4 Cheap Street, City Centre
4 Cheap Street forms part of a Grade II late 19th century section of terraced shops with upper floor accommodation, situated within the commercial core of the Bath conservation area and World Heritage Site. The wider terrace of 3-6 Cheap Street is defined by its homogenous, balanced Bath stone ashlar façade with an architrave surround on the central first floor sash window and original pilastered detailing on the commercial ground floor to delineate each building’s shopfront. 4 Cheap Street is situated directly adjacent to the Grade II late 18th century shop-fronted terrace at 15-20 Cheap Street and forms part of their contextual setting.
BPT previously responded to earlier signage application 22/03406/LBA, which has since been granted listed building consent. It is noted that as part of this application, it was previously proposed to incorporate spotlighting to the fascia and hanging sign, which was subsequently omitted in later revised drawings and did not form part of the permitted scheme.
We therefore emphasise our in principle resistance to the use of illuminated signage. Part of the character of Bath is its low levels of artificial lighting which complement the historic character and appearance of the city, and create a distinctive evening and night-time atmosphere. Therefore, the use of illumination would be of detriment to the shared character of the Bath conservation area and the special qualities of the World Heritage Site, particularly considering the building’s location within the commercial, historic core of the Georgian city.
We maintain some concerns regarding the use of fixed lettering which would stand proud of the fascia surface by 65mm, particularly where hand-lettered signage for the business has already been successfully implemented. It is unclear as to whether the 40mm width indicated in the proposed signage details refers to the depth of the lettering projection, or the lettering thickness. We discourage the use of overly thick or chunky signage where this would result in a jarring contrast with the appearance of a listed building and the established shopfront and signage character of the wider area.
The proposed use of illuminated signage would therefore result in harm to the significance of the listed building, and would fail to preserve or enhance the character and appearance of the conservation area. Insufficient material details have been provided regarding the proposed fixed lettering. This application is therefore contrary to the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990, section 16 of the NPPF, and Policies B1, BD1, D1, D2, D8, and HE1 of the Core Strategy and Placemaking Plan, and should be refused or withdrawn.