Aldi has been told to “get back round the table” with residents living close to its planned new store in Leyland – with some complaining that their lives will be blighted by the signage for the outlet.
The discount retailer wants to erect a six-metre high illuminated totem-style sign outside the outlet, positioned on the corner of School Lane and Golden Hill Lane.
South Ribble Borough Council’s planning committee heard that the proposed location of the livery had already been shifted from further down School Lane after the supermarket met with locals to discuss their concerns.
But the authority’s planning officer, Debbie Roberts, told members that “in trying to appease one set of neighbours, it seems [Aldi] have upset another”.
Golden Hill Lane resident Ruth Sinclair said that she had surveyed four other Aldi stores and found that only one of them – the supermarket’s current Leyland location on Towngate – had a totem like the one being proposed.
“The current view out of my front window is admittedly of a derelict building, but I don’t want one distasteful view replaced with another,” Ms. Sinclair said.
“I’ll have to spend the rest of my life with this outlook. The totem many be side on, but it’s just metres from my home,” she added, pointing out that she objected to the three other wall-mounted illuminated signs also proposed for the new store.
In stinging criticism, another resident living close to the site accused councillors of “destroying” Leyland through a series of planning decisions.
“I do believe I’ll get a totem right outside my living room – and I’d like you to come and sit in it when it’s lit,” Andrea Lawton told the committee.
“The houses in that area are 100 years old and you want to put illuminated signs outside them -is that for the good of Leyland? I think not.”
Committee member Mary Green asked whether the retailer could be forced to switch the signs off when the store was closed, so that residents were not disturbed overnight.
The meeting heard that a condition stipulating the hours which they were lit could be imposed, but a proposal instead to defer a decision on the matter was voted through.
“It’s important Aldi and the residents get back round the table,” Cllr Will Adams said.
The overall development was granted permission back in May, amidst opposition from several residents and businesses nearby.
Aldi was approached for comment.