Huge Charlton Sainsbury’s sign refused permission, huge Charlton Sainsbury’s sign appears anyway

Charlton Sainsbury's, 16 June 2015

A week to go until the new Charlton Sainsbury’s opens (9am on Wednesday 24 June, with M&S due to follow three weeks later), but there had been a set-back for the supermarket – Greenwich Council refused plans to stick a giant four-metre high illuminated logo on the store roof, along with a smaller sign by Bugsby’s Way and a totem facing Woolwich Road.

Council refusal letter

Except that this week… a giant four-metre high sign has appeared on the store roof, along with a smaller sign by Bugsby’s Way and a totem facing Woolwich Road.

Charlton Sainsbury's, 16 June 2014

Looks a bit like something’s dribbling out of the lettering…

No, we don’t know what’s happening either. Nor are we quite sure why the next door M&S also features a whacking great big sign (our best guess is it may not have needed permission as it’s partly below roof level). But we are trying to find out.

Greenwich Council's refusal

Of course, there are bigger issues with a whacking great big supermarket in a residential area – traffic, wasted space, and the building’s very existence when we desperately need new homes. But if the small things (such as a sign) can’t be fixed, what hope is there for the big things?

Thanks to Pete M for the tip-off.

4.20pm update: A very quick response from Greenwich Council, which says it has opened investigations into both the Sainsbury’s and M&S signage.

18 June update: Greenwich Council’s confirmed the M&S sign does have planning permission, given last December.


About Darryl

Journalist, SE Londoner.
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17 Responses to Huge Charlton Sainsbury’s sign refused permission, huge Charlton Sainsbury’s sign appears anyway

  1. Pete M says:

    You’re welcome Darryl, keep up the good work. By way of update this morning I emailed the contact found on this page:

    and I just received an email from a Senior Planning Enforcement Officer saying that the matter was being investigated and that the agent for the site had already been contacted regarding the signage. Let’s hope this is rectified!

  2. The Hebridean says:

    The local chatter coming to me is that the council has been getting a right royal ear-bashing fit for a royal borough since early yesterday. And quite right too. Its bad enough that Woolwich is Tesco-Town. Is Charlton now Sainsburyville with the company thinking it is Lord of the Manor? Keep going one and all!

  3. Michael D says:

    It looks absolutely bonkers. Ugly Ugly Ugly! Thank God blogs like this highlight such inconsiderate infringements of our planning system. I’ll bet they reapply for retrospective permission a la Frankie & Bennies in Greenwich.

  4. peter lapper says:

    Please leave Sainsbury’s to do what they have to , they are bringing work an jobs to thee area, such a petty argument about a sign. Get over it!

  5. Joe Thorn says:

    I hope not Michael. Matt Pennycook had enough to say about development but not at any price during the election. So where is he now to tell Greenwich that enough is enough and it is not good enough for developers and big businesses to snap their fingers and then Greenwich will roll over for whatever they want? That sign is a nightmare and really has to go.

  6. Judy says:

    Do we have plans for monitoring the increase in traffic on Victoria Way on the day of/following store opening?

  7. Mrs J Snipp says:

    Why do we need Giant Signs, we all know that Sainsbury’s is coming. I believe every resident has been notified by letter.We shall know more about it when we are swamped with extra traffic & fumes. Large shop signs are not environmentaly friendly. We are supposed to be cutting down on wastage.

  8. What happening with the downgrading of that section of the A206?

  9. The Hebridean says:

    The whole community should be on the case, never mind one residents association. Councillors and MP and planning should be telling Sainsbury to get that sign down. In case anyones forgotten, look how they behaved over deliveries to the Local on Church Lane. That store is too big for its boots.

  10. Michael D says:

    Maybe this is just Sainsburys giving two fingers to the Eco store which they are leaving behind. The ‘green’ image didnt work for them so they are trying the ungreen route…?

  11. dimps says:

    Peter, the point is that Sainsburys ignored a planning decision. Tesco is renowned for this and does as it wants as far as buildings are concerned, knowing that councils will back down after several court cases. Perhaps Sainsbury’s is testing the waters. Is this new sign also illuminated, as per the original application, anyone?

  12. JR says:

    Just got a flyer from Sainsbury’s through my door announcing the store. Funnily enough their ‘How it will look image’ lacks the sign.

    I think I may have to let their ‘community relations officer’, Craig Ling, know what a member of the community thinks. It’s if anyone else wants to do so.

    The flyer (with sign-less shop) is here

  13. Pingback: Goodbye to Greenwich’s ‘eco’-Sainsbury’s: 1999 – 2015 | 853

  14. Pingback: Charlton Sainsbury’s: First look inside the brand new store | The Charlton Champion

  15. Others may have received the same, but yesterday I got a letter from the Council notifying me that Sainsbury’s has reapplied for permission for its illuminated signs – 3 fascia signs, 2 pharmacy crosses, one “projecting sign” and 5 “totem signs”. 11 signs in all. I don’t know anything about planning law, but it seems strange that they’re able to reapply for permission for something that was explicitly denied in the original application, and which they have (to an extent – the present signs aren’t, to my knowledge, illuminated yet) gone ahead with anyway.

    Link to planning docs etc here:
    Here’s the application covering letter (which includes more detail about the existing signage):

    Like I say, I don’t know anything about planning law, but others here may be interested.

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