Connect with us

News

High Flyer makes a ‘mug’ of planners

Avatar photo

Published

on

A turnaround pub company has won the day after putting ‘Britishness’ at the heart of its appeal against enforcement action to remove a giant promotional tea cup. 

The High Flyer in Ely was told by East Cambridgeshire District Council to remove the offending tea cup, branding it “an unsympathetic and incongruous addition”. 

But pub owners – Great British Inns – has been successful in an appeal to the Planning Inspectorate to be allowed to keep its promotional “rolled polystyrene” three-metre-tall coffee cup outside of its Ely pub.  

“We are proud of our family friendly establishments that serve traditional British fayre cooked from fresh ingredients at very competitive prices,” said managing director Jason Tudor. 

And he said that before they acquired the High Flyer it had been a commercial failure.  

The company prides itself on taking on failed establishments which often come with a “history of disorder”. 

As with the High Flyer, their objective was to turn it into “community assets that are quiet, respectable and orderly.   

“We are proud of our British heritage, so this permeates all of our brand values and is consistent with the interiors of our establishments, our merchandising and brand promotions.  

“It is also a driver of where we choose to locate our establishments‐ hence our choice of The High Flyer and Ely for our portfolio” 

He said the tea cup was intended to be “slightly iconoclastic but tastefully presented more as art than commerce‐ albeit we acknowledge that it is there for a purpose”.  

Planning inspector David Reed ruled in the pub’s favour, describing it as “a large three dimensional ‘mug’ structure of white plastic-coated polystyrene, about 3.1 m high and 1.8 m wide, set on a 0.5 m plinth and projecting about 1.55 m”. 

He said: “The mug wraps around the projecting chimney breast on the end of the 19th century buff brickwork building and has been painted with an advertisement comprising black lettering and Alice in Wonderland themed artwork. 

“The mug was installed to draw attention to the refurbishment and rebranding of the public house at the end of the last lockdown.  

“This seems to have been successful with numerous letters submitted both in support and against the feature and a petition of 1,113 names supporting its retention on the basis that it enhances the streetscape and brings joy to many local citizens.” 

Mr Reed said that seen in the context of the conventional mainly brick terraced houses and miscellaneous buildings along the road the structure is “starkly and quirkily obvious, an intrusive feature prominently standing out in the streetscape.  

“On any conventional basis the large ‘mug’ is out of place in the area and fails to preserve the vernacular fenland character and appearance of this part of the extensive City of Ely conservation area. 

“However, the mug is located on a secondary road within the city, well away from the cathedral, and as an advertisement its role is to stand out.  

“White plastic covered polystyrene is also an alien material within the conservation area and, together with its lettering, is likely to deteriorate over time, potentially becoming an eyesore if not adequately maintained.” 

He noted that “perhaps recognising these points, the appellant states they would be prepared to accept a two-year temporary permission; the natural business cycle for the current relaunch of the public house.  

“Successful businesses attracting activity are essential to the character of the conservation area in addition to its built appearance, and in this unusual one-off case the marketing benefits of the mug justify its retention for such a time limited period.  

“After this period however its publicity value will have declined, the novelty will have worn off and any remaining joy is likely to be outweighed by irritation at a bizarre structure in the street scene that has outstayed its welcome.” 

The giant cuppa was acquired off E-Bay but originally commissioned by Network Rail in 2014 to celebrate the launch of a solar bridge at Blackfriars station, London. 

The High Flyer gave it an Alice in Wonderland make-over.  

But East Cambridgeshire Council was alerted and hand delivered a five-page enforcement order – wrapping individual sheets around the giant cuppa. 

The cuppa has split opinion since it was erected at the end of June last year prior to re-opening of the High Flyer as a boutique hotel.  

The pub describes the cuppa as bringing a “new addition to our team… our HUGE cup of POSITIVITEA,”. 

And they volunteered that “after lockdown, we wanted to add something inspirational to make sure you all have a BREW-TIFUL day, even if you’re just driving past”. 

The cup has a colourful Alice in Wonderland theme by artist Neil Arms.  

One resident insists “Ely has been mugged by this eyesore” although another described it as “pretty cool”. 

The council said the pictorial image which forms part of the advert has been reproduced from John Tenniel’s 1865 illustrations for Alice in Wonderland. 

“And therefore, to draw an analogy with original street art such as the works of ‘Banksy’ is misplaced,” said a council statement. 

“Public art should be unique, ideally created by an artist in response to a specific site and not, as in this case, generic marketing material designed to attract customers into a coffee shop.” 

