Conservation-conscious Garstonians are seeing red over the new signs on the former Garstang Co-op.
The store in the High Street recently opened as a One Stop business – but the building’s new bright red display signs have been erected before advertising consent permission had been given.
The signs have prompted quizzical looks from town councillors who fear they may not be in keeping with Garstang centre’s conservation area and protests form at least one town resident have been raised.
A letter from an unnamed Garstang resident to the town council says: “The new signage at the old Co-operative shop looks horrid and so out of place in the historic market town conservation area of Garstang.
“The light is a very bright white as opposed to the subdued lighting along the rest of the street.
“The shop closed at 9pm last night and the signs were still illuminated at 11pm. They were off at some time overnight but were on again before 7am.”
The rumpus over the signs was due to come to a head at this week’s meeting of the town council’s planning committee.
Town clerk Edwina Parry has already sent a letter to Wyre Council planners pointing out that the signs have been erected prior to planning approval.
She has also echoed councillors views that the signs may not be in keeping with the town centre’s conservation area status.
There are also worries about the brightness of the lights which illuminate the signs at night.
Lancashire Highways is urging Wyre planners, who will have the final say on both the already erected signs and their illumination, saying it wants limits on the strength of the lighting “to avoid glare, dazzle or distraction to passing motorists”.
The advertising consent application form, available for public inspection online, asks ‘Have you consulted your neighbours or the local community about the proposal?’ to which an answer of ‘no’ has been given.
The One Stop store will eventually house Garstang’s Post Office, currently in the building next door.
The planning application for the signs has been lodged by Mr Darren Rigby of One Stop Stores and is being managed by planning agents Innovative Signs.
Stuart Johnston of Innovative Signs did not want to comment but said the issue is being dealt with through Wyre’s planning department “as we speak”.