The guardians of Whitby’s image as a classical seaside town have spoken out over what they call a “garish” new shop that wants to open.
Whitby Civic Society has objected to plans from national secondhand retailer CeX to open a store in the town’s Baxtergate in a Grade II listed building.
CeX, or the Complete Entertainment Exchange to give it its full name, is known for its bright red branding that is easily noticeable on a high street.
The company has submitted plans to open its second store in the borough of Scarborough at 61 Baxtergate, in the heart of the town’s conservation area.
As part of an ongoing public consultation, the civic society has now registered its displeasure.
It wrote to Scarborough Borough Council to say: “Whitby Civic Society objects strongly to this application.
“While we welcome the diversification of Whitby’s retail sector that CeX represents, the planned alterations are completely out of keeping with the immediate area, and will harm the fabric of Whitby’s conservation area.
“The use of bright red signage is unacceptable, and LED lighting is unnecessary. We understand the company’s wish to have a standardised visual brand but any alterations to the frontage should be carried out in a sympathetic way that respects the character and identity of the building and the area.
“We also feel this is an ideal time to reinstate the original listed details to the shop.
“We are strongly of the view that the proposed signage will look garish and completely out of keeping with its surroundings, and will actively detract from the visual character of the conservation area.”
In its plans, CeX has stated that the listed characters of the building have been removed in previous years.
It added: “The design of the proposed unit is sympathetic to the listed status and is a basic internal shop-fit only with no structural alterations.”
Whitby Town Council had no objections to the plan.