Draft Shopfront Design Guide Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) - July 2019

Draft North Somerset Council Shopfront Design Guide - July 2019


Appendix A: Glossary

Alteration: To change or improve the function of a building or artefact or to modify its appearance.

Architrave: Moulded frame around a door or window.

Awning: A sheet of canvas or other material stretched on a frame and used to keep the sun or rain off a show window or doorway.

Awning/ Blind Box: An area integral to the shopfront surround often behind the fascia, but found elsewhere such as around the cornice, which contains a retractable blind.

Canopy: A hood suspended or projected over a door or window.

Cill: The horizontal member at the bottom of a window or door frame often timber but sometimes granite or bronze or with a brass cill plate.

Conservation: Action to secure the survival or preservation of buildings, cultural artefacts, natural resources, energy or any other thing of acknowledged value for the future.

Conservation Area: Area of special architectural or historic interest, the character or appearance of which is desirable to preserve or enhance.

Conversion: Alteration, the object of which is a change of use of a building or artefact.

Console Bracket: At the top of a pilaster and/ or either end of the fascia forming a bracket, often moulded and decorative. They are a characteristic feature of Victorian shopfronts, typically carved from wood with a curved outline. Usually of greater height than projection.

Cornice: The ornamental moulding or projecting structure along the top of a wall, arch or building exterior (including the shopfront).

Façade: The whole frontage of the building including shopfront and upper floors.

Fanlight: A window over the door within the main door frame.

Fascia: A plain horizontal band projecting slightly from the surface of a wall, forming a part of the entablature above the shop window. Angled fascia were introduced in the Victorian period and pressure to accommodate larger fascia lettering resulted in increasingly larger fascia areas.

Intervention: Any action which has a physical effect on the fabric of a building or artefact.

Lights: the openings between the upright posts or mullions of a window.

Mullion: Vertical post or upright dividing a window or opening into two or more lights.

Pilasters: A rectangular shaped column or shallow pier which projects out slightly from a wall often with a decorative moulding.

Plinth: Found at the base of the pilaster in a traditional shopfront often with a decorative moulding, or chamfer at the top.

Preservation: State of survival of a building or artefact, whether by historical accident or through a combination of protection and active conservation.

Repair: Work beyond the scope of regular maintenance to remedy defects, significant decay or damage caused deliberately or by accident, neglect, normal weathering or wear and tear, the object of which is to return the building or artefact to good order, without alteration or restoration.

Restoration: Alteration of a building, part of a building or artefact which has decayed, been lost or damaged or is thought to have been inappropriately repaired or altered in the past, the objective of which is to make it conform again to its design or appearance at a previous date.

Reversibility: Concept of work to a building or artefact being carried out in such a way that it can be reversed at some future time, without any significant damage having been done.

Soffit: The underside of an architectural structure.

Stallriser: Solid base to the shopfront beneath the shop window providing a transitional element between the glass of the shop window and the ground. Providing a protective function as well as support for the glazing and frame.

Threshold: A strip of wood or stone forming the bottom of a doorway.

Transom: Horizontal bar dividing the upper section of the window or panel which may be of wood, stone or metal.

Ventilator: An aperture, typically a grill in traditional shopfronts, for ventilating a room or other space.

Appendix B: Resources and further reading

Approved Documents, MHCLG. Available from: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/approved-documents

BS 7913:2013 – Guide to the Conservation of Historic Buildings.

English Shops and Shopping: An Architectural History, 2003, K Morrison

National Planning Policy Framework 2019:


Great Weston conservation area: management guidance and appraisal, 2018. Available from: https://www.n-somerset.gov.uk/my-services/planning-building-control/planning/planning-advice/heritage/conservation-areas/

Historic England Great Weston Heritage Action Zone. https://historicengland.org.uk/services-skills/heritage-action-zones/weston-super-mare/

North Somerset Council Building Control. https://www.n-somerset.gov.uk/my-services/planning-building-control/building-control/buildingcontrol/

North Somerset Council Conservation and Design. https://www.n-somerset.gov.uk/my-services/planning-building-control/planning/planning-advice/heritage/heritage-further-reading/

North Somerset Council Planning Policy. https://www.n-somerset.gov.uk/my-services/planning-building-control/planningpolicy/

North Somerset Council Local List of Planning Application Requirements:


This outlines the supporting drawings that are required for each type of planning application.

Change of use:

Visit the planning portal to determine which changes of use require planning permission: https://www.planningportal.co.uk/info/200130/common_projects/9/change_of_use/2.

Old lead paint: What you need to know as a busy builder, 2014, HSE. Available from: http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/cis79.pdf

Outdoor advertisements and signs: a guide for advertisers, 2007, DCLG. Available from:


Advertising consent: https://historicengland.org.uk/advice/hpg/consent/advertisementconsent/

Replacing Windows Advice Note, 2012, North Somerset Council. Available from: https://www.n-somerset.gov.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/Replacing-windows-advice-note.pdf

Traditional Windows: their care, repair and upgrading, 2017, Historic England. Available from: https://historicengland.org.uk/images-books/publications/traditional-windows-care-repair-upgrading/

UK Legislation search. www.legislation.gov.uk

Disability Design Standards:


Appendix C: Planning Policy

This Design Guide is based on policies set out in these documents:

The National Planning Policy Framework, 2018

  • Chapter 7: Requiring Good Design

North Somerset Council Core Strategy, 2017

  • CS12: Achieving high quality design and place-making
  • CS5: Landscape and the historic environment
  • CS2: Delivering sustainable design and construction
  • CS21: Retail hierarchy and provision

North Somerset Council Development Management Policies, Sites and Policies Plan Part 1, 2016

  • DM33: Inclusive access into non-residential buildings and spaces
  • DM7: Non-designated heritage assets
  • DM3: Conservation Areas
  • DM4: Listed Buildings
  • DM32: High quality design and place-making
  • DM60-67: Retailing

Weston Town Centre Regeneration SPD, February 2017

Great Weston Conservation Area Appraisals and Management Plans, 2018

Access: Designing for Diversity, 2012

Appendix D: Different Types of Consent

Planning permission

Most physical changes to shopfronts will require planning permission, however some small alterations may not. Changes to properties situated within conservation areas are more likely to require planning permission.

Consult the planning portal website for further information concerning planning permissions: https://interactive.planningportal.co.uk/

Contact North Somerset’s planning team to determine whether you will need planning permission: http://www.n-somerset.gov.uk/my-services/planning-building-control/planning/contact-us/contactplanning/

Listed building consent

Listed building consent has to be obtained before any alterations which will affect the character and appearance of a listed property can be made. This includes the insertion of new advertisement.

Search Historic England’s National Heritage List for your property if you are unsure of your building’s status: https://historicengland.org.uk/listing/the-list/

Building regulations approval

Changes such as insertion of new windows and doors sometimes require building regulations approval as well as planning permission.

Contact North Somerset’s planning team to determine whether you will need planning permission: http://www.n-somerset.gov.uk/my-services/planning-building-control/planning/contact-us/contactplanning/.

Advertisement regulations

Advertisement consent is often needed when making changes to fascia, hanging signs and other forms of external advertisement. The criteria for what does and does not require advertisement consent is complicated.

For further clarification access the following government page: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/advertisements#requirements-for-consent

or contact North Somerset’s planning team: http://www.n-somerset.gov.uk/my-services/planning-building-control/planning/contact-us/contactplanning/