24 Westgate Street, City Centre, Bath
24 Westgate Street is a Grade II mid-18th century terraced house, now with a retail unit and shopfront at ground floor, situated within the historic centre of the Bath Conservation Area and World Heritage Site. The building is comprised of a three-storey frontage in Bath stone ashlar, with an elongated first floor storey. It forms part of an eclectic street frontage along Westgate Street which incorporates a number of Grade II buildings, including 25 & 26 Westgate Street and 27-29 Westgate Street, as well as the 1920 Cannon Cinema. The existing timber shopfront is indicated to be a 1980s addition and as such can be argued to be of limited material significance to the building. However, the frontage has been designed in keeping with Bath’s traditional shopfront ‘vernacular’, utilising an attractively detailed timber frontage with inset pilaster detailing around the fanlights and cornicing around the fascia. The frontage is symmetrically designed with two doors framed around a central multi-pane shop window, in keeping with the regularity and uniformity of the listed building frontage and its 18th century architectural principles. As such, the shopfront positively contributes to the visual amenities of the conservation area, although its aesthetic and material interest has been affected by the later addition of an incongruous metal fascia over the original.
We are therefore supportive of proposals for the removal of the existing metal fascia to reveal and reuse the existing timber fascia below. This would enhance the appearance of a listed building and enhance the character and appearance of the conservation area. It is noted that any further changes, such as the application of new signage to the fascia (the proposed front elevation plans indicate the proposed application of “painted signage”, would require listed building consent either as part of this application, or a separate application. We therefore recommend that should this be encompassed as part of this consent, further details regarding the appearance, design, and finish of any signage should be provided for the benefit of the case officer.
The repainting of the shopfront in a “dark grey” is considered acceptable, pending suitable sample details. We express a preference for the use of a matte finish rather than gloss to avoid an overly reflective or shiny appearance.