38 Milsom Street, City Centre
38 Milsom Street forms part of a Grade II* Georgian terrace within Milsom Street, an exceptional example of dramatic Georgian town planning and monumental architecture that maintains its intentionally designed sightline into the historic city centre. Today it remains not only a popular retail thoroughfare, but a significant example of architectural continuity, vernacular usage of material, and the use of classical proportions in 18th century design. Therefore, external alterations are expected to enhance, complement, or respect significant facades, fabric and architecture that strongly contributes to the Bath conservation area and the OUV of the World Heritage site.
BPT has published a position statement on the inappropriate intrusion of hanging signs in Milsom Street. However, we acknowledge that a bracket is already present on the building and has been used by previous businesses such as Brissi; therefore, we do not oppose the installation of a new hanging sign on the existing bracket, although we would strongly recommend that the sign is made of timber rather than aluminium to accord with the continuity of vernacular shopfront design within Bath.
However, we object to the pinning of signage to the stonework over the ground floor window. Whilst the D&A Statement highlights the previous use of individually-mounted letters, this has caused irreversible damage to the original stonework. We therefore feel that the mounting of external signage will be of direct detriment to the aesthetic and material integrity of the façade of a Grade II* listed building. Due to the increased number of letters to be mounted to the exterior, this would consequently require the creation of new holes in the stonework, resulting in permanent, material and aesthetic harm to a listed building that does not constitute a public benefit as defined in section 16 of the NPPF.
We would therefore strongly advise that other existing forms of signage, such as the proposed hanging sign and the hand-painted wooden fascia board mounted over the entrance, are considered adequate means of advertisement without needing to attach further, detrimental forms of signage to the exterior of a listed building. We would also argue that signage could be permanently incorporated into the existing window display as a less harmful and reversible means of commercial advertisement.
Therefore, whilst we do not oppose the proposed replacement of the hanging sign and the repainting of the existing fascia board, we feel that the use of pinned lettering applied over the ground floor window will be of direct detriment to the material and aesthetic integrity of a listed building due to the insertion of new holes within the stonework. This application is therefore contrary to the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990, section 16 of the NPPF, and Policies B1, BD1, CP6, D1, D2, D9, and HE1 of the Core Strategy and Placemaking Plan, and should be withdrawn and reconsidered to exclude the use of pinned lettering.