Pensioners disrupt planning meeting
ELDERLY neighbours of a proposed new drive through KFC takeway in Ferndown were warned they could be thrown out of an East Dorset District Council planning meeting if they did not stop interrupting the debate.
Committee chairman Simon Tong told the objectors to the signage proposed for the former garage showroom at the junction of Ringwood Road and Victoria Road that he would clear the public gallery and suspend the meeting if they failed to keep quiet.
But their anger at the proposed KFC signs on and around the building, for which change of use was approved in the face of much opposition in June, was echoed in part by members who agreed to approve the majority of the application, but drew the line at a totem sign nearly 20 feet high carrying a seven foot high portrait of 'Col Sanders'.
A spokesman for the residents of the nearby Homelands House development of apartments for the elderly argued that they lived not in the town centre, as the site was said to be, but in a residential street with no other commercial premises where the sign would be totally out of character.
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Councillor Derek Boyt asked whether the totem sign needed to be quite so high and less intrusive, and Councillor Tong said it was a fair question.
"We could give a split decision, and negotiating for a smaller one there while approving the others."
Councillor Barbara Manuel said: "It keeps being said that it's a town centre location, but it is basically residential and a special character area. It is just not appropriate."
Councillor Robin Cook commented: "We are up against corporate identity here, and if we were in Texas we might want the garishness that goes with these signs. If we have to go with this creeping Americanisation, can we at least ask that they spell 'Drive Through' in the Queen's English?"
It was agreed to approve all but the totem pole, resulting in two illuminated direction signs on the roadside, three smaller KFC logos on the fascia of the building together with an internally illuminated Colonel on the door, two signs and a 2.4 metre high menu sign next to the north boundary fence.