A Plan Insurance, 7 George Street, City Centre, Bath
7 George Street forms part of a Grade II 1800 terrace of houses, now with commercial ground floors, situated within the Bath City-Wide Conservation Area and World Heritage Site. It forms part of a modest three storey break in a streetscape of otherwise grander 3 ½ - 4 storey terraced buildings, and makes up the wider terraced setting of a high concentration of Grade II listed buildings, flanking the northern access onto Milsom Street and towards the historic city centre. The shopfront is indicated to be a later 19th century addition, with a single pane shop window bisected with a central glazing bar, the main door access offset to the side, and a moulded projecting cornice along the top of the fascia. The existing signage appears to be in accordance with earlier planning application 12/05520/LBA, with a sign-written timber fascia sign with a moulded timber surround, and a sign-written timber hanging sign, in keeping with the material qualities and appearance of a listed building.
We regret the proposed use of acrylic individually pinned lettering, where this would be of detriment to the special architectural and historic of a listed building and the wider character and appearance of the conservation area. The use of overtly contemporary materials such as acrylic is not compatible with the material palette and appearance of the listed building and the traditional shopfront character of the city centre. Acrylic lettering would therefore result in a jarring visual contrast with the attractive qualities of the historic shopfront and the wider appearance of the building.
The proposed use of an aluminium hanging sign board with applied vinyl lettering would be materially discordant within the conservation area and would not preserve or enhance its distinctive character. We maintain that hanging sign boards should be timber with a hand-painted finish.
There is a general preference for the use of a consistent paint colour and finish across the shop front in its entirety to maintain a coherent and unified appearance. Where unspecified, the proposed finish should be a matte or eggshell, rather than gloss, to avoid an overly reflective or ‘shiny’ appearance.
This application would not preserve or enhance the appearance of the conservation area and would be of detriment to the special interest of a listed building, 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 refused or withdrawn.