Sign Applications

Okay – Paul’s been doing some digging about those signs on the new pier building and has discovered some interesting stuff.

Firstly F&Bs – their sign is up but Paul cannot find that they have applied for permission. He says ‘It is always possible there is some other permission for another building at a different address, before they called it the Promenade, but I don’t think so – they wouldn’t have applied for planning permission when they don’t know who the tenants are…’

However they have now applied, under the slightly-sinister-sounding ‘Restaurant D’ to retain the signage. I’m hoping that this PDF link will work; they don’t always, but if it doesn’t show it’s just a plan of the building + sign. It’s Sign B that is the massive one you see from the river. Here is the application – Their application is coded 12/0258/A.

If you’re planning to comment on the application it’s worth dealing with this as soon as possible because the application went in on 7 February and deadline for objections will stop VERY soon. And with the new greenwich rules you need 8 objections for the committee even to consider it.

Secondly Zizzi. They don’t have a sign up yet but they have applied for permission for one and at least they’re owning up to their name on their application, code 12/0307/A

Just because Zizzi’s signs aren’t up yet doesn’t mean they’re are going to be any less tacky or intrude any less on a classic Protected Vista (from Island Gardens to Greenwich) As Paul says, these signs UNDOUBTEDLY affect the setting of a listed building. He says, and I confess I agree, that this should go before English Heritage before it is even considered.

Remember, folks – each of these applications need at least 8 objections before it’s even discussed. If you don’t care for the signs, now’s the time to speak…

19 Comments to “Sign Applications”

  1. [...] Phantom reports that the signage was put up without planning permission. This will now be considered by the council and ward [...]

  2. Pedro says:

    Note also that in their application and design statements they stated the buildings are made of “timber, glass and copper”

    So what’s this cheapo gold metal they’ve used? Whatever you think of the original application, it doesn’t show the nasty metal and signage… so why haven’t Greenwich Enforcement done anything about it?

  3. Matthew says:

    Thanks for keeping us all informed. I have just objected to both applications. I especially cannot see why the feel the need to have river facing signs which will impact the view of Greenwich from the river and Island Gardens.

  4. 16" East says:

    I am speechless at this building, and convinced that they have only (nearly) got away with it because of the scaffolding and the belief that it must still be a work in progress. Instead it is cheap and innappropriate for its setting, this will stand out to all when cutty sark gardens is finished – action needed now!

  5. Deptford dame says:

    For a start they are internally illuminated signs, presumably a big no-no in a conservation/world heritage zone. Greenwich planners and council have been really slack on this development.

  6. Meirion says:

    You’re all fuddy duddies. What’s wrong with covering the pier in gold Bakofoil and neon (all-in-the-best-possible-taste)? It’s time we embraced the spirit of Royal-Las-Vegas-on-Thames properly and covered those dull old Portland stone blockhouses and domes behind with illuminated advertising hoardings. Perhaps we could even persuade Siegried and Roy to come out of retirement (along with my favourite of their white tigers Montecore) to perform on the balcony of F&Bs to a hand-picked audience of whoever gave the planning permission…

  7. Lara says:

    Once people have objected, shouldn’t you be able to see that information on the above links? No?

  8. Paul says:

    They update it manually, so it can take a few days.

    I’m sure everyone will know this, but it’s worth mentioning where you can see the signs from (including the river, in the case of the F&B sign) that they affect the setting of a group of Listed Buildings (and the Cutty Sark) in a World Heritage site, and that they are damaging to the Greenwich Park conservation area. If you’re feeling specially bolshy, CC your councillor/s.

    I think F&B are taking the piss, and someone somewhere knows this is unacceptable, but their tactic might be to start with something really horrible, so the Officers compromise on something reasonably horrible. When in fact, there should be no signage in this prominent position, illuminated or not – because it is not in the original planning permission.

  9. methers says:

    It looks like the illuminated signage for Byron has already been approved. How can this happen, and just what is the point of having a WHS, a conservation area and listed buildings if you can put up any old tat and get it approved with no bother? And don’t even start me on all the “royal borough” status thing.

  10. Paul says:

    Agreed. If you look at the application, you’ll see that Byron originally applied for a large sign – only two people objected, and planning permission was granted at the delegated level, by the officers, for a toned-down, slightly smaller sign.

    WE need as many people as possible to object, so we don’t get the same thing – ie a toned-down, but still cheesy sign.

    THere are plenty of precedents for naff external signs like this being rejected in Conservation Areas and World Heritage sites. We might have to settle for an internal sign, but if enough people object and email their councillor (which sadly didn’t happen for the Bydon sign), we can get this taken down.

  11. Franklin says:

    Does anyone know how, exactly, we got from the original design and planning application, that Pedro links to above, to what we have today?

    The only reference that I can find to the use of “Tecu brass shingles” (instead of the originally approved copper) is in the application for “Non Material Amendments”, reference 11/2940/NM, which was approved on 6 January 2012.

    The fact that this application was made on the basis of a “Non Material Amendment” means that there was no press notification and subsequently no comments (for or against).

    If this IS the only application for a change in the external appearance of this building, then it seems patently obvious that this is not a “Non Material” amendment – and the Council Planning Department and Officer involved are going to have to answer some very difficult questions about how we ended up with this carbunculous eyesore in what is quite possibly the most historically and architecturally sensitive location in Greenwich.

