Starbucks advertising sign bid for Shrewsbury roundabout fails at appeal

Owners of a "hidden" service station on the outskirts of Shrewsbury have lost an appeal to put a giant advertising sign near a major roundabout.

The Emstrey roundabout, with the land for the pole on the left. Picture: Google Maps
The Emstrey roundabout, with the land for the pole on the left. Picture: Google Maps

The Planning Inspectorate has decided that having an 8m-tall totem sign at the Emstrey Roundabout would not be in the interests of public safety.

An application for a non-illuminated double-sided sign for the Starbucks coffee shop at Thieves Lane was made to Shropshire Council which rejected it in October. It was the second attempt to get a sign erected, the first one being for an illuminated sign.

Shropshire Council had rejected the plan after being advised to do so by National Highways. Road chiefs at the agency had feared there was a chance that the sign could distract drivers. In a submission to the council they said it could lead to "last minute or unexpected lane changes within the Emstrey roundabout".

Mr Mohammed Tayab of Euro Garages then appealed to the Planning Inspectorate which sent an inspector to visit the site on January 17.

Inspector Martin Seddon said: "The Starbucks premises and petrol filling station cannot be easily seen from the roundabout or from some of its approach roads because of tree screening.

"The Starbucks premises have an existing totem sign which may be glimpsed behind roadside trees when viewed along Thieves Lane, but that sign is not clearly visible from the Emstrey roundabout The proposed totem sign would not provide any details of the location of the Starbucks premises or how it could be accessed from the Emstrey roundabout."

He added: "The lack of directions and any visible relationship between the proposed sign and the Starbucks premises would be likely to cause driver uncertainty, distraction and last minute lane changing at this large and busy roundabout, with potential for affecting the free flow of traffic and vehicular accidents. I therefore find that the proposed sign would be likely to have significant harmful effect on highway and public safety."

In dismissing the appeal in the middle of Febraury, Mr Seddon added: "I conclude that the proposed non-illuminated totem sign would have a significant harmful effect on highway and public safety. I have taken all other matters raised into account. For the reasons given above, I conclude that the appeal should be dismissed."

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