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Shopfronts and Advertising in Conservation Areas


The purpose of this design guide is to explain the Council's policies in respect of shopfronts and advertisements in Conservation Areas. A principal objective is to obtain, in appropriate cases, the reintroduction of traditional shop fronts to historic buildings.

Set out below are a series of guidelines aimed at providing a degree of unity for the shop fronts and accompanying advertisements within a Conservation Areas. Persons intending to alter, replace or provide new shop fronts should have regard to these guidelines, bearing in mind that they are not an exhaustive list. Prospective planning applicants uncertain of what the Local Planning Authority is seeking are strongly urged to discuss their proposals with a Planning Officer at the earliest possible stage when preparing a scheme.

Guidelines for the alteration, replacement or provision of new Shopfronts and associated advertisements in Conservation Areas.

A. General Principles

1. The Local Planning Authority will normally only give sympathetic consideration to alter, extend or provide new shopfronts if they comply with both the guidelines contained in this guidance and within the Design SPD.

Proposals should be related to the character, scale and materials of the building into which they are to be placed. Shops should form part of the design of the whole facade, including the upper floors. Designs should be sympathetic to adjoining buildings taking into account the vertical and horizontal emphasis of these buildings.

Victorian shopfronts are inappropriate in the case of 1960's buildings, just as modern shopfronts are for Victorian buildings.

2. The Local Planning Authority are keen to promote the economic use of the upper floors above shop and commercial premises.

The use, particularly for residential purposes, of the upper floors promotes vitality in shopping areas, besides improving security and most importantly providing a financial return from this often neglected part of the building. This financial return should enable the upper parts of the building, especially the roof area, to receive a higher level of maintenance so improving the appearance of the building. Sympathetic consideration may in some instances be given to a relaxation of parking standards if this is the only obstacle to the building being brought back into residential use. Permission to remove staircases or block off access to the upper floors not normally be granted.

3. Where traditional shop fronts, or parts of them, still exist these should be retained and restored to form the basis of the proposal to preserve the character of the area. Proposals in Conservation Areas should preserve or enhance the character or appearance of the area and the Local Planning Authority will normally approve schemes which achieve this aim.

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