Morrison’s, 11 Southgate Street, City Centre, Bath
11 Southgate Street is an unlisted retail 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 forms part of a dual frontage corner site that connects Stall Street with the multi-storey car park, and New Marchant’s Passage feeding back into the central Southgate plaza. As such, it remains a well-connected shopfront on a busy through route for traffic and pedestrians, 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 more historic city centre.
BPT is cautious regarding the setting of a precedent for the addition of ‘clutter’ to building frontages and shopfronts within the city centre and the conservation area. Whilst we recognise that there are some examples of CCTV cameras along Southgate Street, these don’t appear to have an associated planning permission and therefore should not be considered an appropriate precedent.
We therefore recommend that as part of the application, appropriate justification of need and associated benefit should be included in relation to the proposed positioning, design, and volume of cameras on this frontage. In particular, we question whether the number of cameras could be reduced to appropriately minimise visual impact. For instance, other similar commercial units in the city include a single camera over/within the doorway to monitor those entering and leaving the premises.