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

Document Section Draft North Somerset Council Shopfront Design Guide - July 2019 Background [View all comments on this section]
Comment ID 23058689//1
Respondent Peter Fletcher [View all comments by this respondent]
Response Date 12 Aug 2019

My final points are below, in page order:

Cover Page

Capitalise ‘U’ in ‘Use’ and change ‘CLASS A’ to read ‘Class A’

Contents Page

The text alignment is ever so slightly out in ‘3.5 Fascia Design’ The words Fascia Design need to move left slightly to align with the rest of the text.

In ‘6 Change of use – use class A properties to residential use’ can we capitalise the first letters in ‘Use Class A’ so it’s consistent with the rest of the document (and legislation).

Page 7

Under 1.2, paragraph 2 – a piece of the text is missing. This should state ‘Implementation’ instead of ‘mentation’.

Page 8

This page shows the ‘Pale Blue’ shop in Clevedon. Where the text describing the image is located at the bottom, reposition (and slightly increase the green box size while reducing the transparency) this text to cover the stepped entrance approach to appease any concerns for lack of access.

Page 11

The graphics team have reduced the size of Figure 3. This is problematic for two reasons. First the text is too small to be legible, and second and most importantly, this drawing is considered equally if not more important than Figure 2 as this is the shopfront design approach we will try and negotiate for the majority of shopfronts alterations (i.e. it’s more realistic to expect this than Figure 2). The detail within this graphic has been carefully considered and the image should appear larger in the SPD to help applicants and planning officers alike.

Para 3 – I acknowledge there is a potentially confusing message in here. To clear this up, at the end of para 3 (where it mentions The Precinct in Portishead) can we please add something along the lines of…”Locations such as the High Street south of Regent Street in Weston-super-Mare, or The Precinct in Portishead are good examples of where a modern shopfront design would be appropriate as these are strong twentieth century architectural settings”.

Page 14

Para 2 – could we add ‘slow-grown’ in here so it states…”In Victorian shopfronts, a slow-grown durable softwood such as…”

Page 25

From this point forwards this is where I was beginning to rush so there’s a number of grammatical errors to correct:

Under 5.2, para 4 final sentence, please add the following underlined words “This form of shutter allows businesses to maintain a visual presence…”

Para 5, please add the following underlined word “Traditional timber shutters and grilles fitted to historic buildings are encouraged and should be retained where they exist”.

Page 26

In the main heading – please can we have Use Class A to keep it consistent.

Page 27

In part of the new text – Para 6 (including the green box) I think it needs a bit of re-wording to avoid misinterpreting (I think it’s a bit confusing – I’m not 100% sure what it’s trying to say/ achieve). I suggest:


“Where shopfronts of poor design have been changed to domestic use, windows and doors should be improved to reflect the original, historic street design and relate well to the first floor fenestration”


“Where shopfronts of poor design have been installed as later additions to domestic buildings, windows and doors should reflect the original, historic street design and first floor fenestration”


Page 28

6.1 – the new body of text. This page needs ‘tightening up’ to remove loopholes that could be exploited by a developer. I recommend:

Para 1 – please add the underlined text “Occupation of upper floors could provide benefits for improved building maintenance, prevent vermin infestation and criminal intrusion and is an appropriate re-use of space for much needed housing”.

Para 2 – I would remove this para as the building maintenance message has gone into para 1. There’s also no guarantee occupants will increase the chances for long term maintenance. Sometimes they can make things worse than leaving a property empty.

Bulletpoint 2 – “Access arrangements…to take the form of separate arrangements to the front, rear or side…” I’m not 100% sure we want to say this. I don’t like the idea of forcing residents down dark, dirty narrow alleyways, past refuse and vermin, to get to front doors. I would prefer to keep everything accessed off the street frontage where it should be. I recommend a change here.

Bulletpoint 3 – “Recommend higher levels of sound insulation than Building Regs…” New dwellings are tested scientifically and we have no power to obtain higher than Regs levels unfortunately.

Bulletpoint 4 – Major concerns here as we would need to enter the same detailed realms as the PD householder technical guidance to control this: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/606669/170405_Householder_Technical_Guidance__-April_2017_FINAL.pdf

Please remove all references to French windows, balconies, Juliette balconies and winter gardens. This is an area to be explored in a future ‘Urban Living SPD’. We don’t want to encourage inappropriate changes in this document. In fact I would take the bulletpoint out and remove any reference to amenity space.

Page 29

Para 3 (including green box) – this para starts by saying “satisfactWider conservation area…” please can we amend to say “Wider conservation area…”

Page 30

Para 3 – should this state “The standard for listed buildings, buildings within a conservation area or scheduled monument is different”. Changing ‘are’ to ‘is’?

Page 33

C: Planning Policy – please update the NPPF reference so it states 2019 not 2018! Chapter 12 is the new NPPF design chapter and it’s now called ‘Achieving well-designed places’. Please amend all text here.


Because Ellena’s graphics stated sill (with an s, not a c) all text using that word should be consistent with the s in the graphics.

Had we more time, I would have liked to include more sectional detail drawings through the fascia showing “how to” integrate the awning box, roller shutter, suspended ceiling, etc, etc. I recently came across Coatsworth Conservation Area Shopfront Design Guide which has an Appendix 1: Detailed Design Guidance. Would it be possible to supplement the SPD in future with an addendum document? Would this need public consultation? Perhaps check with Policy Team, alternatively if I can find the time in the next week, I could work these up in CAD drawings at home?

Other than that – brilliant. I was tempted to suggest one or two hardwoods for use in fascias however they are on the endangered/ vulnerable list and I don’t think it’s ethical for us to recommend them, even if they are commercially available – Sapele, Utile, Idigbo, etc. (all modern replacements for mahogany).

Peter Fletcher

Principal Urban Designer

North Somerset Council

Town Hall


BS23 1UJ

T: (01275) 88 8058