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Original application rejected amid fears of it harming conservation area
PLANNERS who rejected a 13-foot high electrical advertising board have received plans for an even bigger banner – bearing the name of their council.
Last year, Worcester City Council threw out plans for a flashing LED display on the side of Trinity House, in St Nicholas Street, Worcester, after claims it would make the area look like “Times Square”.
An appeal was later rejected on the grounds it would “harm the character and appearance of the existing conservation areas”.
But in the past week, Worcestershire County Council has again applied for permission, this time for a 20-foot by 10-foot advertsising banner, on the same wall.
If approved, it would advertise the county and city councils’ joint plan for a multi-million pound revamp of the area, which would see the Cornmarket car park and Trinity House go on sale to a major developer with the aim of creating a new shopping complex.
The banner, which isn’t an LED, would read: “A prime development and regeneration opportunity in the heart of Worcester,” and could be placed up to 40-feet above the ground, with the city and county council logos below it.
It would be in place until Friday, January 31, next year.
But Worcester City Council denied the bearing of its name would be hypocritical in light of them refusing last year’s application, saying the present one would be treated the same as any other.
“Although we are a party in the sale of this land, and would be mentioned on this proposed sign if it is approved, the planning application still has to be considered in a completely impartial way,” said a city council spokesman.
“There are strict rules in place to ensure no preference is given when considering planning applications made by councils.”
However, last year the city council was adamant the LED idea should not go ahead because the building sits in a conservation area.
At the time, Councillor Lynn Denham opposed the plan, saying: “This would make that part of Worcester look like a corner of Times Square. It’s totally wrong and not at all sympathetic to the area.”
In dismissing the appeal, planning inspector Paul Crysell said: “I consider the digital media screen would introduce a conspicuous feature into the street scene which would harm the character and appearance of the existing conservation areas and would be detrimental to the interests of amenity.”
Coun Denham said she couldn’t comment on the latest plan because of her position on the council’s planning committee.
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