PLANS for an advertising sign at the Kellogg’s warehouse in Haydock have been approved, despite cross-party objections.

The application sought advertisement consent to display a single non-illuminated sign at Unit 2 at the former Florida Farm site, to the north of the A580 East Lancashire Road and east of Haydock Industrial Estate.

Plans for the sign, which is proposed to be 10m wide and 4m high, have been amended since it was originally submitted following concerns from residents.

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The council received nine objections to the amended plans, which included concerns the sign is out of scale and overbearing, but planning officers found the plans to be acceptable and recommended it for approval.

The application was heard this evening (Tuesday), at St Helens Council’s first virtual planning meeting.

Paul Parkinson, chairman of the Residents Against the Florida Farm Development, had registered to speak at the meeting but technical issues prevented him from doing so.

However, a speech provided by Mr Parkinson was read out by the planning officer who dealt with the application.

In his statement, Mr Parkinson said it was no surprise residents were “furious” with the original plans, which featured a picture of Coco the Monkey, the mascot for Coco Pops, alongside the Kellogg’s logo.

St Helens Star: Plans for the sign went before St Helens Counil's planning committee Plans for the sign went before St Helens Counil's planning committee

Mr Parkinson also thanked Kellogg’s for amending the proposals, which now simply features the cereal giant’s logo.

Despite the changes, Mr Parkinson said he still could not support the plans, saying there was no need for a logo to be placed of that size on the building at that height.

“The residents continue to suffer the effects of these monstrous warehouses, which shouldn’t have been built in a beautiful area in our green belt,” Mr Parkinson said in his statement.

“The noise, pollution and continues traffic impact is horrendous. These warehouses will never attain the job figures promoted by this council.

“Automation is the direction that warehouse development has been travelling for some years, certainly before the original application for Florida Farm North was submitted.

“This is something that should be borne in mind by the planning committee when considering future, similar applications.”

In response, Cllr Seve Gomez-Aspron, chairman of the planning committee, reminded the committee that the application was not a “rehash” of the debate around the two warehouses, which have proved hugely controversial.

The Labour councillor also reminded the members of an application the committee approved for illuminated signage at the adjacent Amazon warehouse last summer that was overturned by the government’s Planning Inspectorate in order to shake off the conditions attached to it.

Cllr Seve Gomez-Aspron said the committee should not be attaching “unfair or unreasonable” conditions that will end up costing the taxpayer.

Fellow Labour councillor, Cllr Dennis McDonnell, questioned who the sign was aimed at, as it is supposedly too small to be seen from the East Lancs Road.

“It appears to me that it is now a real advertisement sign, but a vanity sign for the organisation,” Cllr McDonnell said.

“Displaying the name of the organisation by the entrance gates that drivers and visitors can see, should be sufficient.”

St Helens Star: Labour councillor Dennis McDonnell objected to the plans from Kellogg'sLabour councillor Dennis McDonnell objected to the plans from Kellogg's

Cllr McDonnell said it is “essential” in today’s economy to have large warehouses or industrial units.

He said every effort is made to blend them into the landscape but said the proposals from Kellogg’s goes against that standard.

The Labour councillor said the sign, by its very nature, colour and position, is “intended to be intrusive in the landscape”.

He said that based on those reasons, he could not support the application.

Cllr Allan Jones, leader of the St Helens Conservative group, said he too was “not happy” about the application, saying he supported the concerns raised by Cllr McDonnell.

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Labour councillor Richard McCauley, cabinet member for economic regeneration and housing, told the committee he sympathised with residents but said he could not see a reason to turn the application down.

No-one on behalf of Kellogg’s spoke at the meeting.

The application was passed following a vote, with Cllr McDonnell, Cllr Jones, Cllr Geoff Pearl (Liberal Democrats), Cllr David Van Der Burg (Green Party) and Cllr Gill Neal (The Independents) all voting against the plans.