Guildhall signs approved

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At yesterdays meeting of Test Valley’s Northern Area Planning meeting¬†approval was given for advertising signs on the Guildhall. The application was from Prezzo¬†for signs on the windows and plaques on each door announcing their presence in the building. I am pleased to report that a further application for illuminated lecterns with menus outside the building was withdrawn.

Many residents have objrcted to the signs and I agree with them. The proposal is that every window (24 in all) will have Prezzo emblazoned across it in addition to three further plaques mounted on the walls. This I believe is completely over the top and will spoil the building the centre of our town and an important tourist attraction. There can be no-one in North West Hampshire that doen’t know Prezzo are moving into the Guildhall. We do not need 24 reminders across every available window.

I was disappointed to hear some members of the committee arguing that the approval must be given so as to speed up the conversion of the building into a restaurant and that any one opposing the application was trying to block the changeover. Council officers made it quite clear that the change of use and the alterations to the building were separate matters and that one does not automatically follow the other.

My ammendment, backed by St Mary’s ward councillor Mike McGarry, to restrict signs to the doors only was defeated by eighteen votes to two. A sad day for the Guildhall and for Andover.

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