Sole Trader, 9 Stall Street, City Centre
9 Stall Street is a Grade II late Georgian terraced shop with upper floor residential accommodation situated within the urban core of the Bath conservation area and World Heritage Site. It forms the setting of a high concentration of Grade II and Grade I terraced buildings along Stall Street, and contributes to the high quality of traditional commercial shop fronts and signage that make up the distinctive appearance and character of the conservation area. Whilst the current shop front is of a late 20th century origin, the use of a timber frontage in a neutral, dark colour and minimal lettering usage is of aesthetic benefit to the appearance of the building. We maintain that shop fronts in Bath should adhere to a high quality of design, use of traditional materials and finishes, and a colour palette complementary with Bath’s natural Bath stone vernacular. Shop fronts should be bespoke to their context and the unique characteristics of the building.
We therefore feel that the shop front as proposed would be of visual detriment to the special architectural interest of a listed building, and would neither conserve nor enhance the appearance of the conservation area. The use of a pure red and pure white colour scheme would be stark and overly bright and would conflict with the more neutral palette of the streetscape. In particular, the use of pure or brilliant white sharply contrasts with the honey colour of Bath stone, and is a high maintenance colour to ensure a high standard of appearance. We strongly recommend that an off-white or cream colour is selected for the shop frontage for a more complementary, recessive appearance, and a red colour that is darker or duskier in tone.
We maintain our preference for hand-painted lettering rather than individually mounted aluminium lettering, and feel that a more traditional approach would most closely align with and complement the streetscape and ensure a high quality appearance consistent with the principal elevation of a listed building.
We are disappointed to see that the proposal is of a standardised design and therefore has not been tailored to account for its impact on the shop’s sensitive historic environment. We emphasise the need for a bespoke approach to signage within Bath to respect the harmony and simplicity of the predominantly classical architecture.
We acknowledge the pre-existing placement of external lamps, but continue to maintain our in-principle objection to illuminated signage which would be at odds with Bath’s low-illuminated night time character.
As proposed, 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.