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Town councillors look at shop front designs

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A document that could change the way shop fronts in Haverhill look has been considered by councillors.

The West Suffolk Shop Front Design Guide offers advice about appropriate design for traditional and modern shop fronts.

St Edmundsbury Borough Council is consulting on the guide which provides clear planning advice and guidance to those responsible for designing or changing shop fronts.

But the guide was met with mixed responses from the council.

“I have a problem with homogenising the shop fronts on the High Street,” said Councillor Ernie Goody. “One of the charms about our High Street is its individualism.

“I wouldn’t want to take that away.”

Town clerk, Colin Poole, saw the potential of the guidelines, and noted that they could be a valuable tool for the town council.

“Effectively, it’s a supplementary planning control,” he said. “If somebody wants some great, garish, pink neon sign flashing away, we can say we don’t allow that.”

Haverhill’s Mayor, Cllr Roger André, agreed, noting that the council could do with the additional control that the guide would give it.

He said: “When we did want to stop someone doing something improper, we didn’t have any powers at all to do it.

“This would make those decisions easier for the town council.”

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