Schuh, 7 – 8 Stall Street, City Centre, Bath
7-8 Stall Street is a pair of Grade II early 19th century terraced shops with residential upper floors, situated in the Bath conservation area and World Heritage Site. It forms part of the city centre’s core with high pedestrian footfall, and consequently forms a significant visual aspect of Bath’s historic and commercial streetscape. It additionally forms the setting of multiple Grade II listed buildings along Stall Street, as well as the Grade I 34-36 Stall Street on the corner of Bath Street.
We recognise that the proposal would replace the existing ‘oval’ signage with new signage more in keeping with the established branding of the commercial frontage. However, whilst the principle of a more visually coherent advertising approach is not inappropriate in principle, we cannot support the use of inappropriate acrylic signage to the frontage of a Grade II listed building. The use of overtly contemporary materials such as acrylic is not compatible with the material palette and appearance of the listed building and the traditional shopfront character of the city centre. Acrylic lettering would therefore result in a jarring visual contrast with the appearance and associated special interest of the listed building.
We maintain a preference for the use of hand-lettered painted signage as a more traditional alternative that reinforces the visual amenities of the conservation area. This may be more appropriate to the ‘secondary’ nature of the proposed signage, reinforcing the existing signage already in place.
The addition of a “green acrylic stripe” would clutter the timber fascia without apparent justification or demonstrated public benefit. The use of an overly bright colour would be a strident, jarring addition against the softer natural colour palette of the listed building and the wider character and appearance of the conservation area and World Heritage Site.
The proposed painting of the recessed face of the fascia in “black RAL 9005 Dulux Exterior Wood Paint” would result in a two-tone contrast with the proposed repainting of the main shopfront in grey. The repainting of the entire shopfront in a single colour is preferable to ensure a cleaner, more coherent appearance.
This application would therefore be of harm to the special interest of a listed building and would not preserve or enhance the character or appearance of the conservation area, contrary to the Planning (Listed Buildings & Conservation Areas) Act 1990, Section 16 of the NPPF, and Policies B1, BD1, CP6, D1, D2, D3, D9, and HE1 of the Core Strategy and Placemaking Plan and should be refused or withdrawn.