Light up adverts rejected after fears village would 'compete with Blackpool'
PUBLISHED: 07:32 06 December 2019 | UPDATED: 14:10 06 December 2019
Illuminated adverts will not be installed in a Norfolk village after a councillor said he did not want to see the area "compete with Blackpool".
Plans for lit-up signs on a holiday cottage firm's exterior walls were given to North Norfolk District Council (NNDC) in August.
But at a meeting of the planning committee on Thursday, December 5, councillors voted against granting the Blakeney owners permission to install the lights.
Liberal Democrat councillor Andrew Brown said: "The illumination would make it much more visible and I'm concerned we would be setting a precedent.
"I have no wish to see Blakeney compete with Blackpool in the illumination stakes."
He added: "I realise this may be the thin end of the wedge but I don't think we should encourage or support that."
The application would have seen one illuminated fascia sign and one illuminated hanging sign at The Blakeney Cottage Company.
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The building is a 17th century Grade II listed former granary building, with the first floor converted for residential use.
Objections were received from the parish council, who said the signs would be "out of keeping with the surrounding area".
Four complaints were also received from one individual over the plans, which were called into the committee by Karen Ward, Liberal Democrat councillor for Blakeney, on the grounds it would be "detrimental to the character and appearance of the area".
The illuminated signs were rejected unanimously, but the committee did vote in favour of granting permission for the external alterations to the listed building in order to install signs.
But Philip Rowsen, head of planning at NNDC, said: "They would have to reapply to install the adverts. This doesn't mean they can put up illuminations."
Owner and managing director James Player said: "I find the decision absurd and the ludicrous comment about Blackpool both insulting and completely unconstructive.
"We have received a number of comments from guests saying that our office is very difficult to find when collecting keys after dark.
"We decided to apply for very tasteful, dimly illuminated signs above our office door and on our gable end in keeping with the signage in the rest of the village."
Mr Player added: "It is a nonsensical decision and one we will be appealing."