Row over shopfront in Keynsham conservation area

Keynsham town councillors are unhappy that no enforcement action will be taken against the brightly coloured shopfront at the new barber shop in Temple Street.

After an investigation, Bath & North East Somerset Council says it won’t be pursuing formal action against No 1 Turkish Barbers as there are similar shopfronts nearby.

The town council has been working in conjunction with B&NES Council and other bodies, including English Heritage, to ensure that both the High Street and Temple Street conservation areas are protected from brightly coloured advertising signage.

The enforcement officer told the town council that she’d visited the premises at 19 Temple Street (which is next door to the town council offices) and informed the owners that the shop frontage advertisements do not benefit from an exemption or deemed consent under advertisement regulations.

“As a result, they would require advertisement consent and should submit an application to try authorise them. Since my visit I reached out to them via email several times; unfortunately they have not complied with my advice of submitting an application, thus the advertisements remain unauthorised. Because of this, we have had to assess the expediency of pursing formal action.

“However, as there are other shops in the near vicinity with very similar advertisements, this premises’ shopfront could not be considered incongruous to the surrounding area. Therefore, I’m afraid we won’t be able to pursue this matter further.”

Following a meeting of the town council’s planning committee this week, B&NES Council is now being urged to rethink the decision not to take enforcement action.

The town council says: “We are not happy with the surrender approach that has been taken in respect of this enforcement matter.

“The town council requests that B&NES Council rethink this decision which goes against the plans to have coordinated shopfront designs, as detailed in the Keynsham Shopfront Design Guide produced as part of the Keynsham High Street Heritage Action Zone. Furthermore, stating that a considerable amount of money and resources have been spent working on this guide, for the contents of the same to be ignored.”

Meanwhile B&NES Council has also been dealing with an enforcement case at the former Wright Butcher’s shop at 9 Keynsham High Street, which is now Keynsham Mini Market where illuminated signage and a bright orange shutter were installed.

The enforcement officer in this case said that the illuminated hanging sign had since been removed and the shutter painted grey.

“Whilst this was welcomed and does partly address the issue, I have made the owners of the business aware that this does not fully solve the breaches of planning control and the other illuminated sign will need to be removed, in addition to further alterations to the shopfront.

“Whilst we are aware that the current shopfront appears inappropriate in the location and is unlikely to get permission, we always try and resolve breaches of planning control through informal means in the first instance and in this case, we have managed to negotiate partial compliance.

“We hope to be able to work with the business owners to find a resolution as soon as possible.”