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Bill’s signage refused by Conservation Committee

An application for new signage at the restaurant chain’s Reading branch has been rejected.

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Bill’s in Reading wanted to update its more subtle signage to include more eye catching designs

Local publications in the Reading area have publicised the signage story, reflecting the challenges from the increased popularity of eating out and franchise restaurants shaping the looks of town and city centres.

While many businesses can thrive from projects linked to big retailers and restaurants, failed planning applications can bring work to a sudden halt.

The Bill’s restaurant in Reading is based at St Mary’s Church House, a building opposite a Grade I listed church and graveyard.

As the building is part of the St Mary’s Butts/ Castle Street conservation area Reading Conservation Area Advisory Committee had to be consulted on a proposed signage ‘makeover’.

The planning authority rejected the application due to the signage looking “garish” and “obtrusive”.

In a statement the committee says the proposals “do not show respect for the historic building and the conservation area in which the restaurant is situated.”

The design and access statement does not explain why this signage makeover is necessary, for example, is this the new branding for all Bill’s restaurants?

The statement continues: “The design and access statement does not explain why this signage makeover is necessary, for example, is this the new branding for all Bill’s restaurants? If so, we would expect it to adapt to the context of each individual Bill’s branch."

The committee also felt the painted sign on the side wall could be mistaken for graffiti, and that illuminated signs would contribute to light pollution.

Billboards and signage are frequently facing issues regarding noise and light pollution. Towns and villages with specific aesthetics or requirements should always be considered when taking on signage projects in areas such as this.

The restaurant wanted to implement a painted sign as well as illuminated panels and logos on several of the restaurant’s walls. The decision by the committee was made on May 6th.

At the time of writing neither Bill’s nor any sign-makers have commented on the decision.

If you have any news, email david@linkpublishing.co.uk or join in with the conversation on Twitter and LinkedIn.


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