Ding-Ding! Sign Wars, Round Two.

Okay, so remember that ghastly Frankie and Benny illuminated sign that adds insult to injury on the classic Canaletto view of Greenwich from the river?

Remember how we all kicked up a stink and the council refused F&B’s retrospective planning permission?

Remember how F&B just ignored the ruling, kept the sign and Greenwich Council (apparently – but read Franklin’s comment below…) did bugger all about enforcement?

Well, it would seem that R&B might be openly flouting the rules, but they’re uncomfortable about it. They’ve applied again for planning permission.

This is not an appeal to the ruling, this is a separate application, pretending the first one never happened. They’re asking for permission to install, not actually admitting to the fact that it’s already been installed, been refused and the refusal ignored.

I suppose they’re hoping that if they keep applying, keep getting refused and keep ignoring the results eventually people will get fed up with objecting and they’ll slip under the radar.

So anyway – here we go again. Here’s the consultation document, courtesy of James. There appears to be nothing whatsoever different about this from the last attempt. If they can cut and paste their application, we can cut and paste our objections…


17 Comments to “Ding-Ding! Sign Wars, Round Two.”

  1. Sacha says:

    How do we object? I am very keen to.

  2. If you click on the consultation document link, there should be a way to comment on the bottom of it.

  3. Paul says:

    The signs are described as externally illuminated, which is supposed to be less obtrusive. Although on at least one of the actual plans, they’re still described as internally illuminated. Wouldn’t surprise me if they want to retain the signs they have, but simply not switch the lights on.

    Either way, it’s obvious that the large red letters in particular are intrusive, affect views of the adjacent Listed buildings in a World Heritage site, and do not conform with the planning permission granted for a sensitive site – the original architects didn’t show any intrusive signs. Even the “non-illuminated” signs will be easily visible from Island Gardens.

  4. Indeed Paul – I mean let’s face it – F&Bs wouldn’t actually want the signs if they couldn’t be seen from Island Gardens!

  5. Franklin says:

    In the Council’s defence (not something I write very often!), they were taking legal enforcement action against the F&B signs (RBG v Mitchell and Johnson, the owners of Frankie & Benny’s, if you’re interested). The court date was set for 30 April. This was adjourned at the defendants’ request until 28 May.

    Mitchell and Johnson then got really tricksy: they replaced the original south-facing sign with one very slightly smaller, and slightly lower down. They obviously hope that this might give them a legal pretext for ignoring the original planning refusal and the courts summons – hence the new application.

    When objecting to the new application, you could simply quote verbatim the planning officer’s reasons for rejecting the first application:

    “The signs, by reason of their design, size and means of illumination are contrary to the accepted guidelines and standards for such developments in the Greenwich Town Centre. As such, it would result in advertisements that fail to respect the prevailing character of developments in the area, detrimental to the character and appearance of the Greenwich Town Centre, Greenwich Park Conservation Area and the Maritime Greenwich World Heritage Site, setting an undesirable precedent in the Town Centre. The proposed development is therefore contrary to Policies SD1, D1, D13, D15, D16 and TC7 of the Unitary Development Plan, 2006 and the advice of the Council’s Design Guidance for Shop fronts Advice Note 5.”

  6. Ah – that will explain the new application. This could run and run…

  7. Franklin says:

    Yup, that seems to be their plan – as you say – bore us into submission…

  8. Michael Kaye says:

    OK, I’ve objected.

  9. Gill C says:

    My objection is done (again). I was so pleased to see the pictures of the signs having come down, so heartbroken to hear this has come up again. Thanks, Phantom, for keeping us up to speed on this.

  10. Dazza says:

    Of course, there is the other way of looking at it…..
    If they keep the sign up long enough(IE over the high profile summer) with legal wrangling. Then just say sorry and take it down in the winter after the Games/Tourist have moved on.
    Or am I just being really cynical??

  11. Richard says:

    just spotted Frank and Benny’s application for bright red parasols on the roof terrace; application no 12/0675/F.
    Consultation ends today so my objection has gone in but it needs more before midnight.

  12. james says:

    For the sake of clarity the main sign has actually been reduced in scale by about 25% on the new application but the F&B logo has actually been increased in size! Either way they look awful and have to go!

  13. Alex says:

    Have objected. Although this all unfortunately feels like the proverbial stable door – the fact that monstrous restaurant building was allowed in the first place is the real crime; signs on the outside, even if we do succeed in preventing their application, feel like scant consolation!

  14. Matthew S says:

    I have just objected too. F&B simply do not get that there restaurant is not in Las Vegas (despite the rather tacky gold cladding on the buildings)!

  15. UU says:

    Objected to 12/0675/F and 12/1051/A. Thanks for notice Richard.

  16. Ömer says:

    I think that the pollution caused by these restaurants is not only visual. Even if you try not to look at the signs, the food smells, especially when the wind is northerly, are unmistakable. It is really not the thing that suits best the atmosphere of the college and the music you hear from the TCM.

  17. 16" East says:

    Extraordinary contrast between the restaurants on the pier signages compared to the subtle restraint of 16″ west restaurant above the maritime museum extension.

    Thank goodness at least the cladding is vaguely sympathetic to the copper bottom of the cutty sark now its open. Hmm actually perhaps that is insulting to a real landmark….