33 Stall Street, City Centre, Bath
33 Stall Street is a Grade II 1800 terraced shop situated within the commercial core of the Bath conservation area and World Heritage Site. It forms part of the collective streetscape setting for a high concentration of Grade II terraced shops along Stall Street, itself a historic 17th century thoroughfare through the heart of Bath. It adjoins the Grade I late 18th century shops by Thomas Baldwin at 34-36 Stall Street. 33 Stall Street features a 1990s shopfront of limited historic interest; however, the shopfront is traditionally detailed in timber and as such contributes positively to the shopfront vernacular and character of the conservation area. The shopfront on the first floor is dated to 1900 and is therefore of greater historic and social value, whilst being an unusual addition in a streetscape where signage is largely restricted to the ground floors.
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.
We are supportive of the hand-painted signage to the fascia.
The signage proposals would add to the vibrancy of the streetscape, however, we recommend a bespoke context specific approach and a heritage-appropriate colour and finish which would better complement the prevalent Bath stone colour of the streetscape. We further suggest that the shopfront is repainted in one colour only, omitting the repaint of the doors in orange, to ensure a more coherent, calmer appearance.
The proposed finish of the painted shopfront has not been indicated; we maintain a preference for matte over gloss to avoid an overly reflective or ‘shiny’ appearance.
BPT maintains that vinyls should not be of an excessive size which may ‘deaden’ the façade, or advertising that is overly bright and busy and ultimately distracts from the appearance of a listed building. A vinyl design that appropriately bolsters the fascia and ground floor advertising without being over-dominant or overbearing in appearance, scale, or colour is preferable to sustain the ground floor commercial character of the conservation area, as well the appearance of a listed building.
This proposal does offer the opportunity to better integrate an unusual shopfront type into the ground floor treatment and emphasise a historic feature of interest. The connection between the two shopfronts could be enhanced by the painting of the first floor shopfront in the same colour, for example.