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Theatre loses appeal over illuminated sign
Published 30/12/13



THE Kenton Theatre in Henley has lost its appeal against the refusal of planning permission for an illuminated sign.

The trustees appealed after their application for a 3.7m x 60cm burgundy aluminium sign was rejected by South Oxfordshire District Council.

The sign would have been placed above the theatre canopy and supported by decorative brackets in a bid to make the Grade II-listed New Street venue more visible.

Planning inspector Tim Wood said the sign would “fail to preserve the special interest of the listed building” and “would not preserve or enhance the character or appearace of the conservation area”.

He added: “Its size and prominence would be at odds with the overall character and appearance of the listed building and the street scene.”


Mr Wood also dismissed claims that there was a commercial need for a sign, saying: “My view is that the theatre is a very obvious feature within the street and its canopy and the lights that it contains help to make it so.”

He also refused the trustees’ request for costs.

Ed Simons, chairman of the Kenton trustees, said: “We are naturally disappointed at this outcome as we believe that the Kenton Theatre deserves to be properly signed.

“The council felt that the theatre was adequately signed. I am not sure how I could agree with that because we don’t have a proper sign.”

He said the trustees would have to consider whether to submit another planning application.

“The theatre is hugely busy and we need to get through December and the panto and all the other wonderful shows before taking a breath to see what we can do,” said Mr Simons. “Should the Kenton have a sign? Of course it should.”

More than 1,000 people, including celebrities and peers, signed a petition supporting the theatre’s application but it was recommended for refusal by Henley Town Council’s planning committee.

Councillor Dieter Hinke, who chairs the committee, said: “It is sad in a way that the Kenton had to go through all this time and money to reach a conclusion we fully expected.

“The laws are clear on signs erected in a conservation area and the size and type was sign was not respectful of the building.”

Cllr Hinke suggested the trustees should have consulted with the town council before submitting the application.

“We are always happy to speak to applicants and discuss what they are planning to do,” he said. “The theatre is an important part of the town and it is one of those organisations with which we should be working.”

THE Kenton Theatre in Henley has lost its appeal against the refusal of planning permission for an illuminated sign.

The trustees appealed after their application for a 3.7m x 60cm burgundy aluminium sign was rejected by South Oxfordshire District Council.

The sign would have been placed above the theatre canopy and supported by decorative brackets in a bid to make the Grade II-listed New Street venue more visible.

Planning inspector Tim Wood said the sign would “fail to preserve the special interest of the listed building” and “would not preserve or enhance the character or appearance of the conservation area”.

He added: “Its size and prominence would be at odds with the overall character and appearance of the listed building and the street scene.”

Mr Wood also dismissed claims that there was a commercial need for a sign, saying: “My view is that the theatre is a very obvious feature within the street and its canopy and the lights that it contains help to make it so.”

He also refused the trustees’ request for costs.

Ed Simons, chairman of the Kenton trustees, said: “We are naturally disappointed at this outcome as we believe that the Kenton Theatre deserves to be properly signed.

“The council felt that the theatre was adequately signed. I am not sure how I could agree with that because we don’t have a proper sign.”

He said the trustees would have to consider whether to submit another planning application. “The theatre is hugely busy and we need to get through December and the panto and all the other wonderful shows before taking a breath to see what we can do,” said Mr Simons. “Should the Kenton have a sign? Of course it should.”

More than 1,000 people, including celebrities and peers, signed a petition supporting the theatre’s application but it was recommended for refusal by Henley Town Council’s planning committee. Councillor Dieter Hinke, who chairs the committee, said: “It is sad in a way that the Kenton had to go through all this time and money to reach a conclusion we fully expected.

“The laws are clear on signs erected in a conservation area and the size and type of this sign was not respectful of the building.”

Cllr Hinke suggested the trustees should have consulted with the town council before submitting the application.

“We are always happy to speak to applicants and discuss what they are planning to do,” he said. “The theatre is an important part of the town and it is one of those organisations with which we should be working.”

Published 30/12/13

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