A LARGE advertising sign would be at odds with modern car showrooms nearby, an inspector decided.
Clive Sproule reached his conclusion at the Alfa Romeo dealership at Longlooms Road East, Cheshire Oaks.
The freestanding sign, 6.5 metres in height and almost two metres wide and brightly illuminated, was refused consent by Cheshire West and Chester Council.
The dealership, run by Alfa Corkills, appealed and Mr Sproule was appointed to deal with its application.
Refusing consent, the council said the sign, standing in a verge adjacent to the dealership, was retrospective and unauthorised.
An earlier application had been refused and the dealership had agreed to reduce the height to five metres.
Planning officers accepted the showroom did not front on to Longlooms Road but this did not justify allowing a sign up to 2.5 metres higher than its competitors.
They felt it would be detrimental to the character of the area and would be unduly prominent, with an overbearing effect on a sign at the adjoining Porsche dealership.
Mr Sproule felt the main issue was the effect of the visual amenity of the area.
The style of the sign would be ‘much larger’ than others on the road and ‘challenge’ the contemporary architecture of the showrooms.
The inspector felt there was a ‘strong likelihood’ the dealership would erect an approved five-metre sign if the appeal failed but it would have a reduced effect. He dismissed the appeal as he believed the sign would be unacceptably harmful.