Agenda item

CROMER - ADV/20/0047 - Non illuminated advertising sign measuring 2.4m x 0.9m and 3 no. non-permanent sail flag banner signs measuring 3.2m x 0.5m; Marrams Putting Green, Runton Road, Cromer, NR27 9AU for Mr Deakin


The Development Manager referred to the report and slide handout previously supplied to the Committee.  She stated that the Human Rights section should refer to part approval, part refusal.


Councillor T Adams, local Member, considered that the proposed signs were modest and that there would be no considerable or irreversible permanent detrimental impacts arising from them.  He asked the Committee to take into account the modest size of the signs, bearing in mind other highway signage of equal or larger size, the economic benefits that the business brought to the town, which would be particularly important during the period of recovery from the pandemic, and the contribution the business activity brought to the designated open space area which enhanced its recreational use.  The improved advertisements would increase the viability of the business, and increase the viability and usage of the open space.  The business contributed to the tourist offer of Cromer.  Putting had taken place on The Marrams since 1946 and its continued viability was of social and heritage interest to the town as a whole.  He urged the Committee to support the application, including the post mounted signs.


Councillor A Yiasimi, local Member, supported the comments by Councillor Adams. 


Councillor R Kershaw asked for details of the materials.  He concurred with Councillor Adams and considered that the post mounted sign would not be a problem provided it was not illuminated.


Councillor N Pearce proposed that the Head of Planning be directed to approve the application as submitted.


Councillor Mrs A Fitch-Tillett also supported the views expressed by the local Members and stated that she preferred the post mounted sign to the flags.


The Development Manager stated that she could not confirm the materials as she did not have the file available.  However, the posts were wooden and she understood that the sign itself would be made of a composite material but would not be illuminated.  She referred to Paragraph 132 of the NPPF and stated that the economic benefit to the business was not a material consideration in this matter.


The Head of Planning stated that there were no static signs in the immediate vicinity and the long distance views would be impacted by the post mounted sign.  It could also create a precedent for other business in the vicinity which could lead to a proliferation of signage in the undeveloped part of the Conservation Area.


Councillor A Varley considered that the proposed signs would not have a detrimental impact and he was happy to second the proposal.


The Head of Planning stated that he would take account of Members’ direction in this matter and requested a material reason to support the static sign which he could consider in making his decision.  No valid material reasons were put forward.


Councillor Mrs W Fredericks expressed concern that approval of the sign could set a precedent for other signs and there was a danger of creating a billboard effect along the seafront.


The Chairman asked if there was any support for the recommendation of the Head of Planning.  No Members indicated that they supported the recommendation.


Councillor P Heinrich proposed that the Head of Planning be directed to negotiate further on the design of the static sign to achieve an acceptable size, height and design.


The Head of Planning stated that Members had indicated that they were broadly supportive of the fixed sign and disagreed with the assessment of the Landscape Officer and the recommendation in the report. 


The Development Manager referred to the slide handout showing the view from the coastal path.  She stated that the proposed static sign would stand above the hedge line and as a consequence would obliterate the view of the pavilion and interrupt the view of the Victorian buildings on the opposite side of the road.  For this reason it was considered to result in visual harm to the Conservation Area.


Councillor G Mancini-Boyle stated that he did not like the flag advertisements and the fixed sign was over-large.  He supported deferral of this application.


Councillor N Lloyd asked if there had been any negotiation with the applicant regarding the size and location of the signs.


The Development Manager explained that pre-application advice had been sought by the applicant.  He had been advised to site the fixed sign in front of the hedge but he had not followed the advice.


The Head of Planning sought direction as to the deferral of this matter.


The proposal was put to the vote and it was agreed that it was the view of the Committee that the Head of Planning should negotiate with the applicant in respect of the static sign to achieve an acceptable size, height and design with regard to its impact on the wider landscape and the Conservation Area.  Two Members voted against the proposal.


The Head of Planning stated that if a satisfactory amendment could be negotiated he would issue a decision under his delegated authority, otherwise he would bring the matter back to the Committee.


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