  12. Pedro says:

    28 objections showing. Not a bad result so far. Well done, Phant. Let’s hope a few more people object to Zizi’s, which is just about as naff (and more visible from the river).

    franklin, you’re right, it’s outrageous. It’s exactly this sort of “creep” and cheapening that officers should be looking out for. Definitely worth emailing your local representative on the Planning Committee.

  13. David says:

    This is just another example of how the character of classical Greenwich is rapidly being destroyed by those who promote inappropriate Modernist architecture.
    It is unbelievable that this monstrosity of a building was approved within a World Heritage Site and the original pier allowed to be shipped to the Caribbean.
    The neon signs are just the icing on what is one hell of an architectural dogs dinner.
    Is anyone interested in forming a Greenwich architectural conservation society.

  14. momo says:

    In the Greenwich Time newspaper today, page 22, planning application by The Restaurant Group (Frankie & Benny’s) “Retention of one internally illuminated fascia sign and 3 internally illuminated window signs”.

    I expect you all know about this – but thought I’d mention it.

  15. Franklin says:

    Further to my own question above, I’ve been digging around in the planning applications – all of which seem to have been classified as “Non Material Amendments” and therefore not published – and have not found any which included an application for the significant change in the external appearance with which we are now confronted.

    Application 11/2940/NM, approved by delegated authority on 6 January 2012, includes references to the use of “Tecu brass shingles” and “opal laminated double glazing” – two of the more hideous aspects of the new buildings. However, this is not an application for the use of these materials in lieu of the approved materials; it simply states that these are the materials that are being applied.

    I have written to the Planning Officer concerned, copying ward councillors, requesting clarification of a number of questions raised by the planning applications that have been submitted and the ways in which the Planning Department have handled them.

    I also dug out the “Revised Supplementary Planning Guidance” of the London View Management Framework July 2010 – part of the London Plan – relating to the protected vista from Island Gardens. That states:

    “Visual Management Guidance

    390 Greenwich Maritime’s status as a World Heritage Site means that its setting must be managed with sensitivity to its Outstanding Universal Value. Permanent structures or infrastructure in the view should preserve or enhance the setting of the World Heritage Site.

    391 Applicants will be required to demonstrate that proposed development will not damage the setting of the World Heritage Site or other landmarks in the view. Development at the Opportunity Area in the right of the view should contribute to the view as a whole.”

    You don’t have to be an architect or town planner to recognise that the new pier buildings do NOT preserve or enhance the setting of the World Heritage Site, DO damage the setting of the World Heritage Site, and do NOT contribute to the view as a whole. The originally approved design had a much less detrimental effect on the WHS setting than what has emerged.

    So – and sorry to be so long-winded – not only does the pier-as-is appear to have been built without proper planning permission, it also seems to be in direct contravention to the London Plan.

    It therefore seems clear to me that the external appearance of the building must be changed to be brought into line with the approved planning application and to make it compliant with the London Plan.

    If I do not receive a satisfactory reply from the Council, I will escalate the issue to the Mayor’s office, the GLA and Nick Raynsford.

    - Disgusted of Greenwich Wells

  16. parkkeeper says:

    Satisfactory replies to disgraceful decisions – now there’s an interesting abstract idea to challenge the Town Hall.
    Hang on a second! Having too often now visited Woolwich and witnessed our appointed dullard overseers at ‘work’ getting them to explain their crass thinking will be like water off a ducks back.

    A reminder of their recent track record near or within the WHS alone:

    Keys handed over to Lord PsyCoe and his £60m “we lurve the Park and we’ll be gone before you can say performance bonuses” wrecking crew.

    Ok to go ahead and degrade the Cutty Sark and turn it into a conference centre. How long before there’s a sign on the service tower they waved through.

    Permission to reconstruct the pier facility “the gateway to Greenwich” with the crassest of commercial developments!

    Yes to the School of Architecture which doesn’t shout School of Architecture!
    I guess they’ll say yes to a sign on it.

    Stupid, totally inappropriate, standard issue garage forecourt signs outside the Sammy Ofer wing.

    Over the top, bad graphics wayfinding signage for the Old Royal Naval College. They do love saying yes to signage.

    No doubt that they’ll be there at the top tables for the free wine and sausage rolls at the opening ceremonies.

    Chris Roberts and his pompous, amateur planning committees should spend the rest of their lives with their lawyers for what they have dumped on Greenwich.

  17. Paul T says:

    Some of those points might be true, park-keeper. But there’s a far bigger threat to Greenwich than Chris Roberts, and that’s the undemocratic appeal procedure, which is blatantly fixed in favour of developers (eg, the market development). Councillors often vote against developments, only to have their democratic opinion overturned on appeal. Then, in many cases, the council has to pay costs. This has the natural effect of making planning committees more cautious.

    As ever, the best way to fight bad buildings is to treat councillors as your representatives, to object to developments and enlist their help, or to join an amenity group – rather than to gratuitously insult people, from the pulpit of web anonymity.

  18. Franklin says:

    Some interesting mixed metaphors there, parkkeeper!

    I agree with your views on the pier, the Cutty Sark, the NMM banner masts and the signage at the ORNC.

    However, I think we have to do more than just moan about these things and wish Dear Leader to the ninth circle of hell (the lawyers bit).

    But we also have to be smart, and work within the laws and the existing planning framework.

    That’s why I’ve written to the Planning Department, copying the ward councillors, to ask whether the pier buildings are compliant with the planning permission granted, and if so whether the granting of those planning applications was done in a manner consistent with the law and the London Plan.

    I suggest that anyone else who is concerned about the visual appearance of the pier buildings and the signage do the same.