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Saints mount fightback after council demands huge McDiarmid Park sign is removed

The offending sign at McDiarmid Stadium
The offending sign at McDiarmid Stadium

The Scottish Government has been urged to resolve a row over a huge sign at McDiarmid Park.

St Johnstone FC had to rename part of its stadium to secure permission for the massive hoarding on the North Stand.

A planning application was rejected last year for the 38-metre installation which promotes former club chairman Geoff Brown’s company GS Brown Construction.

Council planners said they could not allow the display because it had nothing to do with football and would look out of place.

Saints bosses responded by formally renaming that part of the stadium the GS Brown Construction Ltd Stand, leaving planning officers with no choice but to approve the scheme.

Earlier this month, Perth and Kinross Council took enforcement action against the club, demanding it removes the sign within 28 days or face a fine up to £1,000.

Officials claimed the sign is different to what was agreed and that it has a “detrimental impact” on the nearby crematorium and garden of remembrance.

Planners are also upset the lettering was mounted against a white backdrop.

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The club has fired back by lodging an appeal with the Scottish Government.

In papers submitted to the Planning and Environmental Appeals Division, agents GS Brown – representing St Johnstone – sets out its arguments.

A spokesman said that drawings submitted to the council did not detail or specify individual letters. “Due to the agreed size of the letters, it was and is impractical to fix the individual letters, so a sign board was erected,” he said.

“White background was used as it was evident that matching the existing cladding would be impossible.”

He added: “The current position and style of design does not detract from the amenity of the neighbouring properties.”

The local authority has been asked to respond to St Johnstone’s submission. The appeals department expects to make a ruling by mid-June.

In a statement issued earlier this month, a council spokeswoman said: “On August 23, advertisement consent was granted but the council recently became aware that the signage is not in accordance with the advertisement consent.

“Due to its detrimental impact on the visual amenity of the area (including the new section of the Crieff Road, and Perth Crematorium and its memorial gardens), the council considered it appropriate to serve an advertisement enforcement notice requiring the unauthorised signage to be removed.”

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