Lloyds Pharmacy, Combe Down House, The Avenue, Combe Down
Combe Down House is a Grade II early to mid-19th century detached residential villa, now pharmacy, situated within the Bath conservation area and World Heritage Site. The building utilises a modest, plain Bath stone ashlar façade with sash windows and symmetrical chimney stacks to the north and south. The original porch with inset squared posts has been retained, although the bay window to the south looks to be a later addition which is now used to display advertisements for the pharmacy. The building was extended to the far south in the early 21st century.
There is an absence of adequate documentation submitted as part of this application, and we are surprised that this application has been validated. It is therefore uncertain as to what is proposed and where the new signage would be located; from the signage details, it appears that the sign would be mounted to the stonework using masonry screws, but no elevations of the building, either existing or proposed, are provided for assessment.
The application proposes that the new sign would replace existing signage consented in 2007; it appears that this signage is located on the southern elevation of the main body of the building (see Google Maps, March 2019). The fixing of the new sign would therefore constitute the alteration of a listed building and would require the submission of a listed building application to ensure works are authorised, in accordance with the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990. We note that a listed building application has not been validated on the planning portal at this time (though note 21/01332/LBA to 'replace exterior door and frame').
There is no indication as to whether the previous fixings into the stonework would be used by the new sign to minimise the further, irreversible loss of historic stonework.
Whilst not of historic origin and with no historic precedent on this site, we maintain that the previous use of a timber fascia was more complementary to the material appearance and character of the Grade II listed building. We therefore feel that the proposed aluminium panel would be of detriment to the building’s appearance through the overt use of more modern materials. We strongly encourage a more traditional approach that would complement the listed building and sit harmoniously with its historic setting, considering its public visibility within the conservation area.
We highlight mention made to the proposed removal of an ‘existing plinth’ in the application form, but no further elaboration is made as to where or what the plinth is, and whether it is of any historic significance or a later addition.