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Wednesday, 17 September 2014

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HAVE YOUR SAY: Cockermouth sign sparks planning storm

This Voodoo sign has caused a stir in the heart of Cockermouth’s conservation area.

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Sign of the times: Charlie Carlin with the controversial Voodoo sign in Cockermouth’s Market Place

Allerdale council has asked for the removal of the new sign above a shop in the town’s Market Place.

The Voodo clothing business was opened recently by Charlie Carlin, whose family run the nearby Allerdale Court Hotel.

But Mr Carlin failed to ask Allerdale council for listed building consent for the black and silver sign and has been asked to take it down.

Council officers said it was too large and not in keeping with the Georgian area.

Mr Carlin met this week with conservation officers who said they would recommend refusal if he applied for retrospective planning permission.

The final decision could be made by planning officers, but an Allerdale council spokesman said that if the matter proved to be contentious it could be decided by its development panel.

Mr Carlin said: “If I had to remove the sign it would jeopardise the business.

“The building is huge so I think the sign is quite in proportion and fits in well with the rest of the area. It is not like it is a brightly lit neon sign.

“I am not going to back down or be bullied because I believe I am in the right.

“I have spent a lot of money getting it all ready and the visual impact of not having a sign could really affect me.

“If I had to reduce the size of the lettering I might as well not have a sign.”

Mr Carlin said it was a “David and Goliath battle” but was overwhelmed by the amount of support he had received.

Adam Stitt, who owns 4Play cycles, which is opposite Voodoo, said: “I am totally in favour of it and having a new shop is better than an empty one.”

Town mayor Phillip Graham said: “I can’t see anything wrong with it. The council have said it is not in keeping with the Georgian nature but neither are the plastic seats all over Market Place.

“All the shopkeepers are supporting him as it attracts people over the bridge.”

Coun Julie Laidlow, who owns Firns Home Hardware in Station Street, said: “He is a young lad who has had the courage to start up his own business in Cockermouth, which is not the easiest place to do it.

“There is nothing at all wrong with the sign and I fully support him.”

Have your say

What a terrible little town full of wannabe upper class people.No wonder why this town looks backwards just look at the people.Nothing like stopping new businesses from starting up.Fact is is there any Cumbrians actually loving in cockermouth?The answer is no there all southerners shipped in from down south.

Posted by Michael on 15 November 2013 at 19:14

The reason that cockermouth is such a pretty town and desirable place to live is because there are planning rules and due care and attention taken. Yes everyone wants business to thrive in the area but we don't want tacky, cheap, flat signage just willy-nilly, the whole feel of the town would be damaged and Cockermouth would look like any other west coast town.

Posted by sarah on 23 August 2013 at 14:21

View all 24 comments on this article

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