A BUSINESS owner has defended a bid for two new signs on a historic building.
Harry Gill spoke in the wake of criticism from local historians about plans for two large signs on his dental practice, enVisage Dental, in Havant Road, Emsworth.
Historian Bob Smyth is concerned as the building is Grade II-listed, having been the former coachhouse and stables for the nearby Seafield House.
The business, which has been in Emsworth since 2001, recently moved from High Street to the new location.
Mr Gill told The News: ‘We had the choice to relocate our business to other areas such as Havant or Chichester as our patients are local as well as travel from the surrounding areas.
‘However, having been part of Emsworth for so long, we really care about being local and decided to invest locally when the opportunity arose
‘In the last 12 months alone we have invested over £550,000 into the building alone to ensure we maintain its historic character and charm, especially with the sympathetic upkeep of internal features, walls, fireplaces and beams.’
He added: ‘The signage will be built only with the best materials used for high end boutiques.
‘Our only aim is to help people coming from outside of Emsworth recognise our boutique clinic as we have patients come from very far to see us.’
He said he was happy to work with local residents on the signage design. A historical information point could also be included.
Havant council will make the final decision.