Roseate Villa, Henrietta Road, Bathwick, Bath
Roseate Villa is an unlisted mid- to late 19th century semi-detached dwelling, now in use as a hotel that encompasses the entire pair of dwellings, situated within the Bath City-Wide Conservation Area and the World Heritage Site. The building is designed as a symmetrical pair with hipped roofs and bay windows at the eastern and southern corners (though the eastern bay window has been later extended to a two storey height). The principal access to the building is the stone porch on the south-west elevation, and there is a matching porch on the opposite side which was formerly the access to the semi-detached half of the property. It forms the end of a streetscape made up of Grade II mid-19th century semi-detached villas at 1-12 Henrietta Villas.
Commercial signage within the conservation area is characterised by its retained vernacular appearance, use of traditional materials and construction methods, and bespoke design approach. Consequently, shop frontages are expected to adhere to planning guidance regarding the appropriate use of materials, colours, and signage types, in keeping with the wider historic character of the city conservation area and World Heritage Site.
We refer to our own guidance Signs, Adverts, Banners and Awnings regarding the use of flag signage, in which we emphasise that “unless there is significant historical precedent, flags are rarely acceptable as they dominate and compete with building facades, add clutter to elevations, block long street views and also detract from the setting of other listed buildings. Heavy flag fixings associated with flag poles damage historic fabric.” This is reinforced in B&NES Council’s own guidance on commercial signage and tables and chairs on the highway, where they summarise that “commercial flags and banners can be unacceptable if they harm the character and appearance of the Conservation Area, individual historic buildings or groups of historic buildings.”
The addition of flag signage, including a new flagpole, would result in added clutter to the frontage of the building and would impact its contribution to the character and appearance of the conservation area. We question the need for the use of flag signage when there is existing freestanding signage located behind the railings up against the roadside, which would also be more clearly legible to customers and road users. It appears that this signage would be retained alongside the new branded flag. We question whether this existing signage could be amended and/or improved in place of a proposed new advertisement flag with the dual benefits of more effective branding/advertising for the premises whilst retaining a clear, clutter-free façade.