Hidden Hearing Ltd, 18 St James’s Parade
18 St James’s Parade forms part of a Grade II Georgian terrace of houses and shops situated within the Bath conservation area and World Heritage site. It features as part of a visually distinctive terrace through the consistent, albeit unusual, insertion of a Venetian window in the first floor of the street-facing elevation. St James’s Parade remains a prominent pedestrian and commercial route from Bath’s historic core through to the SouthGate shopping development.
First and foremost, as this application constitutes alterations to a listed building which “would affect its character as a building of special architectural or historic interest”, we are surprised at the lack of an accompanying Listed Building Application. We would advise an LBA is submitted before this application progresses further.
We are unsupportive of the proposed hanging sign and bracket; we feel that the proposed bracket is awkward and clunky in appearance, and are unsure as to why the existing bracket requires replacement. We feel that the current bracket suitably fits with traditionally ornate, individualised examples found throughout Bath which contribute to the bespoke character of its shop fronts. Furthermore, we would additionally recommend the hanging sign itself should be timber with hand-lettered decoration to ensure a traditional, high quality appearance which will contribute to the distinctive commercial character of the conservation area.
The Trust further opposes the proposed shop front due to the application of inappropriate materials, and the potential harm to historic fabric caused by the individual mounting of acrylic lettering to the stone fascia. We maintain that the use of cheap, modern materials such as plastic will neither preserve nor enhance the special architectural or historic interest of a Grade II building, and has evidently not been tailored to the building’s specific material and aesthetic requirements. We would therefore recommend that this application is reconsidered to incorporate a more complementary design, possibly utilising a timber hand-painted fascia board in a neutral, matt finish. We would recommend against lettering which requires pin mounting to the stone, which would cause irreversible damage.
Therefore, this application is contrary to the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990, section 16 of the NPPF, and Policies B1, B4, BD1, CP6, D1, D2, D3, D9, D10, and HE1, and should be withdrawn or refused.