The Society recently objected to a retrospective application by the owner of Fone Revive in Stroud High Street. The business had recently completely remodelled the shop front with plastic fascias, out of keeping with the town centre and at odds with Conservation Area policy. The business owner had not applied for planning permission beforehand and so was applying retrospectively.
The Society’s objection is set out below:
The Civic Society wishes to object to these applications. Both Stroud Town Council and the District Council have produced guidelines for shopfront design and these applications do not appear to be in accordance with either document.
The colour of the shopfront is garish and disruptive, the lurid bright green and orange do not blend in with the pastel or heritage colours as recommended in contributing to the character of the area.
The materials: The shopfront is made of shiny plastic which appears incongruous amongst the wooden shop fronts of nearby shops. The SDC guide recommends wood plus stone and/or brick
The Fascia: This should carry only the shops name and not be used for advertising, further there is advertising down the sides of the shop which is not acceptable. STC guide recommends painted fascia with traditional sign writing.
Corporate image: The national shops in the High Street, Vodafone, Millets and Superdrug have all modified their corporate shop designs to fit into the conservation area.
Finally Mr Turner suggests he will close his business if further changes are required but he is missing the point, attractive shop fronts attract shoppers, a cheap plastic shop front says this is a cheap down-market town. Stroud deserves better!
On 17th July SDC refused consent – on the grounds that
The signage by virtue of its design and synthetic materials appears as visually intrusive, incongruous and as an inappropriate feature within the street scene causing undue harm to the character and appearance of the Stroud Town Centre (Extension 2008) Conservation Area. The illuminated signage is therefore contrary to paragraph 137 of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), Policy ES10 of the adopted Stroud District Local Planning, November 2015 and policy ZP1a of the Stroud Town Centre Neighbourhood Development Plan (Adopted).
UPDATE: MARCH 2018 The original shopfront has now been restored – see our brief report at http://stroudcivicsociety.co.uk/wp/?p=4154