Sallys, Avon Street, City Centre, Bath
Sallys is an unlisted late 20th century retail unit situated within the commercial core of the Bath conservation area and World Heritage Site. It forms part of the wider, contextual setting to the rear of the Grade II late 18th century terraced houses, now offices with commercial ground floors, at 13-14 Westgate Street. This area of streetscape along Avon Street is characterised as later 20th century infill following significant bomb damage and subsequent clearance of 18th and 19th century terraces. Infill development has drawn from Georgian architectural characteristics in its uniform layout, use of Bath stone ashlar, multi-pane sash windows in moulded architraves and roof parapet with dentilled cornicing. Whilst the building is of limited historic or architectural merit, in its form and design it can be concluded to highlight and reinforce Bath’s distinctive architectural character and homogeneity.
The commercial shopfront character and appearance throughout the Bath conservation area and World Heritage Site 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 a lack of illuminated signage, in keeping with the wider historic character of the city.
We note that there does not appear to be a valid advertisement consent for the existing aluminium box signage, and as such the existing signage is not considered an appropriate precedent for comparison.
The proposed signage in “Telemagneta RAL4010” would be overly strident and jarring against the more subtle colour of the Bath stone façade of the building and the wider street scene. We encourage the use of a more subdued colour that would sit more comfortably within the established colour palette of the conservation area; relevant guidance and colour samples are available in the Bath Pattern Book.
We have further concerns regarding the extent of the applied vinyl proposed across the shopfront, particularly the southernmost shopfront window to “hide back of racking behind glazing”. BPT maintains that the use of vinyl to completely blank out a window would visually ‘deaden’ the façade and detract from the visual amenities of the streetscape. We emphasise that a balance should be struck between the use of vinyl and the retention of active shopfronts to ensure the special qualities of Bath’s street scene are sustained. In this instance, we encourage decoration or a shopfront display is integrated into the back of the racking to avoid the need for a blind vinyl.