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Menston Cricket Club appeals sign refusal

Menston Cricket Club appeals sign refusal

Published by May Norman with contributions by Local Democracy Reporter Chris Young at 6:45am 9th May 2020.

Club claims it's been 'singled out' in advertising board dispute

  • Menston Cricket Club is appealing against a planning decision that claimed advertising signs on its clubhouse were 'prominent visual clutter'.
  • Retrospective planning permission for the signs were refused earlier this year.
  • The club now claims it's been 'singled out' - despite other sites having similar signage.

A cricket club is appealing against a planning decision that claimed advertising signs on its clubhouse were “prominent visual clutter.”

Earlier this year Menston Cricket Club was refused retrospective planning permission for a number of advertising signs on and around the building on Bradford Road.

Now the club has lodged an appeal against the Council’s decision, claiming they have been “singled out” and arguing that other sites with similar signage have been ignored.

The club even points out that Bradford City’s Valley Parade grounds is covered in adverts that are unrelated to the club.

A retrospective application was lodged when the Council began enforcement action against the club – based on one of the main roads between Bradford and Ilkley. It called for permission to keep a freestanding sign, a sign to the East elevation of the building and five signs to the North elevation.

Refusing the plans in January, Council officers said:

“The size and number of advertisements is such that they dominate the site, are poorly related to the features and proportions of the cricket club building and appear out of keeping with the character of the area, cumulatively causing an unreasonable degree of visual harm to the quality of this location.

“These signs are causing an unreasonable degree of visual harm to the quality of this edge of the village. Whilst aware of the need for this community facility to raise revenue through sponsorship, the display for which retrospective consent is sought is excessive.”

Now the club has appealed that decision, meaning a Government appointed inspector will have the final say on whether the signs can stay.

The appeal says:

“Financially, the Club relies on subscriptions, fundraising from community events such as the Village fun day, an annual bonfire night and, to a great extent, on sponsorship from local companies, some of which advertise by way of the signs on the building.

“The Officer states that there has been a substantial increase in signage at the site in recent months. This is totally incorrect. Indeed, there has been a sign on the gable end of the pavilion building for approximately 50 years, very much the same size as present but with the content/sponsor changing several times.

“There have been several signs on the rear wall of the pavilion building for at least the last ten years. Witness statements can be obtained from ex officials and players of the Club to verify this.”

The club says just one objection to the sign had been made to the Council, and argue that the vast majority of people support the club.

It adds:

“There are over a million vehicles that go past the cricket club’s pavilion every year, so drivers of those vehicles must not have any problem with the signage.”

“The Officer states that the signs are excessive and unrelated to the function of the site as a Cricket Club. The adjacent roundabout has a prominent sign that shows it is sponsored by an advertiser not related to the function. Bradford City Football Ground has many signs all unrelated and clustered.”

The appeal document includes pictures of Bradford City’s Valley Parade stadium with numerous signs and advertisements on the grounds.

It adds:

“We question why an organisation that has a 140-year history and is run by volunteers who work tirelessly for the good of the community have been singled out as contravening Planning Law.”