FURIOUS councillors have slapped down bright blue signs on an historic building in Gloucester Docks.
The temporary signs were put up on the Lock Warehouse without planning permission.
A jostle has taken place between the owners of the building and city council planners since the signs first went up last August.
On Tuesday councillors ruled that they would not grant permission to keep them up for another four months. The signs were taken down from the five-storey Grade-II listed warehouse pending the decision by councillors.
Councillor Andy Lewis (C, Quedgeley Fieldcourt) said: “Are they in cloud cuckoo land? This is a horrible blue sign on an historic, listed building. They are taking the proverbial and we should throw the book at them.”
Councillor Mary Smith (L, Matson and Robinswood) said: “They are treating us contempt. They have got away with these signs week after week.”
Councillor Gerald Dee (C, Tuffley) called for ‘sanctions’ on people who put up rogue signs, while councillor Phil McLellan (LD, Barnwood) said the applicant had ‘taken the Mickey’.
The signs were put up by MELT Property, which owns the building, on behalf of new mobility store Ableworld. The store and 26 flats share the building.
Evan Maindonald, owner of MELT Property, said: “We wanted the signs for a temporary period of time but the council have been somewhat Draconian about this.
“If they want new businesses to flourish then they do need some signage.”Planning officer Adam Smith said: “Temporary six month consents were previously granted for two banners, one for the apartments and another for the ground floor premises. The consents expired in August 2013 but the banners were not removed.
“The applicant would not remove these banners and applied at the end of 2013 to retain the apartments banner and replace the other with a full-width banner for Ableworld. A six-month temporary period was requested. The application was refused and he was requested to take them down.”
Councillors feared that allowing the Lock Warehouse signs could set a precedent for other buildings in the picturesque Docks area.
Councillor Gordon Taylor, chairman of the planning committee, said: “If we let this through what else would we see in the Docks?”
Councillor Jeremy Hilton (LD, Kingsholm and Wotton) said: “This is not the place for advertising. If you allowed this we would get them all over the Docks and the aesthetics of the whole area would be ruined.”
Councillor Mark Hobbs (L, Moreland) added: “I think it is absolutely awful and we should 100 per cent saying go away with these signs – it is disgraceful.”