Agenda item

Application for Development: Car Park, Motherby Lane, Lincoln (Signage)


The Planning Team Leader:


a.    reported that planning permission was sought part retrospectively for various signs within a car park operated by NCP, located on the south side of Motherby Lane


b.    reported that an advertisement application had been invited for advertisements within the car park following an enforcement investigation, given their unauthorised nature and advice given by a Planning Officer to remove/amalgamate some of the signs before an application was made


c.    highlighted that an accompanying application had been received for ANPR cameras on the site considered under the previous agenda item, application no:2019/0609/FUL


d.    advised on the location of the site within Cathedral and City Centre Conservation Area No.1


e.    stated that the application was brought before Planning Committee given the objections received including one from Councillor Lucinda Preston


f.     provided details of the policies pertaining to the application, as follows:


·         Policy LP27: Main Town Centre Uses: Frontages and Advertisements

·         National Planning Policy Framework


g.    outlined the responses made to the consultation exercise


h.    advised members of the main issues to be considered as part of the application to assess the proposal with regard to:


·         Impact on Visual Amenity and Character and Appearance of the Conservation Area

·         Impact on Public Safety


i.      concluded that the proposed signage scheme would respect the character and appearance of the surrounding area, not cause a hazard to pedestrians or road users, nor impede any surveillance equipment or affect public perceptions of security, in accordance with Policy LP27: ‘Main Town Centre Uses-Frontages and Advertisements’ of the Central Lincolnshire Local Plan (2017) and relevant guidance contained within the National Planning Policy Framework (2019).


Jacqui Richardson, local resident, addressed Planning Committee in objection to the part retrospective planning application, covering the following main points:


·         She was satisfied with the proposed changes to be made to the signage at the car park which was currently excessive.

·         The signage had been erected without warning with little consideration to the environment or area.

·         One resident had moved out whilst work to her house wall was affected.

·         She hoped there would be a time scale for removal of the signage.

·         Residents had been astonished that the lighting could not be considered.

·         The council should be considering light pollution due to issues of climate change having made a City of Lincoln Council Climate and Environment Emergency Declaration.

·         The applicant had shown no sensitivity to local residents.

·         The car park looked like Alcatraz. It was very bright.

·         Previously the car park had managed without lights, now it had 13. Some had been faulty from Day 1 and some were on all day long.

·         Residents had made suggestions to NCP but they would not listen.

·         There was hardly ever a car parked there at night time.

·         Residents lived there 24/7, but were not consulted.

·         NCP didn’t know what it was like at night time living there.

·         The residents were the people suffering and not NCP.


Vaso Vaina, representing the applicant, addressed Planning Committee in support of the application, covering the following main points:


·         The display of car parking signage was mandatory by law.

·         NCP had approached us and we accepted the invite to talk to the local planning authority.

·         NCP were open to design improvements/changes to the number of signs.

·         NCP had accepted the cost of resizing the signage.

·         Working alongside NCP was easy, the company cared about its operators/neighbours.

·         If the planning application was approved, the surplus signage would be moved within 2-3 weeks.

·         It would take 6 weeks for the new signage to be ordered, delivered and installed.

·         NCP operated nine car parks across the city.

·         NCP worked closely with the police to share any CCTV evidence at entrance/exit to their car parks in the event of any incidents.

·         Their car parks were illuminated for safety reasons.

·         NCP had taken legal advice and thought it could change the signage without need for a planning application.

·         NCP acknowledged now they had made a mistake and were trying to put things right.


Members made comments in relation to the proposed scheme as follows:


·         These signs were extra and potentially not needed.

·         It was disturbing to see a retrospective planning application from such a large company.

·         The Council Environmental Officer was currently liaising with the car park operator separately regarding reduction in glare from the lights into neighbouring gardens.

·         There was a happy medium to be struck here involving engagement between all parties.


Members asked whether it would be possible to impose a time limit on the required works.


The Planning Team Leader offered the following points of clarification:


·         A suggested time limit by the applicant for the required works of 6 weeks seemed reasonable.

·         Reductions in signage had been achieved as a direct consequence of negotiations with the car park operator as to the amount considered necessary by the Planning Authority.


It was proposed, seconded, put to the vote, and carried that a time limit of 6 weeks be imposed for the car park operator to complete the necessary signage work required.


RESOLVED that planning permission be granted according to the following conditions:


·         Standard advertisement conditions

·         Six months’ time limit to complete work.

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