Controversial Sidmouth sign given go-ahead

PLANS for a controversial bank advertising sign in Sidmouth have been given the go-ahead.

PLANS for a controversial bank advertising sign in Sidmouth have been given the go-ahead.

There were a lot of voices against allowing permission for Santander to display the advertising sign at Abbey, Fore Street, when it was discussed at Sidmouth Town Council's planning meeting last Wednesday.

In September councillors refused the sign, stating the fascia appeared to be metal, which was contrary to policy for listed buildings in the town centre's conservation area.

Now, after hearing the company would consider appealing against a refusal, town clerk, Trina Jarrett, has been tasked to try to negotiate a compromise sign using more suitable materials, such as painted wood, for the town centre's conservation area.

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The council, which took on powers to determine planning applications relating to signage and trees from East Devon District Council when it became a Quality Council, has managed compromises with other companies, including M & Co and the Co-Operative.

Mrs Jarrett said this week: "The town council has resolved to approve the sign because it is similar to the Abbey one that is already there. If it was a completely new sign we would have felt differently. The conservation officer was happy so we felt we could be as well."

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When discussed in September, councillors were undeterred by warnings they could face a costly appeal and made a stand against the sign by refusing permission.

Then Councillor Graham Liverton said it was right to stick to the policy.

"Either we mean business or not. Where signs are concerned we will never change them. Sometimes shops have to do what they are told. It is time the rot stops.

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