Controversial plans to put up a navigation sign at the Ikea store in Calcot have been resubmitted, 15 metres taller than previously proposed.
The home furnishings giant wants to erect the 57m-high sign – the same height as 13 double decker buses – to direct shoppers to its site close to junction 12 of the M4.
It would display the Ikea logo on three sides in the store’s distinctive blue and yellow colours.
A planning application was received by West Berkshire Council earlier this month.
But it comes after similar plans for a 42m-high sign were submitted and then withdrawn by Ikea in February last year.
Those plans drew criticism from the local parish councils of Theale, Tilehurst, Holybrook and Sulham, which all objected on the basis of the visual impact of the sign.
And Alan Macro, district and parish councillor for Theale, was equally scathing of the latest application.
He said: “On the face of it, it sounds awful.
“Theale is a beautiful village and the last thing we want is a great big monstrosity stuck up like a sore thumb that you’ll see at the end of the High Street.
“There are fields around there and it’s not far from the area of outstanding natural beauty.”
But in Ikea’s application, it says that the sign – which they refer to as a navigation tower – would show shoppers where the store was, and reduce the chance of accidents on the roads from people trying to find it.
The application reads: “Customers are often unfamiliar with the route to the store so it is important that drivers are made aware of the store’s location as soon as is practicable, to ensure they can make a safe exit from the carriageway.
“The navigation tower affords earlier decision making for drivers and reduces the risk of traffic accidents as a result.
“An awareness of the store location on the journey to the store will further improve the customer experience when visiting Ikea.
“Its scale and location have been carefully considered to balance the provision of an effective directional aid, with possible effects on nearby residential areas.”
West Berkshire Council has set a deadline of October 2 for a decision.