This is one of a series of local planning guidance notes amplifying local planning proposals in a clear and concise format with the objective of improving design standards.
Good design is welcome everywhere and the principles contained in this guide apply throughout the County Borough. The proposals and guidelines which follow have been prepared and adopted by the Council to foster a better standard of design. By taking note of the straightforward advice contained in this leaflet it is hoped that developers and shopowners will appreciate the need for schemes for repair of improvements or shopfronts and their related advertisements, and incorporate necessary features at planning application stage. It does not remove the need for skilled architectural advice.
These guidelines cannot hope to cover all areas and applicants and agents are advised wherever the circumstances are unusual to discuss their proposals with a planning officer prior to formal submission of an application. Most new developments will be considered with regard to the following proposals.
This leaflet sets out the broad policy guidelines to be used by the Council in considering proposals for advertisement signs throughout the County Borough. Whilst controls of advertisements legislation requires applications to be judged in terms of amenity and road safety the aim is to encourage imaginative yet sensitive signage proposals which will enhance the buildings and streetscene and protect sensitive environments, particularly within designated conservation areas where the adverse impact of inappropriate signage causes most harm to visual amenity. The council recognises that appropriate advertisements may add colour and interest to enhance drab environments.
On commercial premises the most common place for displaying advertisements is the fascia. Such signs should not be bulky or deep and should reflect shop divisions if adjoining units are merged. Signs should not obliterate any architectural features such as comices, pilasters and first floor level window cills. Traditional hand painted timber fascias are preferred but other materials such as matt perspex or sprayed aluminium may be considered acceptable where appropriate. The use of individual lettering either painted or fixed to the backdrop of the fascia or facade will be encouraged, with the size and style of the letters reflecting the character of the building and being in proportion to the size of the fascia. The Council will oppose the illumination of a complete fascia in favour of external illumination by means of a low intensity concealed strip lighting, spot lights, or individual internally illuminated letters.
Internally illuminated projecting box signs either at fascia level or above will be resisted. Where projecting signs will add to visual interest they would be of appropriate materials, of a high design quality, relate to the size and scale of the building facade and should be positioned so as not to obscure any architectural features of the building. They should if possible be located at or just above the fascia level and not higher than first floor sill height where they would be over intrusive. If illumination is essential it should be achieved by concealed strip lighting or by the use of spot lights.
The Council will not normally permit signs above fascia level. Although the use of traditional window lettering applied direct to the window glass is particularly suitable for first and second floor premises as well as giving an individual appearance to street level shopfronts.
The siting of large roadside advertisement hoardings fixed to walls of buildings has a marked affect on the locality and such proposals will be resisted in conservation areas, rural areas and residential areas.
Directional signs adjacent to main roads that are a traffic hazard and detrimental to the visual amenity of the area will be resisted. Large developments (industrial estates or tourist centres) where large traffic generation may cause highway safety problems must be signed by proper highway signs.
In dealing with applications for new signage the Council will expect applicants to agree to a reduction or rationalisation of existing signs to avoid advertisement clutter.
The Council expect signage on isolated business premises or groups of units within primarily residential or rural areas to fall within the "deemed consent" legislative provisions. In exceptional cases, where applications are necessary special attention should be given to protecting residential amenity and in particular any illumination should be kept to a minimum level.
In predominantly industrial areas there is likely to be a greater degree of freedom for the display signs through the Council would still expect the size and location of proposed signs to have regard to the scale, appearance and character of the building/premises on which they are to be placed. Signs at a high level where they would be clearly visible from outside the immediate locality will be resisted. Flag advertisements will generally be permitted subject to satisfactory height and siting to ensure that no nuisance would be caused to adjoining occupiers.
Advertisement modules in pedestrianised areas free standing advertisement modules may be appropriate in adding visual interest to the street scene.
Temporary signs such as A-boards placed on the highway outside business premises during opening hours pose a hazard to disabled persons and often result in a visual clutter and will therefore be resisted.
The above guidelines explain the Council's policy towards advertisements and assists prospective applicants in preparing applications. If there is any doubt whether advertisement consent is required advice should again be sought. Advice can also be sought. Advice can also obtained Department of the Environment/National Assembly for Wales booklet "Outdoor Advertisements and Signs, a Guide for Advertisers".
Chief Planning Officer, Lambpit Street, PO Box 1290, Wrexham, LL11 1WL.
Tel: 01978 292017
Fax: 01978 292502
Adopted October 1993.
LPG Note 1 - Advertisements
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