Chichester planners are overruled on signs

A planning inspector has given the go-ahead for ‘incongruous and intrusive’ signs at a South Street restaurant, going against district planners’ wishes.

Originally plans for an externally illuminated hanging sign outside the Slug and Lettuce bar and restaurant were turned down by Chichester District Council because they would harm the conservation area and were adjacent to a Special Area of Advertisement Control.

CDC guidelines state that projecting and hanging signs are not normally allowed in the city’s four main streets, – only if they are ‘genuinely historic and contribute to the character of the area’.

In addition, the restaurant also asked to install two sets of externally illuminated letters, a set of non-illuminated letters, and two internally illuminated menu boards.

After Bay Restaurant Group appealed, a planning inspector said the signs would not look cluttered.

The decision report said: “Overall, I do not find that this projecting sign is incongruous within the area.

“In relation to the main issue, the advertisement has an acceptable impact upon the visual amenity of the site and surroundings. The character of the conservation area is preserved.”

The inspector said signs in this area included a strong tradition of hanging signs as well as other fascia advertisements.

He said the sign looked appropriate and in keeping with the appearance of the building.

Objections were received from the Chichester Conservation Area Advisory Committee which said the illumination and hanging sign were inappropriate and unnecessary. The Chichester Society objected because they went against CDC’s policy on shopfronts.

In addition, the Italian restaurant Zizzi’s has also appealed after its application for an externally illuminated fascia sign and an externally illuminated projecting sign were turned down.

CDC said they would look ‘cluttered and incongruous’ and affect the character and appearance of the Grade II listed building and the character of the conservation area.