Tuesday, February 10, 2009

272 Newport Road 

A Planning Application for an advertisement at 272 Newport Road was refused by Cardiff Council. The applicant subsequently appealed to the Planning Inspectorate who have dismissed the appeal. Here is the text of the decision letter:

1. For the reasons given below I dismiss the appeal.
Reasons and Conclusions
2. The advertisement in question is already in place on the flank wall of a 3 storey end of terrace property on the south side of Newport Road; a major arterial route to the City centre. It is sited some 2.7m above ground level, measures 3m in width by 600mm and projects out 75mm and is internally illuminated. While being near to the front elevation of the terrace it overlooks a wide, concreted accessway that leads to the rear of the terraced properties on both sides, serving
lock-up garages and, to the rear of No. 272, a parking area and the entrance to a computer repair and servicing business.
3. It is clear from the representations made that a major concern relates to discussions held with the Council prior to and following the erection of the advertisement. I cannot comment as to the nature and content of these. It is clear that an application was duly made to the Council, followed by an appeal against the Council’s decision and I am obliged to determine the appeal as submitted and on its individual merits.
4. The sole reason for refusal in this case concerned the impact of the advertisement on the visual amenities of the area. Newport Road in the vicinity of the site is overwhelmingly residential in character, despite the presence of heavy traffic. All the properties on the south side between the Royal Oak public house and Broadway Road to the west and No. 306 and the start of the retail park to the east appear to be in residential occupation. Similarly all the properties on the other side of the road are in residential use other than a hotel some distance away at No. 385.
5. While the sign cannot be seen from the east, it is highly prominent in the street scene from the west, due to its size and dark background, in an area generally devoid of similar types of advertisements. It appears as a conspicuous feature on an exposed gable wall. This prominence is greatly enhanced during the hours of darkness due to its illuminated nature. Indeed I observed that during the evening it stood out as a very brightly lit feature. As such I consider that it appears incongruous in relation to its residential surroundings and detracts from the visual character and appearance of the area.
6. I appreciate that some form of signage for the business at the rear of the property may be necessary from the business point of view. Also I acknowledge that the fact that it provides light to an otherwise darkened area contributes to a feeling of greater security in the area. However the Regulations require decisions in cases such as this to be made only in the interests of amenity and, where applicable, public safety (such as the safety of persons using a road). The latter is not at issue in this appeal and therefore it is the matter of visual amenity that is decisive in my decision. Accordingly I cannot comment as to whether there may be other appropriate means of signing the business and providing lighting for the area. I have noted all the other matters raised but find that none are of sufficient importance to affect my decision.

David Sheers


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