Exmouth business owner set for appeal in sign dispute

PUBLISHED: 06:30 21 June 2016


The owner of an Exmouth business says he will be launching a planning appeal after being told to remove its exterior signage.

Earlier this year, George Nightingale, of Spoken in The Strand, was refused listed building consent for the removal of internal plaster, and to retain signage outside.

Mr Nightingale has now welcomed East Devon District Council (EDDC) telling him he no longer has to replace the plaster, but says he is still being told to remove the signage, which was also refused advertising consent by Exmouth Town Council.

EDDC conservation officers say that the sign should be wooden, but Mr Nightingale says that signs in the same style to the current one have been at the site for 11 years, and that the current sign matches others in The Strand.

Mr Nightingale said: “They want us to have wood in keeping with the surrounding area, but south of Exeter Road there are 240 commercial properties, not one with wooden signage.

“I fear that the costs [of removing the sign] will be prohibitive, and take me four years to pay off. [If I lost the appeal] I probably would do it, but will it damage the business? It probably will.”

On being allowed to keep the plaster work, Mr Nightingale said: “I’m delighted with that, and so are my staff and customers, from whom I have now got almost 2,000 signatures of support.”

An EDDC spokesperson said: “The council remains convinced that the works that have taken place cause significant harm to the character and historic fabric of the listed building.

“The works are an offence under the legislation and could be the subject of prosecution and/or enforcement action to secure remedial works. However, Mr Nightingale had indicated that he would appeal the decision to refuse his listed building consent and so further action has been put on hold to allow his appeal to be heard.

“To date, Mr Nightingale has not appealed the decision, but has recently confirmed his intention to do so.”

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