Display of 1no. internally illuminated freestanding menu box in front of building.
Our Response

Bluecoat House is a Grade II mid-19th century former school by G.P. Manners and J. Elkington Gill, now restaurant, situated within the commercial core of the Bath conservation area and World Heritage Site. The building is an unusual Victorian addition to Bath due to its “Northern Renaissance” style (Historic England), including a Bath stone blockwork façade articulated with Dutch gables and octagonal chimney stacks at roof level, and the inclusion of a clock tower on the north-western corner. The building occupies a prominent position overlooking Sawclose, adjacent to the Grade II* Theatre Royal and the Grade II* 9 St John’s Place, formerly the house of Beau Nash.

The building was not originally designed for commercial use, and as such signage associated with the current occupier is light touch and recessive to avoid over-cluttering or detracting from the ornate design of the façade. Existing signage includes a number of freestanding signs and menus in front of the western façade, as well as branding incorporated into the outdoor seating parasols and fabric barriers.

BPT originally responded to application 17/00707/LBA which included similar signage proposals for an internally illuminated freestanding menu box, with a concrete block base. We therefore maintain our original objections as follows:

We note that the in-set location of the menu box within the main entrance area is more suitable than previous proposals to locate two menu boxes on the narrow Upper Borough Walls pavement.

However, we continue to object to the use of illuminated signage within the conservation area and World Heritage Site, where the city has a distinctive, low level illumination character in the evenings and at night time. We maintain that external and signage illumination should be kept to a minimum to avoid disturbing the retained historic character and atmosphere of the area.

We further continue to oppose the use of a permanent-style menu box. The concrete base indicates that this would be intended for long-term usage outside. We maintain that a better solution would be an A-Board or menu box which can then be put away when the business is closed to mitigate potential over-cluttering of the building frontage and the public realm.

There are additional questions regarding how the sign would be illuminated and the proposed connection point for the “armoured cable” that comes out of the menu box’s post. Where this would require any fixings into or through the building façade, further details of works would be required as part of this listed building application.

We therefore maintain that proposals are contrary to the Planning (Listed Buildings & Conservation Areas) Act 1990, Section 16 of the NPPF, and Policies BD1, B4, CP6, D1, D2, D8, D9, and HE1 of the Core Strategy and Placemaking Plan and should be refused or withdrawn.

Application Number: 22/03520/LBA
Application Date: 05/09/2022
Closing Date: 27/10/2022
Address: Bluecoat House, Sawclose, City Centre, Bath
Our Submission Status: Object