Link to homepage

Agenda item

Shopfronts, Shutters and Signage: Design Guidance For Tewkesbury Borough Supplementary Planning Document

To consider adoption of the Shopfronts, Shutters and Signage: Design Guidance For Tewkesbury Borough Supplementary Planning Document.

Minutes:

81.1           The report of the Interim Planning Policy Manager, circulated at Pages No. 102-121, attached the Shopfronts, Shutters and Signage: Design Guidance for Tewkesbury Borough Supplementary Planning Document which Members were asked to adopt. The report also asked that authority be delegated to the Head of Development Services to make any necessary final minor amendments to the document in order for it to be published in final form.

81.2           The Lead Member for Built Environment explained that the local planning authority may prepare Supplementary Planning Documents (SPDs) to set out more detailed guidance as required. This SPD promoted good shop front and signage design across the Borough and best practice whilst encouraging innovation and design and supporting the historic environment. The SPD would complement the High Street Action Zone scheme within Tewkesbury Town. In line with the regulations, the SPD had been published twice for consultation. No new substantive comments had been received in relation to the second consultation and, accordingly, the Council was asked to adopt the SPD.

81.3           A Member expressed concern about how the guidance could be imposed on shop owners in retrospect and how new owners would know about the SPD before they designed their shop front and signage. In response, the Head of Development Services explained that it would be key to publicise the SPD as widely as possible so everyone was aware of the best practice contained within in. It was the responsibility of the property owner / occupant to ensure they had looked into any guidance that should be followed but, equally, Officers understood how important communication was. The SPD put the ‘meat on the bones’ of the policies in the Development Plan to ensure people had a full understanding of what was expected and what the Council did and did not want to see in its High Streets. The effect of the SPD would be monitored and owners worked with proactively over the next few months which it was felt was a positive approach. Another Member questioned whether all shopkeepers would be written to about the requirements and whether a certification of appreciation could be provided to those that followed it. The Head of Development Services confirmed this was not the intention as that approach would be extremely resource intensive and costly to the Council; however, she would be working with the Council’s Communications team to ensure the right messages were sent out, and with Town and Parish Councils to spread the word to as many people as possible. The SPD was not meant to deter businesses but to make the High Streets more attractive. National chains did have their own branding but were usually able to change that in line with local guidelines so it was not something that would discourage a retailer from opening in a particular place.

81.4           In respect of the number of shopfronts which were currently not compliant, the Head of Development Services advised this was not information she had to hand but she was aware of several enforcement cases across the Borough. She reiterated that the SPD set out what the Council considered to be acceptable. A Member welcomed the document and thanked Officers for the level of detail that it contained; she was of the view that the Council needed to aim high to bring tourists in.

81.5           Upon being proposed and seconded, it was

                  RESOLVED          1. That the Shopfronts, Shutters and Signage: Design                                            Guidance for Tewkesbury Borough Supplementary Planning                                   Document be ADOPTED.

                                                2. That authority be delegated to the Head of Development                                    Services to make any necessary final minor amendments to                                   the document in order for it to be published in final form.

Supporting documents: