“It’s like the lights in Blackpool” – Starbucks banned from putting up a famous sign

A new Starbucks branch is due to open on the A34 – without its famous 30ft high sign.

Stafford Borough Council said Starbucks could not put up its totem pole sign after it was compared to ‘Blackpool illuminations’.

It comes as 43 people objected to the planned drive-thru at the former Dans motorcycle show on the A34 in Stone due to the impact on the green belt, road safety concerns and the the impact on existing independent businesses in the city centre. .

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But 17 people had backed the plan and welcomed a global brand to Stone.

Now members of the council’s planning committee have approved the project at a meeting this week.

It was feared that the pole – with its illuminated logo – would impact neighbours, birds, bats and insects.

Resident William Clarke told the meeting: ‘We live opposite the proposed development and I don’t think there is a lot of drive-thru in a greenbelt opposite residential accommodation. I’m not advocating no advertising, but advertising tailored to Stone’s location.

“It should at least try to fit into the place, not replicate an interstate highway. A nine meter tall totem is a complete indulgence and best suited for a business park.

Councilor Jill Hood said the totem pole was “not acceptable to Stone”.

She told the committee, “This 30-foot-tall totem pole resembling an advertisement for an American motel will be abutting Green Belt and adjacent to an ancient forest. It does not highlight the local area and is not visually acceptable.

“It’s light pollution, it’s hideous. It is going to be illuminated like Blackpool Illuminations.

She added that downtown Stone already has 10 cafes, with two more opening in the coming weeks.

She added: “People who use cafes in town are more likely to spend in town, which boosts the local economy. But drive-thru customers won’t visit the city and the city center won’t benefit.”

Candidate Daren Burney says the Starbucks will bring 25 new jobs to the area as well as more electric vehicle charging stations.

He added: “The proposal recommissions an existing business and uses existing access points on the A34.

“As far as signage goes, it’s the company’s standard signage. The proposal will support the economy and it is considered acceptable in the green belt.

The committee granted permission for eight neon signs – and refused the totem pole.

Councilor Carolyn Trowbridge said: ‘It would be so much better if it was a local cafe, not a chain, but that has nothing to do with the planning.

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