COLNE: We don’t want Sainsbury’s orange ‘totem’sign

Sainsbury's in Colne who's illuminated signs have caused complaints from neighbours. A110111/4c
Sainsbury's in Colne who's illuminated signs have caused complaints from neighbours. A110111/4c

COLNE councillors have suggested granting Sainsbury’s permission to display two illuminated signs on side of the store in Windsor Street, but want to refuse consent for a glowing totem sign by the entrance.

At a meeting of Pendle Council’s Colne and District Committee, councillors expressed concerns over the impact the bright orange signs would have on nearby residents.

Now the issue will go to the council’s Development Management Committee on Tuesday for a final decision. The large, lit-up roof signs were refused by the council, and Sainsbury’s lost a Government appeal.

Coun. Ann Kerrigan said: “People living opposite the store do not want light beaming into their homes. I’m particularly concerned for those with young children who will have to put up with light shining into their bedrooms.”

Some residents, particularly those living in Windsor Street, have voiced their opposition to the signs. One said: “This is no longer a glow from Sainsbury’s but an illuminated to rival Blackpool”.

Anne Marie Yewdall, of New Oxford Street, added: “The damage has been done as far as Sainsbury’s is concerned. The quality of life for local residents has been ruined and their property values diminished.

“Is it not enough that we have to suffer all the extra light pollution, noise and traffic, without these extra signs intruding into our lives even more than they do already.”

Sainsbury’s said the totem signs are needed to mark the entrance to the store and to enable it to compete with rivalling retailers.

The supermarket has made efforts to appease residents by reducing the height of the signs.

Pendle Council planning officer Kathryn Hughes said: “The totem sign would not adversely impact on amenity or highway safety and the replacement of the unauthorised fascia signs with the proposed smaller signs on the elevation would be an improvement and reduce the impact of the signage on the amenity of the area.”

One resident from Windsor Street said: “I don’t think these signs will bother us. My daughter’s bedroom is at the front of the house and I think as long as she keeps the curtains shut the light shouldn’t be a problem. Having a supermarket opposite is really convenient - the positives outweigh any negatives.”

Planning and building control manager Neil Watson told the committee that despite protests from some neighbours, permission for the signs could not be refused on the grounds of residential amenity.

Councillors therefore suggested approving the illuminated fascia signs but refusing consent for the totem sign on highway safety grounds.

They have also suggested the totem sign be moved to the west of the site, where it would have less of an impact on residents.