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Billericay Town Councillor, John Buchanan is concerned over the number of shops and restaurants displaying signage which he claims is not in keeping with the town's character.

He is asking businesses and Basildon town council to be more thoughtful of the surroundings in regards to advertising businesses on the High Street, as it is a designated conservation area.

[quote width="auto" align="none" border="#0066cc" color="#0066cc" title="Mr Buchanan, chairman of the town’s planning committee"]It seems when a company wants to change a sign it just does it so it can fit in with the company’s look, with no regard for the historic High Street in Billericay. We wouldn’t mind them putting up a wooden sign with a light shining down on it, but it’s signs which are big with lights shining from behind them which stand out.[/quote]

The High Street was designated a conservation area by English Heritage, which awards the status to places with special architectural or historical interest.

Mr Buchanan said one of the main offenders was Prezzo restaurant, “It took down a smallish sign which was not illuminated, and put up an enormous, brightly lit sign. It did not have proper planning permission, and we did put in an objection to it and want to see it taken down, but the sign is still up there."

He also said Sugar Cane sweet shop and the Iceland supermarket had signs which were not in keeping.

Helen Anderson, the owner of Sugar Cane, said: “We have spoken to Basildon Council about the sign, and it has told us we should replace it. We are in the process of replacing the box with a swinging sign, which can be illuminated. We do not want to rock the boat, but the new sign will still be pink, which is the company’s colour, which we are happy with – as is Basildon Council.”

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