16 Cheap Street, City Centre
16 Cheap Street forms part of a series of Grade II Georgian shops situated in the core of the Bath conservation area and World Heritage site. It is located within an architecturally sensitive area due to its contribution to the largely Grade II listed streetscape of Cheap Street and the adjacent High Street. Therefore, any proposed alterations must not only account for any impact to historic fabric, but also 16 Cheap Street’s impact on the setting of numerous listed buildings and the wider conservation area.
The Trust does not object to the overall scheme, and encourages the regular maintenance of shopfronts to ensure the presence of high-quality signage in a good condition to better enhance Bath’s historic character.
However, we notice that there seem to be some discrepancies within this application. Whilst one of the proposed front elevations claims that the new sign is “to be painted on wooden panel above doorway”, the application form states that the fascia sign will be made of acrylic. In principle, BPT objects to the use of synthetic materials such as plastic due to its low-quality aesthetic that conflicts with Bath’s bespoke use of natural, vernacular materials such as timber and metal in its shopfronts to better enhance the architectural merit of listed buildings. Therefore, we are disappointed that this proposal does not intend to use hand-lettering on its fascia sign as proposed, as this would contribute to existing examples of high-quality, traditional signage that better enhance the character of the listed building as well as the special aesthetic and historic qualities of the conservation area.
Similarly, we feel that the proposed hanging sign should be of a much higher standard; whilst we do not object to the proposed design, we would much prefer that a timber sign was used to better complement the dominant use of traditional hanging signage within Bath’s commercial and historic centre.
Furthermore, we are curious to see that an LBC has not been included with this application despite this application’s proposal to change the appearance of a Grade II listed building. We would appreciate it if a justification for this was included in the application such as documented communications with a conservation officer.
This application is therefore contrary to the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990, section 16 of the NPPF, and Policies B1, BD1, CP6, D1, D2, D3, D5, and HE1 of the Core Strategy and Placemaking Plan, and we advise that the design is withdrawn and reconsidered.