It adds: “The presence of a giant mug on the side of a building has drawn attention, however, it is unlikely that visitors would necessarily be attracted to Ely for this sole purpose. 

“Therefore, to be labelled as a tourist attraction is unfounded and is not justification to support the advertisement when considering amenity and public safety. 

“As with any other advertising gimmicks once this has been viewed, it is doubtful whether visitors would need to see it again. 

FOOTNOTE: Tell us your planning dilemmas. Email CambsNews

Facebook

Read More

Say NO to Sunnica campaign group has mounted a massive effort to stop the solar farm PHOTO: Say NO to Sunnica Say NO to Sunnica campaign group has mounted a massive effort to stop the solar farm PHOTO: Say NO to Sunnica
Breaking7 hours ago

Labour approve 2,500 acre Sunnica solar farm on Cambridgeshire/Suffolk border

Government also drops 9-year ban on onshore windfarms

Peterborough City Council told CambsNews: ‘Following the recent identification of poisonous hemlock plants on land at Thorpe Meadows, we have worked to restrict access to this area.’ PHOTO: Terry Harris for CambsNews Peterborough City Council told CambsNews: ‘Following the recent identification of poisonous hemlock plants on land at Thorpe Meadows, we have worked to restrict access to this area.’ PHOTO: Terry Harris for CambsNews
News10 hours ago

Poisonous hemlock forces closure of Thorpe Meadows, Peterborough

The signs warn visitors of ‘toxic poison hemlock on site’

Carlyle-Parker, from Wisbech, later pleaded guilty to false imprisonment, actual bodily harm and dangerous driving Carlyle-Parker, from Wisbech, later pleaded guilty to false imprisonment, actual bodily harm and dangerous driving
News12 hours ago

Wisbech man jailed for ‘horrific attack’ on his partner whilst their child was in the car

'He put all their lives and the lives of other road users at risk'

Human trafficker suspect detained in Whittlesey told police ‘they want me? about what?’ before being advised of his rights and bundled into a police van. Human trafficker suspect detained in Whittlesey told police ‘they want me? about what?’ before being advised of his rights and bundled into a police van.
News13 hours ago

WATCH: Human trafficker suspect held in Whittlesey on European arrest warrant

Suspect spotted speeding in Bellmans Road

NewRiver Retail plan to demolish the car park to make way for a new food store but have not given details of which supermarket chain wants to move in. NewRiver Retail plan to demolish the car park to make way for a new food store but have not given details of which supermarket chain wants to move in.
News16 hours ago

360-space Horsefair Wisbech car park to be demolished to make way for new store

The multi-storey car park is attached to Horsefair Shopping Centre

Recycling facilities in March are set for a £4m upgrade, after Cambridgeshire County Council agreed for a replacement. Visual of the new household recycling centre Recycling facilities in March are set for a £4m upgrade, after Cambridgeshire County Council agreed for a replacement. Visual of the new household recycling centre
News2 days ago

Green light for £4m recycling centre at March despite 17 per cent hike in costs

Cambridgeshire has 9 household waste recycling centres

Protect Local Peterborough (PRP) is a campaign to oppose proposals for a Township in the middle of open countryside. Protect Local Peterborough (PRP) is a campaign to oppose proposals for a Township in the middle of open countryside.
News2 days ago

OPINION: ‘Fastest growing city in the UK’ is not a vision for the people of Peterborough

Fighting to prevent mass suburban sprawl in and around Castor and Ailsworth

Kuda Madondo Allison Clarke Niall James and Keith Johnson (002) Kuda Madondo Allison Clarke Niall James and Keith Johnson (002)
News2 days ago

Stagecoach East reveal ‘crème de la crème’ for Bus Driver of the Year awards

The contestants came from across Stagecoach East

Paul Bristow awaiting result of the count in Peterborough. Photo: Terry Harris Paul Bristow awaiting result of the count in Peterborough. Photo: Terry Harris
News2 days ago

Ex MP Paul Bristow says Tories must win back young people who voted Reform

'I’m proud to have secured £125 million for the city'

Image of what The Press will look like when complete: it set to deliver over 100,000 sq ft of fitted lab and office space through repositioning of Cambridge’s former printing press. Image of what The Press will look like when complete: it set to deliver over 100,000 sq ft of fitted lab and office space through repositioning of Cambridge’s former printing press.
News2 days ago

Foxton, Cambridge development ‘responds to persistent shortfall in fit-for-purpose lab and office space’

New 100,000 sq ft Foxton science and innovation campus