2 Battle Walk, Lansdown
The site of this application is along the Beckford Drive entrance to the Ensleigh housing development. Whilst the Ensleigh site is not within the Bath conservation area, the bank on which the proposed signage will be mounted sits within the conservation area boundary, and forms part of the overall World Heritage site. The signs will be located opposite the Grade II Lansdown Cemetery associated with Beckford’s Tower, a Grade I late Georgian tower built for the use of William Beckford.
Following consideration of this application, the Trust feels that the proposed signage will be of a direct visual detriment to the special character and appearance of the Bath conservation area. Lansdown Road remains a popular and busy thoroughfare into Bath city centre, and therefore it is important to maintain the positive, green appearance of the roadside in accordance with the conservation standards established throughout the rest of the city.
Whilst we do not object to the use of aluminium or timber signage, we strongly object to the use of illuminated signage, particularly along the verge of the road. Bath is characterised as a low-illuminated city in which the low light levels city-wide contribute to the distinctive atmosphere and night-time appearance of the conservation area as well as the wider World Heritage site. Consequently, the implementation of large numbers of illuminated signs would be incongruous with the established and valued aesthetic character of Bath.
Furthermore, following assessment of the provided photographic montages, it is unclear as to whether the existing ‘Linden Homes’ sign will remain in situ alongside the installation of new signage. The Trust is concerned that the growing volume of signs, not just around the entrance of Beckford Drive but along the entire verge of the Ensleigh housing site, will lead to a cluttered and messy appearance that will be of detriment to not only the overall conservation area, but a major historic route into the city centre.
Whilst BPT does not object to the erection of signage that conforms to a suitable material standard, we would recommend that new signage is kept to a minimum to mitigate any potential visual clutter and detrimental impact on the setting of the conservation area and World Heritage Site. However, we ultimately object to this application on the basis on inappropriate levels of illumination in direct contrast to Bath’s established low-illuminated appearance and the harmful impact this would have, individually or cumulatively, on the setting of the World Heritage Site. This application is therefore contrary to Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990, section 12 and 16 of the NPPF, and Policies B1, BD1, CP6, D9, D10, and HE1 of the Core Strategy and Placemaking Plan, and should be refused or withdrawn.