IT SHOULD have been simple – but plans for Shoreham Centre signage have been twice deferred after council officers failed to provide extra information to their own planning committee.
Adur District Council’s planning committee refused to consider the council-led application on January 18, requesting mock-ups of the illuminated signs.
But the plans were again deferred on Monday, after it was admitted officers had not sourced the extra information in time.
A council spokesman said: “We have been working with the local supplier to get these images for the planning committee, at the same time as driving forward the internal signage.
“Regrettably, the information regarding the external sign arrived with officers too late to get it into the committee’s information pack for the planning meeting, so it will be considered at the next one.”
Substitute committee member Liza McKinney expressed concern that trustees of the centre’s community association – which shares the newly-refurbished building with the council – had not been consulted over the signs.
Planning officer Gary Peck said the delay would be a chance to consult with trustees.
Last month’s meeting saw one councillor express surprise that the Adur District Conservation Advisory Group had also not been consulted, given the building’s location in a conservation area.
It was agreed to seek their comments afterwards.
Since the initial meeting, critics have argued the signs are inappropriate for the area.
The Shoreham Society warned that if the proposed internally-lit fascia signs and free-standing signage cabinets are allowed, it would be impossible to prevent obtrusive sign-lighting on other buildings, and the conservation area could soon be ruined with gaudy illuminations.
In a written objection to the council, the society said: “The preservation of the conservation area is what makes the centre of Shoreham truly special.
“We want to see this precious and delicate heritage preserved.
“The society was recently pleased to award our plaque to the Shoreham Centre in recognition of the skilful extension in keeping with the area. We would not have been able to make this award to a building with neon-style external signage.”
It is hoped the plans will be determined next month.