Laura Ashley, 9 St Lawrence Street, City Centre
9 St Lawrence Street is an unlisted building within the Bath conservation area and World Heritage site. It forms part of the Southgate development that was completed in 2010, utilising a distinctly Georgian neo-classical referenced style of architectural design. The commercial streetscape of Southgate is notably more contemporary in design and materiality and is visually distinct from the more traditional shopfront character of Bath’s historic core. Nevertheless, due to its centralised location within the city’s historic centre, the Trust is therefore in favour of encouraging the usage of high-quality signage and shop fronts in keeping with the wider historic character of the Bath conservation area and World Heritage site to ensure the aesthetic consistency of the city centre.
BPT resists the principle of illuminated signage. Part of the character of Bath is it’s low levels of artificial lighting which 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 when considering the shop’s prominent visual position along multiple pedestrian routes through the city centre.
This application is therefore contrary to the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990, section 16 of the NPPF, and Policies B1, B4, BD1, CP6, D1, D2, D8, D9, and HE1 of the Core Strategy and Placemaking Plan, and should be withdrawn or refused.