Installation of 1 no. non-illuminated fascia sign, 1 no. non-illuminated hanging sign, 1 no. replacement fabric awning and 2 no. internal illuminated menu boards.
Our Response

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), and more recently as part of wider works to the shopfront as part of application 21/04238/LBA. We objected previously to both applications to the principle of a hanging sign in this sensitive historic location.

We are supportive of the proposed works to the shopfront. We consider the repainting of the shopfront and the use of hand-lettered signage across the fascia would be consistent with the special shopfront character of Bath’s historic commercial centre. The use of simple signage and recessive, muted colours would sit more comfortably against the façade of the listed building.

The use of an awning is considered to be acceptable where this utilises a quality fabric finish, and avoids a visually ‘shiny’ plastic waterproof coating. We anticipate that the existing awning mechanism would be reused.
However, we are unable to support this application and continue to maintain an in-principle objection to the proposed projecting sign as follows:

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 façade 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.

This application 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.

Application Number: 22/00701/AR
Application Date: 25/02/2022
Closing Date: 31/03/2022
Address: Café Rouge, 15 Milsom Street, City Centre
Our Submission Status: Object