Rosario’s, 18 Northumberland Place, City Centre, Bath

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Proposal

Installation of retractable awning over external seating area of café.

Our Response

18 Northumberland Place forms part of a terrace of Grade II early 19th century buildings with commercial/retail ground floors and shopfronts with residential accommodation across the upper floors, situated within the historic core of the Bath conservation area and World Heritage Site. Northumberland Place is set back from the high street as an enclosed local street, predominantly orientated around food and drink, and follows what was originally an earlier medieval lane, later becoming Marchants Court by the early 18th century. The street is therefore attributed significance as a rare survivor of Bath’s medieval plan form and layout, coupled with the neighbouring lane to the south which has since become the Corridor. The terrace at Northumberland Buildings is indicated as having “unity and group value” where the buildings themselves are identified as “individually modest” (Historic England); it shares a three storey façade in Bath stone ashlar with parapet and squared-off string course, although there is some variability in fenestration style and layout. The mix of timber shopfronts across the terrace are indicated to be early to late 19th century. In particular, the shopfront at 18 Northumberland Place is late 19th century and closely draws on similar detailing from the neighbouring shopfront at 19 Northumberland Place with framing timber pilasters and distinctive dentilled cornice over the fascia.

We recognise the identified need for covered outside seating in this area and note that a high number of similar establishments along Northumberland Place already implement outdoor seating covered with a shopfront-mounted awning. 18 Northumberland Place as existing makes use of free-standing parasols which cumulatively adds to the perceived ‘cluttering’ of the streetscape. The installation of a traditional-style canopy would therefore be of benefit to the visual amenities of the street; the proposed awning would be of an increased height without the need for horizontal supports, and would therefore allow for clearer sightlines through Northumberland Place.

We note there would be some less than substantial harm to historic fabric due to the required fixings to the shopfront cornice.

As yet, there is a lack of information as to the material appearance, colour, and finish of the proposed awning. We maintain that awnings within the city should accord with the traditional material and colour palette of the streetscape, and utilise high quality canvas rather than plastic. We suggest the selection of a neutral awning colour which would complement and sit recessively against the existing shopfront. There is no indication as to the application of any branding to the awning of which we are supportive, and we maintain a preference for the use of a ‘plain’ awning without additional lettering or logos.

We encourage the awning to be closed, and sit flush with the shop front, when not in use (ie. outside of opening hours).

Application Number: 22/02451/LBA
Application Date: 16/06/2022
Closing Date: 04/08/2022
Address: Rosario's, 18 Northumberland Place, City Centre, Bath
Our Submission Status: Comment
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