New rules proposed in fight against illegal signs

Blackpool Council is set to tighten up rules on signs following '˜a recent proliferation of unlawful signs erected across the borough'.

Wednesday, 20th December 2017, 10:30 am
Updated Wednesday, 20th December 2017, 3:25 pm
The council took action against The Viagra Hotel sign

Town planners say the content of signs is ‘increasingly difficult to control’ so the intention is to strengthen the policy.

Recent battles include one over signage at The Home nightclub in Talbot Square.

There was also controversy earlier this year over the Viagra Hotel sign on Dickson Road.

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The move, which has gone out to consultation, has been backed by Blackpool Civic Trust.

Chairman Joan Humble said: “One of our concerns is street clutter, because too many signs are distracting and confusing and sometimes they are out of date.

“And if we want to protect our heritage buildings, that includes making sure the environment they are in doesn’t detract from their own heritage statements.

“We should make sure we don’t have inappropriate signs where they shouldn’t be.”

A council report says better guidance would encourage higher quality applications for new signs and help the council take enforcement actions against illegal signs.

It adds the issue “presents a particular problem in a town like Blackpool where the density of bars and clubs is high in certain areas, and where the content of signage is increasingly difficult to control, particularly with digital screen technology.”

Earlier this year the council used anti social behaviour act powers to force hotelier Neil Marshall to change signage after he renamed the Vidella Hotel on Dickson Road as the Viagra Hotel.

The consultation document covers signs including A-boards and digital screens, as well as signs for shops, guesthouses and other businesses.

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