proudly supports

Councillor hits back in row over Lichfield salon’s sign

Lichfield District Council has hit back at criticism after planning chiefs told a hairdressing shop to take down its sign.

The DJ & Ward Hairdressing salon on Tamworth Street was ordered to remove their logo from the exterior walls after planners said it “adversely affects the character and appearance of the Grade II Listed Building on which it is displayed”.

The decision led to criticism from a number of quarters, with comments on LichfieldLive describing the decision-makers as “jobsworths” and the removal notice as “madness”.

Cllr Alan White and the DJ & Ward Hairdressing salon sign

Cllr Alan White and the DJ & Ward Hairdressing salon sign

However, Cllr Alan White, Lichfield District Council’s cabinet member for  development, rejected claims that such decisions were making life difficult for small companies.

“Far from not supporting businesses, we work very closely with city traders,” he said.

“We developed the recent Portas Pilot application, publish a City Speak Newsletter, and host regular meetings of the City Centre Coordination Group. We also run a programme of tourism events and activities that encourage thousands of shoppers into the city every year.

“The council also allocated £50,000 of high street innovation monies to the city centre to deliver a range of initiatives to support traders over the coming months.

“That said, we cannot allow businesses to break the law, which is what the hairdressing salon have done by putting up a sign on a Grade II listed building without first getting approval.

“Listed building consent is required for any alterations on a Grade II listed building, including signage, and it is a criminal offence to carry out any works without permission.”

Critics had also pointed to other stores in the city with imposing signage, such as the large Tesco store at the rear of the Tamworth Street salon and the Poundstretcher outlet opposite.

However, Cllr White insisted the location of the DJ & Ward Hairdressing shop within the Lichfield City Conservation Area was a key factor.

“We understand it must be very frustrating when other nearby businesses have large signs on their buildings,” he told LichfieldLive. “However occupiers in unlisted buildings in the city centre may not need advertising consent, or where a sign is historic these are allowed to remain.

“With regards to Tesco, it does not not lie within the Conservation Area and so the restrictions on signage are less stringent, and although Poundstretcher is within a Conservation Area, it is part of a modern shopping precinct.

“Greenhill chip shop is not a listed building and The Lotus House was given permission for their sign in 1990.”

A volunteer wrote this. Say thanks with a coffee.

Advertisements
Founder of LichfieldLive and editor of the site.

16 Comments

  1. Doopster

    16th May, 2012 at 9:43 pm

    His department had naff all to do with ANY of those initiatives! There is currently ZERO help in place for any new business in Lichfield. Nothing. The 50k came from central Govt and is only half of what was given anyway. The CCCG was dead and dormant until the Chamber and local businesses got invloved earlier this year. Cityspeak? No-one listens Alan, there’s too much fluff on the line.

  2. Sponge Cake Bob

    17th May, 2012 at 7:54 am

    Ive just came through town and never seen so many signs on buildings ! Most of them did say “to let” Beware the one by the Pig & Truffle if you are on the tall side.

  3. porky pies

    17th May, 2012 at 8:28 am

    Sounds like Councillor White has been a bit naughty by claiming credit for the work of others judging by previous quotes. His defence of the council’s actions smacks of petulance, but then again he’s a Tory politician so we can’t really expect him to give a tinkers toss about anyone who is trying to make a go of things. Clearly, we are not all in this together in Lichfield, where the little jobsworths are preventing the Dear Leader’s Big Society.

    Perhaps Councillor White might answer the question if whether such stupid red tape is put up and whether ticking a pointless box is really more important than attracting new businesses to the city? Or maybe a nice row of empty shops would have some hitherto unknown aesthetic quality? There will soon be nothing to conserve within his beloved conservation area!

    Mind you, all White’s ward constituents won’t be hugely surprised by him struggling to decipher the difference between his posterior and his arm joint.

  4. plop

    17th May, 2012 at 8:49 am

    the twitter from the meeting said you wanted to wait for result of the portas bid before giving that money so why now do you claim is at as a badge of honour

  5. Doopster

    17th May, 2012 at 11:03 am

    And why are key stakeholders always ALWAYS called “traders”? Businesses, I think, is the correct term. Perhaps he should also examine where the latest CCCG meeting was hosted, it certainly wasn’t at the Council.

  6. Antony N Britt

    17th May, 2012 at 11:43 am

    Ha ha ha – ha ha ha haaaaa! Sorry. I’ll return to comment in a few days … when I’ve stopped laughing.

    Did people ‘actually’ vote for this guy?

