Sunday, 05 December 2021

Residents upset by illuminated signs plan

Residents upset by illuminated signs plan

PLANS for two illuminated signs at the entrance to the new headquarters of Henley watchmaker Bremont have been opposed by neighbours and councillors.

The business is in the process of moving to its new office at Sheephouse Farm, off Reading Road, from its base at Sawmills in Marlow Road.

Planning permission for the new building was granted by South Oxfordshire District Council in 2017.

Now Bremont is seeking permission for the signs. They would be lit from 6am to 11pm each day using LED lights.

Harpsden Parish Council has objected, saying the signs should not be lit up.

“Illumination is out of character and indeed offensive in this rural position,” it says.

Ciaran Askin, from Shiplake Cross, said: “The existing lighting within the grounds is already highly visible from the main road and seems excessive.

“I’m supportive of Bremont as a local success story and think the design of their new building is sympathetic to its surroundings.

“However, I think that illuminated signs are unnecessary and excessive, further resulting in light pollution on the edges of a rural area. This application may receive more local support if the grounds didn’t resemble an airport runway.”

Rachael Speirs, of Northfield Avenue, Lower Shiplake, said: “The building has been designed from the roadside to blend in with the rural setting well.

“However, the excessive car park lighting has totally negated the effort made with the building.

“In the planning decision, the committee gave permission for this development, stating that it would need to safeguard the amenity of neighbouring residents and the rural character of the countryside.

“The lighting alone means that this has failed to be the case and the addition of two lit signs would only further erode the rural nature of this development.”

Joe Jenkins, of The Crescent, Shiplake, said: “Illuminated signs are inappropriate in the countryside. I doubt that the factory will receive many visitors after dark and unnecessary light pollution should be avoided.”

The council is due to make a decision by March 9.

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