Readers of Natural Stone Specialist have asked what happened in the case of a residential development in the World Heritage site in Bath that was clad in reconstituted stone rather than the natural Bath stone required by the planning permission (click hear to read the original story).
The development consisted of a terrace of three two-bedroom houses on sale at nearly £500,000 each and an £825,000 four-bedroom house. Once completed, Bath & North East Somerset Council told the developer that the properties contravened planning consent because natural stone had not been used.
Planning permission had been granted for the houses in Gibbs Mews, in the Bath Conservation Area that is part of the World Heritage Site, in February 2009, on condition they were built using “natural Bath Stone”. What the council described as “reconstituted faced Bath stone blocks” were used instead. The developer, Thameside Property Company Ltd, maintained that the reconstituted stone fulfilled the condition of the planning permission to use natural stone. The Council considered the assertion “perverse”.
Thameside Property Company applied retrospectively for planning permission to use the reconstituted stone but the application was turned down. The developer appealed. The council's decision was upheld on appeal.
The council says that following the appeal hearing the developer constructed a sample panel of cladding using natural Bath stone on site. It was approved by the council and all the reconstituted stone cladding was removed and replaced with natural Bath ashlar stone. This work was completed in September last year (2014).
The council tells NSS: "These works are now completed to our satisfaction and have made a significant improvement to the appearance of the building in the Conservation Area / World Heritage Site and its close proximity to listed buildings."