Greenway Crescent is Bath’s newest hidden gem, tucked away behind a wall above Bear Flat. Georgette McCready enjoys a tour of the show home
Those clever Georgians used to pop a row of terraced houses on to a hillside with consummate skill. Look at all those delightful rows perched at odd points around Bath, such as Macaulay Buildings, Bloomfield Crescent or Widcombe Crescent.
And in 2017, that tradition continues, with the creation of a new crescent of four townhouses built into the hillside off Wellsway, on the edge of Greenway Lane and overlooking the woods of Lyncombe Vale. It is the first crescent to be built in the city for more than 15 years. Work is just finishing on what has been a painstaking two year project for local family developers and builders Simon and Lisa Hatch of Hatch Builders of Bath (hatchbuilders.co.uk). The show home at Greenway Crescent is now open for viewings.
I had first visited the site a few months ago to discover that the Hatches had launched themselves into an ambitious project which had involved demolishing a bungalow on the site and building five new homes into the slope, using an enormous gabion wall to allow the gently curved crescent of four homes to nestle into the hill. From the front they look like contemporary homes with integral garages and a first floor over them, but step inside and the light and spacious interior opens up over five floors.
The show home, No 1, has been beautifully styled and furnished by Susanna and Chloe Temple of Blue Home at The Loft, of Bartlett Street. Theoretically the new owners could buy the whole house and contents as seen.
Lisa and Simon, who have three children and understand the practicalities of busy working parents, have designed the houses to be as low maintenance as possible. Drive the car into the integral garage, open the door inside and you’re in the hallway. From here there are doors to a wet room – with a hand held shower as well as the overhead showerhead, which makes it useful for hosing down muddy dogs or children. Next door is the utility room, into which said dogs or children’s muddy kit or towels can be deposited for laundry, and down a short flight of stairs, all the shopping can be put away in the enormous kitchen-dining room.
This room is a delight. It’s been practically designed with loads of cupboard and wall space, an island with a hob and a breakfast bar plus plenty of room for a full size family dining table. There’s even more space for a child to wheel about on a trike or for guests to mingle while the hosts cook. And, best of all, on fine days a huge set of glass doors opens fully on to the terrace outside, the Pietra stone floor the same inside and out for continuity. It’s within conversation distance to sit on the terrace with a glass of wine while your partner prepares dinner and you sit back, soak up some sun and listen to the birdsong from the wood below.
How many other contemporary homes in Bath can boast an English wood at the foot of their gardens? Views over this wonderful natural plot can be enjoyed by all the houses, although actual ownership and access (along with foraging rights for wild garlic, blackberries and firewood) will belong to Numbers 1 and 5 Greenway Crescent.
The terrace, the first floor drawing room and master suite on the top floor all look out over the trees and the views from differing heights. There are balconies with glass panels to allow space for bistro tables and chairs to be set up to make the most of the peaceful surroundings.
Those who love generous sized rooms will be delighted to find that the kitchen/dining room is not the only big space. The first floor drawing room is big enough for any family gathering or party and the main bedroom suite makes a king size bed look modest in this setting. This room has two mezzanine levels under the rooftop, reached by a few steps up from the bedroom, both of them open plan. One contains a glass fronted shower and a giant free-standing bath right under a skylight window, which can be opened so you would really feel you’re bathing by moonlight.
The other mezzanine on the opposite side is a dressing room plenty big enough for even the most avaricious clothes collector.
There are three more bedrooms, all doubles, with one them a large suite with its own en suite shower room. There’s an additional family bathroom, as well as the ground floor wet room, and on the ground floor an additional bedroom, study or studio for those quiet hours of concentration.
Ever thoughtful the Hatches have built walk-in cupboards all the way up through the properties which could be converted to carry a lift. They also decided on high grade astro turf for the lawn beyond the terrace, low maintenance hedging for privacy and easy-on-the-eye underfloor heating.
Although you’re just a mile from Bath city centre, you really feel as though you’re in the heart of the countryside. And yet Bear Flat, with its eateries, shops and community buzz, is just down the road.
No 1 Greenway Crescent is being marketed at £1.5m, to include an acre of wood, while No 2 has a guide price of £1.35m. Numbers 3 and 4 will go on the market shortly, followed by the detached woodland house which the Hatches are completing at the far end of the plot.
Savills is the agent. To arrange viewings tel: 01225 474500, visit: savills.co.uk.