Store pulls plug on illuminated signs

August 27 2020
Store pulls plug on illuminated signs

MORRISONS have bowed to public pressure and dropped plans for illuminated signs at the back of their store in Wells.

They were facing strong opposition to their proposals to replace existing signs with new illuminated signs, with critics saying that two in particular spoil the view from Palace Fields and Tor Hill.

A petition opposing the signs has gained nearly 1,000 signatures, and Wells City Council’s Planning Committee recommended refusal of the plans at its meeting on July 30.

The plans for the erection of new signage including 14 illuminated and non-illuminated signs had seen 29 public comments being submitted to the district council – all of them objections.

A Morrisons spokeswoman told Wells Voice: “We have listened to the comments from the local community and as a result we have now amended our plans. The two signs proposed at the back of the store will no longer be illuminated. We work hard to be a good neighbour in Wells and welcome further discussions on our plans with Mendip District Council.”

Campaigners against the proposals included district council ward councillor Lois Rogers.

She said: “We’re delighted that Morrisons have listened to the objections of many people and have at last agreed to turn off the lights at the back of the shop.

“They have recognised that this is a spectacular view that is loved by local people and tourists to Wells.”

She said that there has been public distress about the illuminated signs ever since they were first switched on, and that it was an issue that came up “again and again” during canvassing in last year’s local elections.

When Wells Voice first reported on the new application last month, a district council spokesperson said that advertisement consent for an illuminated sign at Morrisons was originally granted in November 2012 and expired five years later, meaning that technically the store’s signage was no longer authorised. They said of the new application: “This application will be assessed and determined in accordance with national and local planning policy frameworks and the council’s adopted scheme of delegation for decisions on planning application.”

• Picture: Garfield Kennedy