  7. Neil

    17th May, 2012 at 11:45 am

    I still cannot understand why Jaymans have been allowed to have such enormous signs on their property at then end of Bore Street; this is prominent historic location, opposite the library and the former Friary and it’s one of the first buildings you notice on your way into Lichfield vis The Friary.

    Personally, I think the sign at DJ & Ward hairdressers is stylish and emulates the size and shape of the door and the windows. I certainly don’t feel it detracts from the building; at least it’s not some gaudy neon sign. May I ask Councillor Alan White what action he proposes to take about the eyesore that the former Regal Cinema/ Kwik Save building has become?

  8. Antony N Britt

    17th May, 2012 at 12:38 pm

    Are you sitting comfortably, children? Then we’ll begin.

    It all started when little Lenny Lichfield wasn’t allowed to enter the Easter Bonnet parade. It wasn’t fair; he tried so hard. Always sticking to the rules and telling on the other boys when they did wrong. Why was he punished?

    To get his own back, Lenny decided to make people pay. The ones who ‘were’ allowed enter the parade. Therefore, he sat on a wall in Tamworth Street, and waited to seek his revenge.

    First to walk along the path was Terry Tesco. Terry had a big stripey bonnet and had won. Lenny hated Terry. However, Terry was very popular. All the other kids visited his house and played with Terry. Lenny couldn’t have a go at him.

    Terry walked past, stuck two fingers up at Lenny.

    Next along was Paddy Poundstretcher. Paddy wasn’t as big a character as Terry Tesco, but he still had a following all the same. Paddy wore a cheap, nasty bonnet. Lenny gulped. All those sweets Paddy dished out; Lenny didn’t want to have a go at Paddy.

    Paddy walked past, threw a sherbert dip at Lenny. It hit him in the eye.

    Third, we had Laura Lotus stroll by. She had a big, garish bonnet. She’d worn it last year too, and the year before. Lenny wanted to hit her, but couldn’t. Laura was popular with the other boys. He dare not have a go at Laura.

    Laura walked past, called Lenny names.

    Finally, Deejay Ward approached Lenny. Deejay was the new boy in school and Lenny didn’t know much about him. Deejay kept himself to himself and just wanted to get on with things. He wore an inconspicuous bonnet, nothing flashy about it at all, In fact, Lenny had to admit, the bonnet was quite tasteful.

    Deejay walked past, said ‘Hi,’ to Lenny. ‘How are you?’

    Lenny kicked him in the shin, sent him flying to the ground.

  9. Chamberpot

    19th May, 2012 at 2:08 pm

    The Portas bid was developed by a group of traders who form part of the City Centre CoOrdination group. The district council helped to facilitate that group which consisted of officers from the council,shopping centre managers, business owners, Chamber of Trade members, local landlords and other community groups such as the Lichfield Mysteries. The bid was submitted by the DC because that was one of the conditions. The LCCCG was formed some 6 or 7 years ago to help ALL the councils communicate with businesses and for businesses to feed in their issues to the councils. The Chamber of Trade & Commerce asked for the group to be given more prominance as more & more businesses started to come to it looking to get involved in the city business community, realising that they needed to get involved instead of waiting for something to happen! We await the result of the Portas bid but without the LCCCG we wouldn’t have applied for that or got any of the £50k from the High St Fund.

  10. Rich Wiltshir

    20th May, 2012 at 11:09 am

    Lichfield’s beautiful: with her expanses of open land for an idle stroll, her just-the-right-size shopping area, her historic reference points (though I notice the cathedral claims it gets no state funding whilst asking everyone to fill in a gift-aid form: that’s the character of the CofE for you though), her hard working businesses bringing revenue and jobs to the city!

    And character is the core of this, not least because the just-the-right-size shopping area is being stripped of shops!

    I can see the skeleton of reason in the Councillor’s argument, but it’s muddied by the character of politics and, yes, jobsworth attitudes. Please put your toys of beaurocracy away, compliment yourselves on sacrificing your own reputations in order to gain a little publicity. Please realise that having your nose out of joint because of Deejay’s (alleged) procedural error isn’t sufficient reason to bring your institutional might against them.

    And, Mr Councillor would please think of the people instead of the votes: just for once, eh? Find a way. We know you can. We’ll be interested to see if you do.

    It seems self-evidence that the proprietors have striven to create appropriate signage. Go one, give them a break. Please.

  11. Cynic

    29th May, 2012 at 11:21 am

    I do not know any of the people involved in the “Portas” project but I would put money on – if it is successful the council will take the brownie points and if it fails they will say – not us guv its the other lot!!

