A CAFE owner has pleaded with the council to overturn its decision to deny him permission to display a sign, claiming it would result in the "almost certain" closure of his business.

The unauthorised signage of Pickled Frog, stuck to a medieval building in Blue Boar Row, could be torn down if owner Kevin Daley's appeal is unsuccessful.

Mr Daley first submitted a retrospective planning application seeking permission from Wiltshire Council to erect a fascia board sign on the Grade-II listed building on April 26, 2023.

This was refused on June 21 when Mr Daley was told the sign "fails to preserve the character and significance of the listed building" and that it "negatively impacts upon visual amenity".

But the 67-year-old Wiltshire councillor has fought back, claiming the council's decision was "irrational" and that the planning inspector 'took into account irrelevant matters without observing the principles of natural justice'.

Salisbury Journal: Robert Daley.

Mr Daley said he appealed on behalf of his wife Amanda using his personal email address and that his position as a Conservative councillor for Till Valley has no relevance to the application.

He claimed his signage was erected using holes from previous fittings and it was designed to obscure as little of the exposed beams as possible.

"We think we have been very sympathetic to the building. We even offered to shrink the sign but none of that was acceptable, they [Wiltshire Council] just want it totally removed and they are not listening to us at all," he said.

Planning guidance had "no bearing" on proposal

As soon as Pickled Frog opened, in February 2022, Mr Daley was handed a planning notice telling him he needed permission for the sign, which had already been installed.

When asked whether he knew he needed permission for it, he said: "Not really because it has always had a fascia."

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Mr Daley was told to study Wiltshire Council's adopted Salisbury shopfronts guide before he submitted the planning application.

However, conservation consultant Andrew Minting, in his objection to the application, commented: "The building does not have a 'traditional' shopfront, which is essentially a Victorian construct, and the adopted guidance on the treatment of such shopfronts has no bearing on the proposal.

“Having no shopfront, there is no fascia on which to put signage: the sign that has been installed obscures significant elements of the timber frame and therefore causes harm to its character and significance."

Salisbury Journal: The sign 'negatively impacts' upon the listed building.The sign 'negatively impacts' upon the listed building. (Image: Newsquest)

Mr Daley said the fascia sign is essential for his business to be seen by visitors in Market Place and without it his cafe would 'almost certainly' close.

"The removal of signage will have a detrimental effect on my family and staff," he added.

The previous occupant of 51 Blue Boar Row, Nuggs 1268, installed vertical flags on parts of the building but the perceived issue with Mr Daley's sign is that it obstructs part of the medieval timber framing.

Salisbury Journal: Nuggs 1268 previously occupied the building and did not install a fascia sign.Nuggs 1268 previously occupied the building and did not install a fascia sign. (Image: Google Maps)

Salisbury Civic Society objected to the retrospective application and commented: "The design statement attempts to show that the sign is in accordance with the Council's shopfronts guide, but this does not fully take into account the fact that this is not a conventional shopfront.

"The sign is planted onto the framing in a way that intrudes into its essential pattern, and does not respect the building's character."

Mr Daley thinks previous businesses which took over the building failed because of they had no fascia sign.

He told Wiltshire Council: "Many customers later commented that they were unaware that it was a business, they thought that it was a house or a museum."

Wiltshire Council's planning inspectorate received the appeal on Tuesday, March 12, and a decision date has not yet been decided.

If the appeal is unsuccessful, Mr Daley said he will reapply for retrospective listed building consent.