All Bar One, 11 – 12 High Street, City Centre, Bath
11-12 High Street is an unlisted terraced building, situated within the commercial core of the Bath conservation area and World Heritage Site. The site was formerly occupied by an earlier 19th century terrace; the building appears like it could be attributed to the 19th century, although the frontage has been heavily altered post-1960s. The existing ground floor frontage, previously in use as a restaurant/bar, is a simple modern insertion which embodies qualities of repetitive form and symmetry, in keeping with architectural qualities of the wider streetscape. As a fairly modest and subdued addition, it remains a fairly neutral feature within the streetscape.
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.
Proposals would include the replacement of the existing pinned brass lettering with alternatives in “white acrylic covered with gold vinyl”. BPT is resistant to the use of acrylic lettering, which would be at odds with the traditional, high quality appearance of shop frontages within the conservation area. The introduction of more overtly modern materials such as acrylic and plastic provide an unwelcome, unsympathetic contrast with the established character and appearance of the area. We strongly recommend that other forms of signage are considered such as hand-painted lettering or pinned lettering in an alternative material such as metal or timber.
Whilst we are not opposed to the principle of a replacement hanging sign, the proposed projecting ‘box’ sign is not appropriate within this location, and is more indicative of highly contemporary signage seen in the Southgate area. It is not compatible with the tradition of hand-painted timber hanging signage in Bath’s historic core. The use of internally illuminated signage would be harmful to Bath’s distinctive low-illumination evening and night time character and the shared setting of a high number of listed buildings along the high street. We strongly recommend a slimmer hand-painted sign is considered to reinforce local distinctiveness and preserve and enhance the character and appearance of the conservation area.
This proposed lighting and materials would not preserve or enhance the appearance or character of the conservation area, and 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 refused or withdrawn.