15 New Bond Street, City Centre
15 New Bond Street forms part of a Grade II early 19th century terrace of houses with commercial ground floors, now with a mix of upper residential and office use, situated within the core of the Bath conservation area and World Heritage Site. It forms part of the indicative setting of other groups of Grade II early 19th century terraced buildings along New Bond Street, and forms part of the approach to Milsom Street with a high concentration of Grade II and Grade II* buildings. The current shopfront at 15 New Bond Street is considered to be a later 20th century insertion.
The commercial shopfront character and appearance of the core of the Bath conservation area and World Heritage Site is characterised by its retained vernacular appearance, use of traditional materials and construction methods, and bespoke design approach. Consequently, shop frontages are expected to adhere to planning guidance regarding the appropriate use of materials, colours, and a lack of illuminated signage, in keeping with the wider historic character of the city conservation area and World Heritage Site.
BPT maintains that window vinyls and displays can enliven and energise the street scene but they should not be excessive in size or window coverage. Similarly, we emphasise the traditional restriction of written signage to fascias and hanging signs, which can then be supplemented with the use of recessive vinyls where considered appropriate.
We therefore consider that the proposal would be at odds with the traditional shop frontage treatment and layout as experienced throughout the conservation area and World Heritage Site. However, we acknowledge the proposal is for a temporary ‘pop-up’ use of the shop, in lieu of a more permanent commercial occupant. Within this context, we consider the use of vinyls may therefore be more appropriate as a temporary and easily reversible form of signage. The proposed signage does remain visually recessive and allows for the continued active use of the shopfront.
Should a more permanent commercial occupant come forward in future, we suggest that signage should revert to a more traditional treatment in which the fascia is used as the main focus of the signage.