Northgate House, Upper Borough Walls, City Centre
Northgate House is an unlisted 20th century building situated within the core of the Bath conservation area and World Heritage site. Its position adjacent to the Grade I Guildhall and a terrace of Grade II Georgian dwellings, now shops, on Bridge Street with a direct sightline down to the Grade I Pulteney Bridge means that it is crucial that Northgate House remains aligned with Bath’s expectations of minimal, quality shopfront design.
BPT is supportive of the changes proposed within this application. The use of slim-profile, brushed stainless steel lettering over the shopfront is a significant improvement due to its muted appearance in contrast with the starkness of the black vinyl lettering previously proposed (see application 18/00378/AR). We would however consider the usage of a neutral matte finish to be more appropriate.
The Trust further supports the removal of the projection sign following an undesirable and unpermitted precedent established by TK Maxx; the use of a timber hanging sign with a bracket that follows a traditional aesthetic design in accordance with Bath’s established shop front vernacular will positively contribute to the appearance of the conservation area. However, we would prefer that the sign is hand-painted rather than utilising synthetic materials such as vinyl that appear incongruous within the historic townscape.
Whilst we are aware that the unpermitted mounted letters facing the Guildhall above the first storey windows have not yet been removed, the application states that these will be taken down as part of the proposed works. We would emphasise the importance of their removal due to the inappropriate nature of their size and colour, and the detrimental visual intrusion this has had on the conservation area and the setting of a Grade I listed building. We feel that signage throughout Bath should be of a subservient scale and colour palette in accordance with Bath’s use of natural colours, textures, and materials; the erection of signage over the shop entrance should be considered commercially sufficient whilst ensuring a minimal and tidy appearance.