Management Suite, 12 Southgate Street, City Centre
12 Southgate Street is an unlisted mixed-use Class E/E(d) premises within the commercial core of the Bath conservation area and World Heritage Site. It forms part of the 2009-2010 Southgate development, utilising a distinctly Georgian-esque style of architectural design. Southgate Street is a popular and busy pedestrian thoroughfare that acts as a direct connector between the historic city core and Bath Spa Station and bus station via Stall Street. The unit remains a well-connected shopfront on a busy through route for traffic and pedestrians adjacent to the entrance to the multi-storey car park, despite its perceived ‘outlier’ position on the external edge of the Southgate development. This location is instead a significant transition between Bath’s newer shopping district and the historic city centre.
Application 22/02922/AR has been granted consent for the display of external signage in association with the new use of the unit as a gym. Following design revisions to application 22/02922/AR, the existing signage as-delivered follows a grey, green, and white colour palette which is considered to be an appropriate addition against the Bath stone palette of the building.
The application includes signage proposals that were previously proposed under application 22/02922/AR (see drawings dated 21/07/2022) and subsequently revised. These have been slightly altered as part of this application; the proposed fascia would now be externally illuminated with a trough light rather than internally illuminated, and the projecting sign would be non-illuminated and feature a blue border around its outer edge.
Whilst BPT is in-principle resistance to the use of illuminated signage, we acknowledge that a trough light has already been installed over the fascia as part of the previous planning permission, and this would be retained as part of the latest proposals. As the replacement projecting sign would also be non-illuminated, there would be no increase in overall illumination levels across the building frontage.
Considering the appearance of the signage already in situ, we maintain that the use of a blue and green colour palette is overly strident whilst also sitting awkwardly adjacent to the more subdued dark grey of the aluminium wall panel to be retained, where the existing signage presents a coherent and colour-coordinated approach to the unit frontage. Where the existing signage has already resulted in the reactivation of this entrance point into the building and its new commercial use is clearly legible as part of the streetscape, we question whether the revised signage proposals would demonstrate a sufficient increase in public benefit and associated commercial viability to justify the proposals. We therefore reiterate that the use of a homogenous grey and green branding colour palette is a more complementary addition to the neutral tones of the Bath stone building elevations, than the new signage as proposed.