Sydney Tools forced to rip down garish Dulwich Hill signage

The Dulwich Hill community and Inner West Council has scored a major victory by forcing the Sydney Tools hardware store to remove its garish shopfront signage on New Canterbury Rd.

On 18 February 2020, the Land and Environment Court approved a new signage scheme (see ruling here).

The court decision came about because Sydney Tools had lodged a court appeal against an order issued by Inner West Council requiring the signage to be removed.

However, at the start of the court hearing in January, Sydney Tools backed down and presented a compromise scheme.

This scheme involved removing the current red film from all street-facing windows and having some windows absent of any signage.

During the hearing, the council stated it wanted to go further than the Sydney Tools amended scheme, and also have the windows include local historic images and generic hardware products.

The council also wanted Sydney Tools to remove its garish Pantone Red marketing colour – which dominates the current frontage – from its awning signage and replace it with a more sympathetic and darker colour known as Indian Red.

The Land and Environment Court sided with the council.

“I am satisfied that the Pantone Red signage, as detailed in the architectural plans, is not compatible with the existing visual character of the area due to the proposed extent and the boldness of the colour hue. I am satisfied that the signage, as proposed by the applicant, would be jarring and unsympathetic to the locality,” Commissioner Dickson said in his ruling.

Sydney Tools now has 90 days to implement the ruling.

The Sydney Tools signage has been a source of great irritation and annoyance to the Dulwich Hill community, and an affront to the shopping centre’s heritage qualities.

The Dulwich Hill community – and the council – has fought hard to have this signage removed and the court decision is a major victory.

While the community is yet to see the final signage outcome, it will surely be an improvement compared to the abomination which currently exists at the site.

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The current Sydney Tools signage, which will now be removed

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