Bright lights on the John Lewis building

John Lewis store and the city centre from Cowick Hill
John Lewis store and the city centre from Cowick Hill

I had been contacted by a resident on Cowick Hill has concerns about the illuminated sign on the side of the John Lewis building

The resident highlights 3 main issues with the lighting;

  1. The LED lighting is not in keeping with the rest of Exeter’s lighting. It stands out on the horizon and draws your eye to it (even from Haldon)

2)  I do not wish to see/read corporate advertising from my home.

3) and most importantly, it detracts from the Cathedral as the LED lights are brighter and stand out clearly on the horizon. We are a Cathedral City, not a Corporate John Lewis City.

The resident is so concerned that they have contacted I have also contacted the Campaign for the Protection of Rural England {CPRE] as they point out you can even see the sign from Haldon Hill!

I know that planning consent of illuminateld signs is a complex matter and I’ve been in contact with the ECC officer who oversaw the  planning matters on the John Lewis development.

They have told me that the illuminated John Lewis signs have the necessary advertisement consent and ike other high level signage in the city centre (Odeon Cinema, Jury’s Inn), the John Lewis signs are not subject of any restrictions on hours.

With this information in mind – and the realisation that this would not be an enforcement matter – I contacted the manager of the  JLP store.

Expecting them to be reluctant to meet my request to switch off the illuminated sign once the store had closed, I was willing to meet in the middle and see they could dim the sign after hours.

To my surprise, they agreed immediately!

Next on the list is the brightly lit Next store, and I  often wonder if Princesshay is too bright at night.

Perhaps this is  something to roll out throughout the city centre as means of reducing Exeter’s carbon footprint


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