Unit 2, Kingsmead Leisure Complex, 5 – 10 James Street West, City Centre, Bath
5-10 St James West is a shop unit that forms part of the unlisted 21th century Kingsmead Leisure Complex, situated within the Bath conservation area and World Heritage Site. 5-10 James Street cumulatively forms part of a prominent glazed commercial frontage along James Street West and a major vehicular and pedestrian thoroughfare between the Grade II Green Park Station and the Bath Spa train station and bus station. This area of Bath, whilst positioned along a well-used route into the historic city, is distinguished by its clear use of more contemporary-style shopfronts and signage in-keeping with the age and characteristics of this later infill development. Whilst we appreciate a greater flexibility for contemporary signage styles and materials in this area, we strongly encourage the usage of high-quality signage and shop fronts coherent with the wider historic character of the Bath conservation area and World Heritage site and the historic setting of the city core.
The limited use of window vinyls is considered acceptable where this does not significantly obscure or deaden the commercial frontage.
We consider that there is an opportunity for a lighter touch shopfront intervention. The proposed “matt black” fascia and cladding would result in overly dark and bulky frontage in contrast with the lighter Bath stone treatment of the complex. We welcome possible amendments to slim down the amount of cladding being used and better complement the lighter, predominantly glazed appearance of the complex within the streetscape.
We maintain strong concerns with the proposed addition of internally illuminated fascia and projecting signage. Bath is distinctive for its frugal use of low-level lighting and low-illuminated night time character. We therefore maintain that the addition of illumination would neither preserve nor enhance the character or appearance of the conservation area and would be of harm to local townscape character. We do not consider this level of illumination to be necessary for commercial reasons considering the unit’s well-placed location on a busy thoroughfare, and therefore harm would not be suitably mitigated by public benefit. We strongly recommend that the proposed signage illumination is omitted.