A RESPECTED community group has complained about plans to put up “ugly” and “depressing” signage outside a university.

Essex University applied to Colchester Council to improve the Colchester and Wivenhoe entrances to the campus.

The plans include new signs and landscaping at the St Andrew’s Avenue junction and Colchester Road junction.

But the Wivenhoe Society has objected to the plans and in its submission to Colchester Council, said: “Wivenhoe Park is a Grade II listed park.

This is where the university is applying to erect extremely ugly, sizeable, signs.

“The signs would greatly detract from the visual appearance of the park.”

The group also raised concerns about light pollution and said the new landscaping is out of character.

The university said it wanted to install new signs as there is no clarification of the entrances.

It also said there is no “arrival experience” and the current entrances do not look like they are a part of the university.

However, the society described the signs as boring, and said they said nothing about the character of the university.

Resident Roger Mainwood said: “The proposed designs are really unattractive on so many levels.

“The rusty wire mesh backing in particular is most unwelcoming, and creates the complete opposite feeling to the one that is intended.

“I really can’t see what is wrong with the existing signs, which do actually feel welcoming, and are clear, attractive, modern and not out of keeping with their surroundings.

“These new designs just look utterly depressing.”

Chartered surveyors JTS Partnership said: ““The ownership of the entrance areas will be more obvious and the landscaping will help create more of an arrival experience, whilst also being in keeping with the parkland setting of the campus.”