Liverpool Council rejects Hooters’ new signage proposal

A fresh bid by the Liverpool branch of Hooters to keep its controversial signs up under new designs has been knocked back.

Earlier this year, after months of wrangling, an appeal by the American franchise chain against the city council denying them planning permission for two large illuminated signs outside the Water Street venue was dismissed.

In a bid to keep the brand insignia up, Hooters sought permission from Liverpool Council planners to put up smaller, differently designed signs to be put up outside the venue.

It has now been confirmed this attempt has also been rejected.

As it stands, two illuminated 2m-high signs, with orange text on a black background hang outside the controversial restaurant and bar. These were first rejected by the city council in October last year, but were put up a month later anyway.

However, in a bid to win over the local authority, the business had asked for permission to put up new 1.5m tall signs, which would not be lit up, in a matt design. In a decision notice issued on 22 August, Liverpool Council’s planning department confirmed it would not allow the new proposals to go ahead. 

It said, “By virtue of size, design, scale and siting, the proposed signage would fail to preserve the character and appearance of the application building and Castle Street Conservation Area and the setting of the adjacent listed buildings; Oriel Chambers (grade I) & India Buildings (grade II*)” In its application, Hooters had cited a number of nearby businesses with outdoor signage, including Gaucho and the India Buildings.

A heritage statement added how the new signage, which would seek to include brushed copper in keeping with other buildings, “aims to have a positive effect on amenity.”

“It presents a muted and appropriate advertisement for the building’s setting.”

The new application was the latest in a long-running saga between the business and Liverpool Council over the signage. Hooters was given 14 days to remove the signs or face prosecution. 

As they remained in place, the council sought to instigate proceedings. These were halted following the fresh application.

Cllr Nick Small, City Centre North ward member, was pleased the council blocked the new terms. He said, “I’m delighted this appeal has been refused.  Water Street is one of the most important heritage streets in our city and this signage was totally unsuitable.

“My ward colleague, Cllr Christine Banks and I opposed this planning application from the start. I hope Hooters comply as soon as possible and take these signs down.”

The LDRS contacted Hooters for comment.

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