BUSINESS centre Basepoint was told to reveal its intentions over future plans for controversial signage at the iconic Ropetackle building tonight (Monday, August 3).
Adur planning committee demanded answers from the firm, after it requested that an old planning application be determined for ‘Basepoint’ only lettering on the building’s north and east towers.
The plans could technically grant the removal of the @Ropetackle lettering, approved by the committee as a compromise solution following widespread objections from residents.
But after Basepoint’s agents refused to confirm its client’s intentions to council officers, the committee tonight deferred the application so the firm could attend to explain its position.
Planning officer Gary Peck said: “It’s a strange one in that we all felt we had reached a compromise. As stated in the report, further to that approval we were under the assumption that when we contacted Basepoint, they would withdraw it.
“Instead they asked that this application be determined. In a planning sense, officers can only look at the size and design of the lettering. Name and suchlike is not a planning consideration.”
Basepoint previously told the Herald it had ‘no plans’ to alter the current @Ropetackle signage, and the matter was essentially drawing a close to proceedings.
But the committee was disappointed that no-one from the firm was in attendance at the meeting, with Mr Peck only receiving a short email from its agent, who said it ‘could not state’ Basepoint’s intentions.
Councillor Brian Coomber said: “I think pursuing this application is a provocative move almost. We have found a compromise in having it described as Basepoint @Ropetackle. I think we perhaps need to know why. They are not here this evening. I would be reluctant to see this determined until we now what their intention is.”
Mr Peck said the simplest thing for the firm to have done was to withdraw the application but officers were ‘confused’ by its insistence on having the plans heard.
He said the firm could technically alter the signs without permission, so long as it did not cause a detrimental effect in planning terms.
This meant they could have almost anything - even ‘la la la’.
Despite this, the committee felt it reasonable to hear from Basepoint direct, with further concerns raised the loss of ‘Ropetackle’ could cause confusion when the Ropetackle North sites was developed.
Four further objections were received in addition to the 97 submitted originally.
One said Basepoint ‘should be admonished for wasting the committee’s time’.