of the Listed Building; and would harm the character of this part of the Whiteladies Road Conservation Area. There are insufficient circumstances to justify such substantial demolition of this Grade II* Listed Building.
  2. The proposed works of alteration and extension would, by reason of loss of architectural and historic fabric, their bulk, design and architectural relationship to the Grade II* Listed Building, fail to preserve the special architectural and historic interest of the Listed Building. There are insufficient circumstances to justify such work to this Grade II* Listed Building.

Applicant to be Advised

(a)A5 Refused Applications Deposited Plans/Documents

The plans that were formally considered as part of the above application are as follows:-

Drawing Nos. 9616/10,9616/11, 9616/12A, 9616/13, 9616/14A, 9616/15, 9616/16, planning statement and structural report received 17.9.98: Supporting Statement received 5.1.99.

Background Papers

  1. Conservation Advisory Panel Minutes (19.10.98)
  2. Letters from English Heritage (23.2.99 & 24.8.99)
  3. Report on Clifton Pool by Jane Root for English Heritage (June 1999)
  4. Sub-Committee Report on Applications 2817L/97C and 2818F/97C dated 11 March 1998.
  5. Letter from Modus Associates (16.9.98)
  6. Letters from CSJ Planning Consultants Ltd. (4.11.98, 5.1.99, 19.2.99 & 27.7.99)
  7. Letters from Paul Harrison (9.12.98), Lyn Deas (16.11.98 & 1.2.99), Michael Jackson (4.11.98), T. Shortis (3.11.98 & 28.5.99), Mrs AL. Guy (29.10.98), Mrs Hall (29.10.98), Yvonne Cutler (29.10.98), P. McWilliam (3.11.98), E. Faye (27.10.98), Ruth Case (26.10.98), Mrs G. Mills (7.10.98 & 26.1.99), Kate Hindle (29.10.98), Owner Occupier 6 Chatsford House (29.10.98), Dr. Grubb (29.10.98, 2.2.99 & 15.5.99), R. Smith (15.10.98), Celia Morgan (28.10.98), Mr & Mrs Higson (28.10.98), Mr & Mrs Innes (8.10.98 & 23.2.99), Mrs B. Best (26.10.98), Harriet Appleby (19.10.98), Martin SessionsHodge (6.10.98), Tanya Nash (19.10.98 & 6.11.98), Brian Maurice (9.11.98), Murray Torrible (11.11.98), J. Thomson (12.11.98), Mark Ingram (12.11.98), Simeon Rich & Yvette Wills (9.10.98), Jenny Pierce (22.10.98), Stuart Morison (16.10.98), Ms B. Coffey (19.10.98), Mrs SA. Rennie (9.10.98), Diana Berry (29.10.98), Mr & Mrs Goldsbrough (3.11.98), Rebecca Fong (21.10.98 & 10.5.99), M.J. Butterfield (15.10.98), Tim Dodd (13.10.98), June Robertson (6.10.98), Ben Appleby (6.10.98), F.J.F. Lyons (9.10.98), R.J. Skinner (23.10.98), Kate Clarke (21.10.98), Jill Ingham (29.10.98), Christina May (28.10.98), Guy Prichard (27.10.98 & 1.2.99), Janet Chalk (23.10.98), Mr Matthew Bernstein & Dr. Jo Bowen (30.10.98), David Liquorice (30.10.98), The Clifton Victoria Baths Management Company Ltd (19.10.98 & 10.2.99), Chair of the Planning Group, Clifton & Hotwells Improvement Society (13.10.98), The Planning Applications Group Convenor, Bristol Civic Society (30.10.98), Jim Kinch, Friends of the Earth (Bristol) (26.10.98), Derek Fawley (1.2.99), Owner/Occupier 21 Tyne Street (8.2.99), G. Ferguson (18.2.99), Mrs V. Wilkinson (4.5.99), Carolyn Bushby (1.6.99), Miss P. Riches (1.6.99), Dr. J.C. Manley (9.6.99), Mrs J.M. Kirk (6.7.99).

APPENDIX 1

SCHEDULE
The following building shall be added to the list:
ST5773 BRISTOL OAKFIELD PLACE
(North west side)
Clifton
901/3/10039


The Clifton Pool and The Victoria Public House
GV
II*

Swimming baths; public house incorporated later. Circa 1850; altered circa late C19 and C20. Stuccoed. Slate mansard roof behind parapet.

PLAN: Front range in classical style, probably originally containing medicinal and washing baths and other offices including the manager's house and boiler room, behind which is the rectangular open-air swimming bath with later C19 partly glazed galleries on two sides and a range of changing cubicles on the other side. The Victoria public house, incorporated into the right [NB] end of the front range, was added by 1867.

EXTERIOR: Front range, 2 storeys and attic, 5 bays with pilasters supporting entablature, raised at centre into the attic. Moulded window architraves, the ground floor with cornices, centre first floor with panelled pilasters and console brackets. Central doorway with Egyptian style architrave with pronounced batter and coved cornice. Attic above entablature with small square plain windows. Sashes, some replaced with casements, ground floor to right of centre replaced by doorway to The Victoria PH. Right-hand [NE] return has broken cornice and lion over raised parapet . To the right a long blind wall with two doorways towards the right with moulded stone architraves, with keystones and console brackets supporting cornices with acroteria above, left doorway blocked and acroterion of right doorway missing. Behind front range and side wall is the swimming bath, on two sides of which are galleries supported on chamfered wooden posts and with cast- iron balustrades and glazed canopies with king-post trusses. The galleries are partly glazed, the glazing has margin panes and panelled risers. On the SW side there is a row of wooden cubicles with panelled fronts, boarded partitions and a canopy over.

lNTERIOR: Only interior of The Victoria PH was inspected; its bar fittings have been replaced, but has late C19 chimneypiece in saloon. Inside the main entrance to the baths there is a kiosk and wooden open-well staircase.

Signed by authority of the Secretary of State



P L ALSEY

APPENDIX 2

Comments received in relation to planning application 98/02743/LA/C Former Clifton Pool, Oakfield Place, Clifton

1. Listed Building and Conservation Area Issues

Return to top
©2000 Clifton Victoria Baths Management Co. Ltd.
Webmaster
Clifton Victoria Baths Management Co. Ltd.
Clifton, Bristol, England