Saturday, 28 February 2009

SOS - Save our Sign

February must be a quiet month for the council as they have decided to object to our hotel signage. The fact that the sign is exactly the same size as the old one and in exactly the same place as the old one does not seem to count under Council rules.

The Planning Enforcement Officer seemed entirely reasonable in suggesting that it wasn’t the size or the font that was the problem but rather that council would prefer 18 individual letters to be drilled into our front wall so that we might catch a glimpse of the sills (and the drainpipe) which lies underneath.

The Conservation Officer who called around next had a different idea and thought it might be nice to have two small signs in order to identify the hotel as two buildings – so ‘da Vinci’ on one side and ‘eastbourne’ on the other....I dismissed his suggestion as aesthetically unacceptable and wondered whether other (seafront) hotels had been asked to split their hotel signage in a similar way.

The Planning Enforcement Officer called again and made some useful suggestions which we were happy to pursue pending a visit from the new Conservation Officer who suggested that the word ‘eastbourne’ in our sign was unnecessary....I am surprised to learn that we are now being discouraged from using the town’s name in our signage.

Anyway, we were subsequently told to shrink the size of all the letters to fit between two ledges in such a manner that the sign is now so small and insignificant that it will hardly be seen from the pavement let alone the road. It is evident that this is a battle we are not going to win so we duly submitted our application to the council.

It would seem that our application has fallen at the first hurdle as I now have a letter from the Planning Support Services requesting further information or they will send our application back to us. The letter suggests that want to see detailed scale drawings, three copies of an Ordnance Survey plan, a Design and Access statement and a Waste Management least we didn't have to complete a Flood Risk Assessment like another establishment was required to complete!!!