Lansdown Grove Hotel, Lansdown Road, Lansdown, Bath
Lansdown Grove Hotel is a Grade II late 18th century detached house, now a hotel, situated within the Bath conservation area and World Heritage Site. It sits directly opposite the Grade II late 18th century mansion house, now school, Hope House, and forms a significant part of the principal approach up Lansdown Road to the north. Whilst its southern elevation with double canted bays and central pediment is designed as the formal, principal façade, the building presents an additional, dual frontage to the west alongside Lansdown Road of a more modest form with a secondary pedestrian access and the vehicular access to the rear car park. There is already a significant amount of signage across the application site, fixed to the external walls of the car park and the western building elevation and further freestanding signage across the two front car parks, some of which appears to be unauthorised as part of the ‘Country Living Hotels’ rebrand (see 09/01555/AR & 09/02676/AR).
There is a lack of clarity with regards to any signage would be removed or replaced as part of this application, or whether this proposes an additional 15 signs across the site with increased cumulative impact on the appearance and setting of a listed building. We consider that any new signage should be considered within a wider plan for signage across the site to ensure it remains at a sustainable and unobtrusive level.
We note that there is additionally no information as to how the wall-mounted signage, particularly in the rear car park, would be fixed, or further information regarding the materiality or age of the walls considering they are considered to fall within the curtilage listing of the Grade II building. We strongly recommend that any signage should seek to limit fixing into the stonework and the resulting loss of historic fabric, with fixings being instead limited to the mortar joints. We encourage this detail to be clarified as part of this application.
BPT is concerned regarding the proposed addition of further signage and the resulting cumulative visual impact on the appearance and setting of a listed building, particularly across the two front car parks. We query the need for the proposed volume of signage; there is a particularly high concentration of signage around the vehicular access to the front car park immediately in front of the hotel’s principal elevation. We feel the display of two different sign designs is excessive, and suggest this is condensed into a singular sign to reduce the volume and cluttering effect of signage as viewed from Lansdown Road and Lansdown Grove.
We additionally have concerns regarding the proposed installation of three 5m camera columns. We feel the proposed introduction of tall mounted cameras within the immediate setting of a listed building would be incongruous and would neither preserve nor enhance the appearance and character of the conservation area. We acknowledge the limited presence of tall street lamps along Lansdown Road and Lansdown Grove but do not feel this poses an appropriate precedent for an increased density of tall street infrastructure in this area.
Should the principle of the camera columns be deemed acceptable in this location, we strongly recommend that equivalent signage poles should be removed, such as the two poles in the front car park where the camera columns would be located, to mitigate their visual impact by removing excessive streetscape clutter.