Sudbury: Majestic store told they must lower ‘unsightly’ sign by one metre
16:35 22 February 2013
A NEW business on an industrial estate in Sudbury has been told to lower its commercial sign by a few inches because it contravenes planning regulations.
Majestic Wines Warehouse, which is near a roundabout at the junction of Waldingfield Road and Springlands Way, applied to Babergh District Council for retrospective planning permission to erect a fascia sign on the front its premises.
But at a meeting this week, the authority’s planning committee decided that the sign – which projects above the front eaves of the building by a metre but is not as tall as the roof – is too high and needs to be moved down or reduced in size.
The council said the company should either lower it by six inches or chop three inches off the top.
Majestic Wines, which was not available to comment on the decision, has been granted permission put up a totem sign which will stand separate from the building.
Some councillors said that allowing businesses to erect big signs on their premises was making the entrance to the town look “unsightly”.
But Sudbury south councillor Simon Barrett, who referred the application to the development committee, believes imposing “petty” restrictions on signage is unnecessarily hampering businesses-owners. He described the committee’s decision as “ludicrous” adding: “Babergh keeps saying they are keen to promote economic growth but this is a new commercial business in town and I can’t help thinking their planners are being really precious over this. The sign is not out of keeping with the area because it’s on an industrial estate – and is lowering it or making it smaller really going to make any difference? Yes you can see it, but surely that is what a sign is supposed to be there for.”
But Sudbury east ward representative Adrian Osborne believes the committee made the right decision. He said: “The sign is taller than some of the others directly around it so you can’t have one rule for one and not for others. Businesses shouldn’t just stick signs in without getting permission and we have to be consistent. The town council wants to keep that area looking nice because it’s a main entrance to the town. I am glad that the committee stuck with the recommendation of the town council.”
But Mr Barrett maintained that the decision was “odd” given the location of the business. He added: “The business is in an area where you have huge signs opposite and next door to it for McDonalds, Homebase and BP. Where’s the consistency in that?”