A NEW shop is set to open in Andover after its signage was approved by council planners on the second attempt.

Cards Direct Retail Ltd had applied to Test Valley Borough Council to erect new signage on the former Topshop premises.

In March 2020, Topshop confirmed it would be closing its Andover store.

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Cards Direct originally applied in January this year to put up an externally illuminated fascia sign, externally illuminated projecting sign and externally illuminated sign over entrance doors, but the proposals were rejected for not being “sympathetic to the traditional character of the locality”.

The retail chain returned with another application in March, this time asking to display of externally illuminated fascia sign and an externally illuminated projecting sign.

In May, borough council planners approved the new application, but concerns were raised by its own design and conservation team.

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It said: “There is concern about what is currently proposed in terms of the extent to which the letters would project (which could look boxy and unduly modern) and the effect this would have on the mounting of the trough light. There is also concern about the vivid modern colours which are proposed, which do not respect the character of the area.”

The council deemed that the "proposed advertisement(s) would not adversely affect public safety or public amenity”.

However, it told Cards Direct that the “illumination of the consented signs shall be no greater than 330 candela per square metres and no light source shall be visible from the highway.”

Cards Direct was established in 2012 and currently has 45 stores in high streets and shopping centres in the UK. Currently, the nearest Cards Direct stores are in Basingstoke and Southampton.

There are currently two card shops in the centre of Andover, Card Factory in the Chantry Centre and Clintons in High Street.