Seems one of the things being discussed at some local election public meetings has not gone down well with the city’s heritage ‘watchdogs’ – Bath Preservation Trust.
In a statement released today – the Trust’s CEO, Caroline Kay, hits back at what she says is misinformation circulating in some quarters.
She says: “It has been drawn to our attention that people have been suggesting at hustings that Bath Preservation Trust (BPT) is ‘anti’ environmental measures to increase energy efficiency to properties. These people (including potentially prospective Councillors) are misinformed.
Seven years ago, two years before the Council managed to produce its own sustainable homes retrofitting guidance, BPT produced, with the Centre for Sustainable Energy, nationally award-winning guidance on what can be done to make Bath’s traditional and listed homes more energy efficient. https://www.cse.org.uk/downloads/reports-and-publications/energy-advice/insulation-and-heating/warmer_bath_june2011.pdf.
Everyone will understand that planning law places limitations on what can be done to our listed buildings, but BPT has supported practical measures which are likely to assist genuine energy efficiency and without causing undue harm. Examples of our pro-energy efficiency approach include:
- We supported the double glazing at the Grade I St John’s Hospital building where failed 60s windows were being replaced.
- We supported an applicant in an appeal against the Council refusing double glazing; it was the Planning Inspector who found for the Council.
- We have strongly opposed the use of fossil-fuel derived uPVC glazing units, and drawn attention to timber-framed and sensitively designed double glazing more appropriate for listed properties.
- We have showcased households where sensitive energy efficiency measures have been introduced in a series of ‘Open Door’ Bath Green Homes events.
- We push hard for developers of new sites to consider sustainability/energy efficiency to be built in to their design for example with integrated solar, roof pitch orientation, rainwater harvesting. Sadly this has been very limited on the new MOD housing developments;
- We promoted a much wider clean air zone than that promoted by the Council, to cover the whole city and polluting domestic vehicles, a move that was pushed back by residents; and
Given the environmental degradation caused by traffic, we have campaigned for cheaper, more effective public transport and safe cycle and walking routes and opposed traffic measures which simply try to displace cars from the city centre into the surrounding suburban and rural areas rather than reduce volumes.
Caroline Kay, CEO of Bath Preservation Trust, said:
‘Bath Preservation Trust was set up over 80 years ago to protect both our beautiful built environment and surrounding green countryside. We spent much of that time saying that making Bath ‘fit for the motor car’ was the wrong priority. We have been working on present-day ‘green’ issues for over a decade. We should be delighted to make sure all Bath residents and prospective Councillors, and in due course elected Councillors, are well-informed.’