Unit 2, Kingsmead Leisure Complex, 5 – 10 James Street West, City Centre
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 setting of the historic city core.
Previous application 22/04344/AR was refused on grounds that the location of the projecting box sign on the front pillars of the building would, “due to its siting and design, detract[s] from the visual amenity of this building and harm[s] the character and appearance of the Conservation Area” (Decision Notice 05/01/2023). Where the proposed projecting sign would continue to be located on the outer pillars of the Kingsmead Leisure Complex outside of the colonnade, this application has not addressed the case officer’s original reasons for refusal.
BPT maintains ongoing concerns regarding the increased proliferation of illuminated signage in this area and associated impact on the visual amenities of Bath’s distinctive night time character and use of low-level lighting throughout the historic city centre. Whilst we recognise and are supportive of the reduced use of illuminated signage across this frontage, the current proposals for an illuminated projecting sign would be of detriment to the established character and appearance of the conservation area and harm local townscape character. We continue to highlight the premise’s location on a busy thoroughfare on James Street West, as well as being well-placed in an area with a number of other pubs/bars, and we question whether there is any economic justification or associated commercial benefit for the use of illuminated signage in this location.