The Bathstore, 3 Rosewell Court, City Centre
3 Rosewell Court forms part of a series of new commercial buildings along James Street West within the Bath conservation area and World Heritage site. It contributes to the setting of multiple Grade II listed buildings along New Street and on Kingsmead Square; therefore, the Trust maintains that any changes in signage must suitably harmonise with and complement Bath’s shopfront vernacular in material, design, and form.
BPT has already objected to the proposed signage on the grounds of the inappropriate use of modern materials and excessive lighting at detriment to the traditional shop front appearance and character of the conservation area (see our response to application 20/01196/AR).
With regards to the changes proposed in this application, we maintain some concerns as to the establishment of external seating on what is a narrow and busy pedestrian route through the city centre.
Whilst BPT does not oppose the use of outdoor seating in principle, we assert that its suitability must be determined in relation to the existing appearance and amenity of the area. The proposed location for seating is a constricted pedestrian route connected with a bus stop and a zebra crossing to the immediate south of the site. Therefore, any seating along the southern elevation of the building would be highly detrimental to public access and pedestrian amenity, and would blockade an area of high foot traffic with a resulting negative impact on the social quality and atmosphere of this portion of Bath’s public realm contrary to Policies D6 and D9 of the Core Strategy and Placemaking Plan. We would additionally highlight the comparatively small area available for seating in the covered forecourt to the south-east of the building; there is potential for any seating located here to overspill onto the pavement at the risk of additional detriment to pedestrian access and amenity.
We additionally do not feel that suitable documentation has been provided regarding how the proposed seating will affect the appearance and associated character of the street scene, or the wider conservation area. We would therefore recommend that proposed elevations that include external seating and any associated barriers are submitted to the LPA before this application is allowed to progress further. We do not feel that the current documentation supplied can be used to enable a fully-informed decision regarding the weighing of benefit against harm to public amenity, and the associated character and appearance of the conservation area.