Sign of the times as Primark wins Princes Street planning battle

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TOURISTS looking out over Edinburgh from the castle are set to have an amazing view – of two giant Primark signs.

The retail giant has applied to put up three large raised signs outside the store on Princes Street and one more at the back entrance on Rose Street.

And council officials are set to allow the signs despite the fact they are contrary to planning policies.

But the one condition is that the signs are not lit in blue and green as they would have too great an impact on the area.

The proposals have sparked objection from heritage watchdog the Cockburn Association.

Director Marion Williams said:

“It will be a disappointment if they [Edinburgh Council] go against their own policies, although it would not be the first time.

“Signage is becoming a big problem on Princes Street and George Street and it seems to be because so many exceptions are being made to the rules.

“Laura Ashley is looking to put up a big illuminated sign on George Street, and again that is against policy, but it may well be approved to try and encourage business.

“It does seem to be the case that economic developments have the upper hand and we wind up with these huge signs as a consequence.

“If the council have a policy then they should stick to it. “

John Bury, head of planning, said:

“The proposals represent a justifiable breach of the non-statutory guidelines with respect to the high-level signage and illumination colour upon the Rose Street and ground-floor storey of the Princes Street elevations.

“However, the illumination of the high-level signage on the Princes Street elevation represents an unjustifiable breach of the guidelines and is unacceptable. “

The Primark store on Princes Street will be a

“flagship’ branch for the company.

It is expected to create up to 600 jobs and is scheduled to open in 2012.

A Primark spokesman said:

“We respect Princes Street’s unique heritage and while we would prefer to have illuminated signs we are very happy to take on board the council’s views. “

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