Planners unhappy with Wilkinson store's signs

The new signs at Wilko in Bradford’s Rawson Quarter

The new signs at Wilko in Bradford’s Rawson Quarter

First published in News Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Photograph of the Author by , City Hall Reporter

National retailer Wilkinson has landed itself in hot water with planners after installing new signs at a city-centre shop without permission.

The homewares shop, which is rebranding itself as ‘Wilko’, has put up seven modern-looking red signs bearing its new name at its shop in the Rawson Quarter, part of the Bradford city centre conservation area.

Planning permission was then applied for retrospectively, but this application has now been refused by planners who branded the new signs “unbalanced and unsympathetic”.

Six of the seven signs are lit up from the inside, which is not normally allowed under the stricter planning rules governing advertisements in conservation areas.

Planning officers were most concerned about two large signs placed either side of a distinctive stone archway feature on the shop’s Godwin Street frontage.

Their report said the new signs were “significantly deeper” than the old ones and covered more of the windows.

The retailer is seeking guidance from the planning authority about the signs.

A spokesman said: “The installation was carried out as part of a programme of work involving the national adoption of a consistent Wilko fascia. We are in discussion with the Council and we promise to work hard to do everything we can to resolve any issues.”

A spokesman for Bradford Council said: “The image of the city centre, especially in the conservation area, is very important and businesses should check with Bradford Council’s planning service before they alter or replace anything relating to fabric of the building.”

The application had been submitted through an intermediary, Butterfield Signs Ltd, of Sunbridge Road, Bradford.

Butterfield Signs Ltd declined to comment on the planners’ decision.

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