7 Edgar Buildings, City Centre
The Trust objects to this application on the basis of excessive signage which clutters both the listed building and the street scene. The proposed awning over the doorway obscures the architectural features of the entrance to the listed asset. Whilst there are awning blinds over the windows of the Slug and Lettuce these have been in situ for some time and are over windows not a main doorway, in any case they are examples of the harm created by awnings. The door awning sits next to the Piattin awning and creates an awkward cluttering juxtaposition that detracts from the special architectural and aesthetic interest of the elevation.
As well the door awning the hanging sign at first floor level is completely unacceptable; no historic bracket exists and therefore the sign would be a new intervention that would harm both the fabric of the building and intrude upon the architectural elevation. We understand the Piattin hanging sign is unauthorised.
The planter trough with sign clutter the entrance area and adds to the general amount of street clutter which is currently harming this architecturally homogenous façade. The brass plaque is acceptable. We have concerns regarding the window vinyls as again these detract from the elevation; we question whether printed blinds might be a solution to this problem as they can be adjusted up and down rather than deaden the windows as vinyl tends to do.
This buildings holds a special elevated and highly visible position within Bath sitting as it does at the top of Milsom Street, it is also in itself an attractive heritage asset with a distinct palace fronted composition. Our guidance on Sign, Adverts, Banners and Awnings in Bath has a particular section explaining why hanging signs and clutter should not be tolerated in either Milsom Street or Edgar Buildings http://www.bath-preservation-trust.org.uk/about-us-2/publications/. Current signage and furniture on this section of the street already detract from this special character and this proposal proposes more harmful clutter. We sincerely hope that the case officer can ensure that the harmful aspects of the proposals are withdrawn.
The proposed scheme would neither preserve nor enhance the special interest of the listed building nor its setting, it would harm the character and appearance of the conservation area and would detract from the special qualities of the WHS. The scheme would be contrary to the Planning (Listed Building and Conservation Areas) Act 1990, to Section 16 (Conserving and Enhancing the Historic Environment) of the NPPF, policies B1, B2, B4, and CP6 of the B&NES Core Strategy and policies CP6, D2, HE1, D9, B.4, of the Placemaking Plan. We would therefore recommend the application be amended or refused.