Cheltenham Borough Council
Cheltenham Borough Council

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Agenda item

Application for renewal of permission to place an object on the Highway - A-Board

Minutes:

Officer introduction

The Licensing Team Leader introduced the application for the renewal of an A-board licence at Lakeland on the Promenade, issued in October 2018 by an officer, without referring the application to Committee, which is normal procedure.  An A-board at this location does not comply with policy with regard to the Council’s Revised Outdoor Advertising Protocol, so officers felt it appropriate to refer the renewal application to Committee.  Paragraph 3.1 of the report sets out CBC’s advertising protocol, and this is the test to take into consideration. 

 

Members’ questions to officer

In response to Members’ questions, the officer confirmed:

-       That the A-board is within the Council’s permitted dimensions;

-       That another shop on the row – Slaters – has an A-board because it has no street-level frontage, and Costa Coffee opposite is allowed an A-board, although this is supposed to remain in the tables and chairs area;

-       That the current licence will expire on 17th July 2019.

 

Applicant’s address

The applicant stated that she always ensures the board is discreet and pulled in, and that it always looks professional and well done.  At a time when retail is struggling, it is a helpful tool to bring customers into the store, interesting them in demonstrations and special offers.  She cares passionately about her business but until she applied for the renewal, she wasn’t aware that the correct procedure had not been followed.

 

Members’ questions to applicant

In response to Members’ questions, the applicant confirmed:

-       That the board is currently promoting Lakeland’s three-year guarantee, which is a big selling point.  Promotions and demonstrations are advertised on it, but it is not changed daily;

-       That it makes a big difference to displaying similar promotions in the window, as people can see it clearly from a distance.

 

Member debate

A member felt that the dilemma here is that Council policy does not allow A-boards to shops with street frontage, and if this licence is granted, everyone on the High Street could apply for them. Another member agreed that all businesses would say the same as the applicant, but the Council does not want the town’s pavements cluttered with A-boards.  He is a Lakeland customer and sympathises with the applicant, but felt that with a 14-foot frontage and no extenuating circumstances, there is no need for this renewal to be granted.

 

A member said that, as this A-board was permitted originally be mistake, there is no reason to deviate from licensing policy.  A-boards create clutter and are trip hazards; Lakeland can promote its offers and wares in its street-level shop front window. Another member agreed that it was unfortunate that the error was made in the first place, but the Council must keep pavements safe for the visually impaired, and therefore A-boards have to be limited.

 

Applicant’s response

Ms White understood Members’ comments but, for future reference, questioned why she was sent a renewal letter when the licence had been granted in error.  She has paid £125 renewal, as there was nothing in the letter to indicate the error. 

 

The Licensing Team Leader stated that CBC was under a duty to determine the application, and to give the applicant the right to reply and option to defend the application.  He confirmed that the payment would be refunded. 

 

Vote

To grant renewal:  0 in support, 5 in objection

 

The Chair said that CBC will be reviewing the policy for objects on the pavement in the future, and advised the applicant that this would allow the opportunity to possibly influence policy.  He apologised on behalf of the Council for the original mistake.  The Licensing Team Leader confirmed that he would be in touch with the applicant to discuss what will happen next.   

 

 

Supporting documents: