Ely fashion retailer told by East Cambs planners new illuminated sign is an ‘unnecessary additional feature’ and has to go

Planners reject retrospective bid for illuminated signage at Select in Ely

Planners reject retrospective bid for illuminated signage at Select in Ely - Credit: Archant

National fashion retailer Select has been refused permission to retain a new sign outside its High Street, Ely, because it is illuminated.

East Cambs District Council says the town centre has “a particularly high standard of architectural heritage and quality” and illuminated signs are not encouraged.

Nearby Prezzo gets away with it, say planners, because their sign has been designed “to be extremely subtle and the signage is of a high quality design”.

The retrospective application by Select was refused after planners referred to their own “strict illumination policy” within its towns and villages.

Until now only pubs and restaurant within a conservation area are likely to be allowed illuminated signage and only then if it wins approval for its quality.


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The council reminded Select that another major chain had been threatened with enforcement action after it too went ahead with an “unauthorised illuminated advert. “As a result sensitively designed, non-illuminated signage proposals were agreed”.

Planners also revealed they had warned Select in advance that the council would be unlikely to support an application for illuminated signage.

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The officer who inspected the site blasted the signage for being “poorly designed combined with inappropriate illumination. The property features a number of large glazed windows that make it clear when the store is open for business.

“The use of illuminated signage is an unnecessary additional feature”.

Genus UK Ltd – the parent company of Select- said the new sign fitted in with the reinstalled shop front.

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