24 Milsom Street, City Centre, Bath
24 Milsom Street is a Grade II mid-19th century former bank, now restaurant, situated within the commercial core of the Bath conservation area and World Heritage Site. It forms a significant corner frontage on the junction of George Street and the top of Milsom Street and forms part of the setting of a high concentration of Grade II and Grade II* terraced buildings. It is one of a pair of mid-19th century former bank buildings with 23 Milsom Street (also Grade II listed), although they are credited to different architects and are not architecturally homogenous. Whilst the main focus of works is largely on internal refurbishment, the building is attributed high significance due to its imposing scale and prominent streetscape appearance, and the quality of detail across its ornamental façade. The building, previously in use as a mixed-use restaurant and hotel, has now been vacant for several years.
We have responded separately to application 22/02558/LBA for the change of use of the ground floor from a restaurant to a public house.
It is proposed to install new individually-pinned lettering for the new premises to the first floor balustrade. Existing signage for the previous occupier remains in situ and we therefore recognise that there is a precedent for this type of signage in this location (see original planning permission 00/02191/LBA). However, we maintain that further information is required regarding the proposed means and positioning of fixings to ensure that harm to the historic stonework of the principal façade is suitably mitigated. We strongly recommend that existing fixing points from previous signage are re-used to ensure that proposals do not result in further, irreversible loss of historic fabric and associated harm to the listed building.
However, we regret that we are unable to support the proposed fixing of a projecting sign on the western Milsom Street elevation on grounds of harm to the special architectural interest of the listed building and the wider streetscape, and adverse impact on historic views through the conservation area and World Heritage Site. We have maintained an in-principle objection to similar proposals for hanging signs elsewhere along Milsom Street, the most recent being 15 Milsom Street (see 22/00701/AR). We therefore maintain our objection as follows:
The projecting sign would harm the architectural and aesthetic significance of the listed building and the setting of other listed buildings, and would not preserve or enhance the appearance or character of the conservation area. Milsom Street, along with Edgar Buildings to the north, form a significant 18th century set piece with framed north-south views between the elevated pavement of Edgar Buildings and the shops at Old Bond Street, backed by receding hillside views in the distance. It is therefore attributed high significance as a well-planned Georgian ensemble, strongly defined as an intentional visual connector between the upper and lower town, and well-articulated Palladian detailing.
The addition of a projecting sign would therefore clutter and detract from the classical-inspired High Victorian façade, and intrude into the sweeping views of the street with harm to the special group value of the streetscape. The sign would not improve the appearance of the principal elevation of the building and therefore not enhance the character of the street scene. We appreciate the applicant’s desire to advertise their premises but feel the use of a modern metal bracket, the position, and projection of this proposed sign is inappropriate and would damage the compositional group value, historic views and overall setting of Milsom Street.
This application would not preserve or enhance the character and appearance of the conservation area, contrary to the Planning (Listed Building and Conservation Areas) Act 1990, Section 16 of the NPPF, and Policies B1, B4, CP6, D1, D2, D3, D9, and HE1 of the Core Strategy and Placemaking Plan. We therefore recommend that this application is refused.