Sainsburys, 2 – 4 Dorchester Street
2-4 Dorchester Street is an unlisted building within the Bath conservation area and World Heritage site. It forms the southern edge of the Southgate development that was completed in 2010, utilising a distinctly Georgian-esque style of architectural design. It is situated adjacent to the Grade II* Bath Spa Station. Therefore, due to 2-4 Dorchester Street’s centralised location within the city’s historic centre and position opposite a Grade II* heritage asset, the Trust is therefore in favour of encouraging the usage of high-quality, traditional signage and shop fronts in keeping with the wider historic character of the Bath conservation area and World Heritage site.
The Trust appreciates the use of a more muted colour palette that better complements Bath’s use of natural materials such as Bath stone ashlar and natural slate.
However, BPT resists the principle of illuminated signage. Bath is recognised as a low-illuminated city in which the maintained low levels of lighting complement the historic character and appearance of the city, and create a distinctive evening and night-time atmosphere. Therefore, the use of illuminated signage would be of detriment to the shared character of the Bath conservation area and the special qualities of the World Heritage site, particularly when considering the shop’s prominent visual position along a popular pedestrian and retail route from the train station to the city centre. We do not consider the existing use of internally-illuminated signage to set an appropriate precedent, and maintain that this application would neither enhance nor preserve the appearance and character of the conservation area and World Heritage site.
We are similarly disappointed in the proposed use of vinyl signage that will visually conflict with Bath’s traditional shop frontages that utilise hand-painted timber signs, with resulting detriment to the appearance of the conservation area. We would strongly recommend that a signage design in-keeping with Bath’s homogenous character is considered. Similarly, we would prefer a timber hanging sign in contrast to the proposed projecting aluminium sign.
This application is therefore contrary to the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990, section 16 of the NPPF, and Policies B1, B4, BD1, CP6, D1, D2, D8, D9, and HE1 of the Core Strategy and Placemaking Plan, and should be withdrawn or refused.