Pool sign gets green light

A SIGN advertising an ailing swimming pool has been approved by councillors, despite concerns over it setting a precedent for other businesses.

Babergh District Council’s application for a six metre-long sign above Hadleigh Swimming Pool in Stonehouse Road was backed at yesterday’s development committee meeting.

Hadleigh Town Council had objected as it felt the spotlight illumination was unnecessary and not in keeping with the conservation area.

Speaking during yesterday’s meeting, councillor Kathryn Grandon recommended refusal, adding: “It would possibly set a precedent to allow an illuminated sign.

“As far as I’m aware, none of the other commercial properties have these. I don’t see is as necessary as everyone will know the leisure centre is there.”

Her refusal was seconded by councillor John Hinton but voted against by the committee.

The sign, which will be lit during operating hours, was described as partially visible from George Street and Stonehouse Road by case officer Bronwen Curtis. Councillor Clive Arthey explained that this was the purpose of having a sign in the first place.

Councillors Jack Owen and Trot Ward supported the application, which had attracted four letters of objection.

“The dark nights and mornings mean that the site has to be illuminated to draw attention to it,” said Mr Owen.

The pool suffered a 10 per cent drop in swimmers last year.

“Given the difficulties leisure centres are having, I find it very difficult to support the refusal.”

The committee voted 11 to one in favour of granting permission for the sign.