17 New Bond Street, City Centre, Bath
17 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 17 New Bond Street is considered to “have late C20 `character' type” and is attributed to Alfred J. Taylor c.1934 (Historic England).
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.
The principle of repainting the shopfront in an appropriate heritage colour is acceptable. We recommend a matte or eggshell finish as opposed to gloss where this minimises the risk of an overly reflective or shiny appearance.
We are not opposed to the principle of quality metal pinned lettering where this is coherent with the special interest of a listed building, and potential material harm to the proposed frontage of a listed building is appropriately considered and mitigated. We note the use of metal pinned signage has already been established across this frontage; it is recommended that the proposed replacement signage makes use of existing fixing points to minimise the need for new fixing points and resulting loss of historic fabric. The use of brushed stainless steel is acceptable where this minimises over-reflectivity of appearance.
We note that the proposed design and thickness of the non-illuminated projecting sign would follow that of the previously installed projecting sign. However, we consider that the thickness of the sign and means of fixing is more indicative of contemporary projecting signage, at odds with the traditional signage ‘vernacular’ of the conservation area and Bath’s historic commercial centre. We therefore recommend the use of a traditional timber hanging sign, of which there are already positive examples along New Bond Street and New Bond Street Place.