Restaurant gets the go-ahead for illuminated signs

Activists have lost their fight against a fast food drive through restaurant from installing 'imperious' illuminated signs near a historic site.

Haversham Residents' Association lodged objections with Haversham Borough Council following an application by Galilee Food Services Ltd to install illuminated fascia signs and floodlights at the restaurant on Maon Street which were approved by town planners on Monday afternoon.

In their objections, the groups claimed the illuminated signs 'far too ostentatious' for the location and building and that the lighting would be inappropriate given the restaurant's location, near the Haversham roundabout, overlooking the historic Haversham meadow, where there are endangered species of butterflies.

Head of Haversham Council's Planning Deoartment, Micheal Riley, said the applications; one a backdated application for nine illuminated signs already in place, and an application for two fascia signs yet to be erected, caused some controversy, but it was the floodlights that elicited the most discussion.

He said: "There is some floodlighting which lights the car park for safety and security. The glare from those had caused some concern. The problem people had is that they wanted to object to this floodlighting, but our officers advised us that it was not a planning issue but a safety issue."

Head of Haversham Chamber of Commerce, Laurence Mcnulty said he felt the lack of discussion of the floodlights was 'odd' but said the chamber had nothing more to add to its original complaint that the restaurant was the 'Road to historic Haversham' and that the illuminated signs were not in keeping with the town and failed to reflect the historic nature and legacy of Haversham.

Galilee Food Services Ltd had reduced the intensity of the bulbs used in the floodlights following initial concerns but Councillor, Mona Keys, who Chairs the Planning Committee, still contested the need for them during the meeting. Speaking afterwards, she said she felt the a boards were unnecessary.

She explained: "I just can't see the need for all those illuminated signs. Why could they not have used some tasteful window graphics or used banner signs which could be taken down at night."

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