Planners tell business to ‘two-tone’ it down

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A well-known Kilrea business has been told by Planners that two-tone red cladding on the front of its premises is not “sensitive to the character of the area”.

Donaghy Brothers, situated at Maghera Street in the town, had already fitted the two-tone cladding to the electrical sale shops and the planning application was discussed at Tuesday’s meeting of the Planning Committee of Causeway Coast and Glens Council.

A Planning representative recommended refusing permission to a variation of a condition of already approved plans, saying: “The red two tone cladding, which covers ground and first floor, is not sensitive to the character of the area surrounding the site. Refusal is recommended.”

The development he said would: “If permitted, not be sensitive to the settlement and the character of the area surrounding the site in terms of the use of materials.”

Declaring an interest, chair of the committee Cllr Roisin Loftus vacated the seat in favour of vice-chair Cllr Barney Fitzpatrick.

Speaking on behalf of the applicants, Mr Monaghan addressed the meeting and told members that the render was a “crisp, modern cladding”.

He said that Planning policy stated that modern designs can be used provided that they used quality materials which were approriate. He added that Donaghy Brothgers had chosen cladding which was both durable and appropriate to the suurroundings. “A wide range of materials and colours” are used on the businesses in Maghera Street, he added.

Mr Monaghan also added that there could not be any objection to the colour as buildings can be painted any colour without Planning permission.

Alderman William King said that he had great resppect for Donaghy Brothers who are a well-established firm, but said that the front and back of the premises were very different. “Was that designed just to attract attention?” he asked.

Mr Monaghan said that the cladding reflected Donaghy Brothers’ company colour. Speaking on behalf of the applicant, Cllr Loftus said the colour wasn’t an issue because a premises could choose to paint their business whatever way they liked, even if it was three different colours!

Planning representative Shane Mathers said that the issue was the “brightness of the colour rather than the colour per se”.

Alderman King said that if members voted against Planners’ recommendation, they would “open the doors” to all kinds of applications. He proposed that members refuse permission for the cladding, seconded by Cllr Tony McCaul. This proposal was carried.