Unit C, Weston Lock Retail Park, Lower Bristol Road, Westmoreland, Bath
The proposed site of development is Unit C of the Weston Lock Retail Park, situated within the City of Bath World Heritage Site and the indicative townscape setting of the Bath City Wide Conservation Area. The unit occupies the south-east corner of the park, facing onto Fielding’s Road adjacent to the Grade II former cabinet maker’s factory. The retail park is distinctly industrial in character, set back within a significant area of hardstanding for customer parking. The south elevation of the site is largely screened by a number of buildings including the Golden Fleece public house, but it can be glimpsed from Lower Bristol Road through a gap of open green planting and a low boundary wall. The east elevation directly overlooks Fielding’s Road which remains predominantly industrial in appearance and character before transitioning into the green, densely planted setting of the River Avon to the north.
Illuminated signage is incongruous with Bath’s low-level lighting and distinctive night time character. Considering the large scale of the proposed signage on elevations which are of high to mid-visibility from Lower Bristol Road and Fielding’s Road, and within close proximity to the conservation area, we maintain that the use of illuminated signage would be at odds with the established signage and lighting character of the conservation area. We have further concerns about the increased level of lighting within the setting of a Grade II listed building and potential detriment to its distinctive appearance within the streetscape.
We consider that there would be no additional public or advertisement benefits from having the sign illuminated considering its scale, prominent display, and bold colour scheme, and is therefore not considered to be adequate justification for further illumination and associated detriment to visual amenity value and setting of the conservation area. We encourage the consideration of a non-illuminated alternative within this location.
Where possible, we also express a strong preference for the use of more recessive signage, such as reducing the extent of the proposed underlying facing (material unspecified), or by utilising a more minimal or subdued colour palette, particularly across the proposed north-east elevation where this directly abuts the road. This approach has already been taken across adjoining Units A & B.