Illuminated signs outside a new Aldi store in Leyland will be switched off when the store is closed so as not to disturb nearby residents.
The retailer made the concession after its plans to install five of the company’s lit-up logos outside the yet-to-be-built School Lane store – including one fixed to six-metre-high totem – attracted criticism from locals.
READ MORE >>> "I'll spend the rest of my life looking at a lit-up Aldi logo."
A decision on the signs was deferred by South Ribble Borough Council’s planning committee last month after residents said that the tallest of the structures would blight their lives if it were positioned at the junction with Golden Hill Lane.
The company had plumped for that location after a meeting at which objections were raised to a previous plan for the totem to be erected on School Lane itself.
But the alternative proposal proved equally unpalatable to those living close to the junction – and the supermarket chain was told “get round the table” with its soon-to-be neighbours to come up with a plan which was acceptable to them all.
However, the latest planning committee meeting heard that Aldi had deemed further discussions futile – and instead proposed turning the signs off when the store is shut.
Committee member Mary Green, who initially suggested a restriction on the length of time the signage could be lit, said it was a “compromise” solution.
“At least residents won’t have the lights shining into their bedrooms at night – it’s the best we are going to get,” Cllr Green said.
None of the locals who had spoken at the last planning meeting took the opportunity to repeat their concerns – and ward councillor Matthew Tomlinson said the matter had come to a point where “it seems unreasonable to keep objecting, although it is far from ideal for those living on Golden Hill Lane”.
The lights within the signs will be timed to go out within half an hour of the store’s expected closing time of 10pm Monday to Saturday. They will be permitted to light up half an hour before the store opens at 8am.
But committee member John Flannery rapped the retailer for not doing as it was asked last month.
“When we say an item is to be deferred to enable an applicant to have further dialogue with the residents, we would expect them to have further dialogue with the residents,” he said.
Papers presented to the committee state that Aldi would be “happy to meet residents again, but felt there was little to gain”.
The other signs approved by the committee include three mounted on the outer walls of the store and another freestanding at the front of the premises.