    The high street is not dead it is evolving.
    Look at the new supermarket (clue in the name) it has more “shops” each with more variety than all the shops in the centre of town put together.
    They knew what people wanted and in spite of the council/red tape it was built and they give people a better “High St”.
    The council have spent 100’s of Millions in recent years – what is there to show for it?
    Is Lichfield better today,because of the council,or not?
    We do have a heavily subsidized theater – and a new Jaguar car for bragging rights – must keep tax’s high for these essential items.Then there is the paving which has lasted about as long as it took to be put down.
    There is also – let me think – there must be more!!!!

  12. Alan McInally

    29th May, 2012 at 1:25 pm

    The story behind the paving stones – this is the reason Cllr Alan White wants the centre pedestrianised – the council cocked up BIG TIME and now the rubbish stones are breaking and lifting, they don’t want any cars on there. Utter shambles. Get rid of the market as well – get something interesting on there that draws the youngsters in.

  13. MAD MAN OF DIMBLES LANE

    29th May, 2012 at 8:51 pm

    I have just deleted what was going to say because it was just a rant about this clown. Stop voting for him and hist half wit mates they are just holding this city back. They keep going on about what they are doing for the good of Lichfield. Well breaking news they are not. They wast money like a gambler in a bookies. All this could have gone in to project to pay towards rent on the empty shops in the center. This wild idear would help keep poeple in jobs, stop business owners from having to relocate or go bust. Here is another wet fish to slap around their heads the now empty T J Hughes being funded to be an indoor market? Ow dear it ended up being a rant any way thanks for reading as the city council or county council (don’t get me started on why two of them) won’t ta ta for now.

  14. Rob Warner

    15th June, 2012 at 12:00 pm

    I have to say that the Council made its typical statement (its not us!!!) they want to take a close look at the other signage in the same area and they will find far worse. Cllr White do you ever get out of your office??? DJandWard signage is sophisticated and does not lower the standard in-terms of so called ‘adversely affects the character and appearance of the Grade II Listed Building’ what complete rubbish!!! If it had been a national company the council would have approved this, its about time the Council supported small businesses, they are the ones who are keeping Lichfiled city centre going. Council just ask yourself how many empty retail properties are there now in the town centre???? I call on everyone to protest on Friday outside DJandWard when the national press will be in town for the touch bearing!!! Council never under estimate the power of the people!!

  15. Lichfield Lover

    5th July, 2012 at 10:47 pm

    This is a simple case of council bureaucracy gone mad.
    DJ & Ward is a local business, run by local residents, employing a number of local residents & providing a great service to local residents.
    So what? Their sign is ‘criminal’ under planning law. Ok… but let’s actually look at the sign…
    Is it offensive? No.
    Is it garish? No.
    Is it damaging the building? No.
    Does it not fit in with the neighbouring signage? No.
    Does it detract from the character of the listed building? No.

    Let’s be clear, we are not taking about a tacky, neon, all singing all dancing signage here, we’re talking about a simple, understated, classy sign above a shop in which the tenant is trying to make an honest living & serving the local community.

    This kind of feels like persecution of local independent business when you compare against the commercial use of some other historical city buildings – seems the big boys can get away with it but our council chases & beats down the small guys. Very disappointing.

    Please Lich council, stop wasting time on this & keep taking your rates from this reputable local trader, Lichfield can’t afford another empty unit & frankly there’s a lot of support for this small business. Listen to your rate paying traders & tax paying residents!

    Lisa P, Resident.

  16. Derek Whitmee

    11th August, 2012 at 6:57 pm

    The comments put forward by Councillor White does have its merits,regarding Planning Permission,but that said there are ways of going about it so a solution can be reached that is amicable to both parties.Here we have a prime example of the small man who is getting beaten for nothing at all.This does reflect what Lichfield District Council is all about,as I with many other Residents in the Brownsfield Park Area have a dispute with the Council regarding the change of use and handing it over to Lichfield Football Club.So now there is no area in this part of the City where children can play.But we have been treated with contempt,as if we do not exist,this is by the Council Emploees at Frog Lane,the local Councillors have at last seemed to have taken some notice but the battle is not yet over.May I suggest that the electorate at the next Council Election look to changing the face of Lichfield District Council by voting in some new blood,we can get rid of the Councillors,but as yet we have not found a way of getting rid those that work in Frog Lane.But do not forget it is the Tax Payers of the District that pay their wages,
    .