Monday, 18 December 2017

Theatre confident over sign appeal

THE Kenton Theatre in Henley is confident of winning an appeal against the refusal of planning permission for an illuminated

THE Kenton Theatre in Henley is confident of winning an appeal against the refusal of planning permission for an illuminated sign.

The theatre trustees applied for a 3.7m x 60cm burgundy aluminium sign to be placed above the canopy and supported by decorative brackets to make the New Street venue more visible to visitors.

But they were refused permission by South Oxfordshire District Council after objections by four neighbours and the town council, which said the sign would be unneighbourly and inappropriate in the conservation area.

Ed Simons, chairman of the trustees, said the theatre’s only option was to appeal and he was confident of success. “We were incredulous that the application was turned down,” he said.

“It got to this stage because they absolutely refused to discuss it in council meetings.

“We’ve been advised that we have a good case.

“The most important thing throughout has been that the conservation officer employed by the district council gave us a glowing letter of support.”

Dieter Hinke, chairman of the town council’s planning committee, said the appeal was unnecessary. “It’s a shame it has got to this because it could have been sorted out so much more quickly,” he said.

“It’s an awful waste of the trustees’ money. They need money to do things but it has mainly been down to the individuals involved.

“People want to help them and I find it quite disappointing.”

The Henley Archaeological and Historical Group has urged the theatre to have a large hanging sign like one at the Rose and Crown pub on the other side of the street.

More than 1,000 people, including celebrities and peers, signed a petition supporting the theatre’s plans.

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