Boux Avenue, 5 Southgate Place, City Centre, Bath
5 Southgate Place is an unlisted commercial building which forms part of the Southgate development that was completed in 2010, utilising a distinctly Georgian-esque style of architectural design. It is situated within the Bath conservation area and World Heritage Site. Whilst we appreciate the contemporary and eclectic nature of signage within Southgate, we strongly encourage the usage of high-quality signage and shopfronts in keeping with the wider historic character of the Bath conservation area and World Heritage site and the historic setting of the city core.
There is insufficient information provided as part of this application regarding the proposed materiality, appearance, and finish of the proposed signage. The signage proposed is described as “2no. internally illuminated fascia signs” with no further material details. We strongly recommend that further information is supplied; the use of close-up drawings or sections would be helpful to demonstrate how the signage would look in-situ.
BPT resists the principle of illuminated signage. Bath is recognised as a low-illuminated city in which the maintained low levels of lighting complement the historic character and appearance of the city, and create a distinctive evening and night-time atmosphere. Therefore, the use of illuminated signage would be of detriment to the shared character of the Bath conservation area and the special qualities of the World Heritage site, particularly when considering the shop’s prominent visual position along a key pedestrian route through the city centre from significant arrival points such as the train station and bus station.
We note the steady number of permitted applications for illuminated signage within this part of the city (see 22/00187/AR, 21/05430/FUL, 21/02644/AR, 22/01645/AR, 22/01686/AR). Whilst the character of Southgate does allow for more contemporary forms of signage and shopfront treatments, we maintain strong concerns regarding the overall cumulative impact of this increasing volume of illumination and the resulting impact on the character and appearance of the conservation area and the commercial centre of the World Heritage Site. We maintain that Southgate should remain a coherent extension to the historic city core to the north; the use of excessive illumination is an increasingly intrusive and jarring addition that serves to further disassociate the Southgate shopping district from its surroundings.