Cafe Rouge, 15 Milsom Street, City Centre, Bath
15 Milsom Street forms part of a Grade II mid- to late 18th century terrace of townhouses, now with commercial ground floors and shopfronts, situated within the Bath conservation area and World Heritage Site. Alongside its notable grouped value as part of a contemporaneous terrace, it additionally constitutes part of a high concentration, terraced group of Grade II and Grade II* buildings along Milsom Street, a large number of which are contemporary to the original development of Milsom Street in 1762 by Thomas Lightholder. Milsom Street remains a highly significant commercial streetscape, though originally residential, representative of large-scale Georgian town planning providing intentional sightlines into the city centre. 15 Milsom Street’s value is largely derived from its aesthetic contribution to the wider conservation area and World Heritage Site, and its architectural consistency throughout the rest of the terrace.
Due to the building’s centralised location within the city’s historic centre and retained use of traditional shop front vernacular, the shop frontage is expected to comply with relevant guidance regarding the appropriate use of materials, colours, and a lack of illuminated signage, in keeping with the wider historic character of the Bath conservation area and World Heritage Site.
We note that a projecting sign was permitted on this building in 2015 (see 15/01205/AR), to which we objected. We therefore maintain our objection to the principle of a new projecting sign as follows:
We maintain that the projecting sign would harm the architectural and aesthetic significance of the listed building and the setting of other listed buildings, and would not preserve or enhance the appearance or character of the conservation area. Milsom Street, along with Edgar Buildings to the north, form a significant 18th century set piece with framed north-south views between the elevated pavement of Edgar Buildings and the shops at Old Bond Street, backed by receding hillside views in the distance. It is therefore attributed high significance as a well-planned Georgian ensemble, strongly defined as an intentional visual connector between the upper and lower town, and well-articulated Palladian detailing.
The addition of a projecting sign would therefore clutter the uniform classical facade and intrude into the sweeping views of the street, with harm to the special group value of the streetscape. The sign would not improve the appearance of the principal elevation of the building and therefore not enhance the character of the street scene. We appreciate the applicant’s desire to advertise their premises but feel the use of a modern metal bracket, the position, and projection of this proposed sign is inappropriate and would damage the compositional group value, historic views and overall setting of Milsom Street.
The proposed scheme, by virtual of the materials and form would be detrimental to the listed building and would not preserve or enhance the character and appearance of the conservation area, contrary to the Planning (Listed Building and Conservation Areas) Act 1990, Section 16 of the NPPF, and Policies B1, B4, CP6, D1, D2, D3, D9, and HE1 of the Core Strategy and Placemaking Plan. We therefore recommend that this application is refused.