The Barley, 32 Bathwick Street, Bathwick, Bath
The Barley is a Grade II early 19th century building which forms part of a section of Grade II terrace at 27-35 Bathwick Street, situated within the Bath conservation area and World Heritage Site. It is indicated to have been established as a pub in 1854 and is referred to as “one of the oldest traditional pubs in Bath” (CAMRA). The ground floor frontage is articulated in Bath stone ashlar with pilasters framing the three arched multi-pane windows and matching door with fanlight. As such, it remains a distinctive and attractive frontage treatment along Bathwick Street. Neighbouring examples of 19th and early 20th century shopfronts are predominantly projecting timber frontages with decorative pilasters, dentilled cornicing, and single pane windows. The coherent use of decoration across these shopfronts, particularly No. 28-29 & 31, suggests these date to the period of 1902 refurbishment works by Gill and Morris.
Existing signage used at the Barley include a mix of timber signage (wall-mounted and hanging) as well as individually pinned metal lettering fixed directly to the timber fascia.
We therefore regret that we cannot support this application for the proposed installation of aluminium signage, which would be out of keeping with the traditional appearance and material integrity of the listed building, and would not preserve or enhance the character or appearance of the conservation area. Whilst we do not object to the principle of new signage or the proposed design approach, we maintain that signage should be timber with hand-painted decoration/lettering to sustain the special architectural and historic interest of the listed building and reinforce its traditional pub character and function.
The use of an aluminium hanging sign with applied vinyl signage is considered inappropriate; hanging signage should be hand-painted timber.
The proposed use of halo illuminated, individually pinned lettering would inappropriately detract from the special interest and appearance of a listed building. Whilst there is insufficient material information regarding the proposed make-up of the lettering, the attached drawings indicate that these would include a “Clear Acrylic Back Panel”, therefore suggestive of the use of acrylic lettering at odds with the traditional material character of the building and the wider conservation area. Given Sign A indicates the use of hand-lettered signage is considered feasible within this context, we strongly recommend that the proposed acrylic lettering is omitted in favour of hand-lettered signage across the fascia – this would additionally reinforce and enhance other examples of hand-lettered signage across neighbouring shopfronts and result in a more coherent frontage treatment along Bathwick Street.
We strongly discourage proposals for increased illumination across the pub’s frontage, which would further detract from the appearance of a listed building as well as harming the distinctive, low-illumination character and appearance of the wider Bath conservation area. We question the need for added strip lighting as part of proposed Sign A, located directly over the existing lantern over the door (proposed to be replaced in a similar fashion). In conjunction with Sign B, the cumulative result would be of an overly bright and harsh appearance in sharp contrast with the wider streetscape and would set a negative precedent for this excessive volume of illumination elsewhere in the conservation area.
This application would adversely impact the special architectural and historic interest of a listed building and would fail to preserve or enhance the character or appearance of the conservation area, contrary to the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990, Section 16 of the NPPF, and Policies B1, B4, BD1, CP6, D1, D2, D9, and HE1 of the Core Strategy and Placemaking Plan, and should be refused or withdrawn.