Kingswood School, Lansdown Road, Lansdown
This application concerns the grounds of Kingswood School, including Kingswood Preparatory School which incorporates a cluster of Grade II mid-19th to early 20th century contemporary buildings, and the Kingswood School Upper Sports Fields opposite the Grade I Beckford’s Tower. Whilst the Kingswood Preparatory School site falls inside the Bath conservation area, the playing fields are situated just outside the boundary, although the verge bordering the road is included within the conservation area. Both sites are included within the World Heritage site.
Whilst the Trust does not oppose the replacement of the existing signs with the proposed new design, we do have the following concerns with the overall scheme:
The proposed volume of illumination along the boundary of Kingswood Preparatory School, with all but sign 3 featuring a mounted LED trough light is considered to have a potentially harmful impact on the character, ambience and visual amenity value of the local townscape. 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 considering the school’s position along Lansdown Road on the semi-rural periphery out the city.
Furthermore, we would emphasise the significance of maintaining a cohesive, uniform style of signage that will ensure a coordinated, uncluttered presence within the immediate streetscape and the wider conservation area. We would therefore note some concern regarding the exclusion of existing signs, such as at the entrance to Fonthill Road as of 2019, from the scheme. We feel that all existing signage should be accounted for and either their removal or replacement documented as part of the application before it can progress any further, to better avoid the potential for a growing amount of clashing signage types and designs to the detriment of the appearance and character of the conservation area.