2 St Lawrence Street, City Centre
2 St Lawrence Street is an unlisted, modern building that forms part of the Southgate shopping centre built from 2008-2010. It is situated within the core of the Bath conservation area and World Heritage site. Whilst a modern addition to Bath, its use of Bath stone cladding and classical proportions is intended to complement the prominent Georgian architectural tradition that has come to define Bath’s special character and World Heritage status. Therefore, it is crucial that this area of new development adheres to principles of shop front design, colour, and lighting established throughout the city to ensure a beneficial uniformity of appearance and character.
Therefore, the Trust strongly opposes the proposed shop front signage in accordance with established principles of good-quality signage and shop front design bespoke to Bath. The use of cheaper materials such as Perspex plastic will degrade the traditional palette of the historic environment due to its synthetic appearance, and directly harm the setting of multiple listed buildings. Whilst individual lettering is permitted, we emphasise that these should be in high-quality materials such as timber or metal, and customised to Bath’s distinctive aesthetic character to ensure a consistency of citywide appearance.
BPT emphasises the need for bespoke design with regards to the materials and colours used to reflect Bath’s special, World Heritage character.
Similarly, the proposed use of illuminated letters is inappropriate due to Bath’s characterisation as a low-illuminated city “where low light levels create atmosphere and complement the historic character of the city”. Therefore, this application presents a direct detriment to Bath’s aesthetic and atmospheric heritage value and distinctiveness; this will disturb the positive presentation of Georgian architecture and historic town planning that form integral elements of Bath’s Outstanding Universal Value.
This application is therefore contrary to the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Area) Act 1990, Section 16 of the NPPF, and Core Strategy and Placemaking Plan Policies B1, B4, BD1, CP6, D1-D5, D8, D9, and HE1, and should be refused or withdrawn to allow amendments to the scheme.