STATIONERY store Paperchase has opened in Henley without planning permission for its shop front.
The company says it has been given permission for timber stallrisers and pilasters but the planning authority insists it has not.
As the Standard reported last week, the Bell Street shop had a second application recommended for refusal by Henley Town Council’s planning committee.
The original plans, which included frameless glass double entrance doors, were said to be out of keeping with the conservation area. The shop, which is in the former Clinton Cards store, opened for business on Wednesday last week.
Dieter Hinke, who chairs the town council’s planning committee, said: “I am disappointed that Paperchase didn’t talk to us and just arrogantly went ahead.
I have asked many times, through the Standard and South Oxfordshire District Council, for a representative from Paperchase to come and talk to us.
“This is an old market town and it needs to retain its character. That is very important to us and the people who shop here.
“It would be interesting to see what Standard readers think. Maybe people will like it but I personally don’t — this is the main conservation area.
“My concern is if this becomes a trend then the shops in Henley would look dreadful.”
Councillor Martin Akehurst called the shop’s sky blue front “appalling”, adding: “I am sure they could have chosen a better corporate colour than that. Shops like Starbucks do quite a good job.”
The district council is currently considering a suggestion from the town council that the shop’s hanging sign should be made of natural materials instead of gloss black aluminium.
A Paperchase spokeswoman said the company wouldn’t comment because the shop had been given planning
But a district council spokesman said: “No decision has been made as the amended plans are still being considered.”
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