Action to tackle ‘eyesore’ shops

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SEVERAL shops in Spalding town centre could be forced to take down “eyesore” stickers in their store fronts.

South Holland District Council has confirmed that it has approached shop owners who are displaying the stickers inside or outside their windows without planning permission.

It is the first step towards possible enforcement action if shop owners do not comply.

It is believed some of those involved include the Spalding Market shop in Station Street, the new Spalding Market in Westlode Street and Kubus in the Sheepmarket, although the council refused to confirm the identities.

But one town centre businessman has described some of the shop fronts as eyesores.and said it was “one rule for one, and another rule for another” after Aspire in The Crescent was forced to spend thousands of pounds changing its purple shop front to a more subdued shade.

Pete Williams, landlord of The Punchbowl pub in New Road, said: “You can tell just by walking around the town centre which shops have planning permissions for their shop signs and which ones don’t because the ones that don’t are an eyesore.

“I approached the planning department at the council to find out what is being done about it and was told that they have written letters to the shopkeepers and they are in the process of dealing with it.”

A council spokesman was unwilling to be drawn on how many shop owners had been approached, except to say it was “several”, but said enforcement action had not been instigated against any.

He said: “South Holland District Council’s planning department is actively investigating the most pragmatic manner in which to address the adverse impacts of inappropriate signage on the street scene.

“Prior consent is normally required for this form of applied advertising and we have been in recent contact with a number of shop owners in order to effect a solution.

“At present we are trying to actively engage them to find a solution between ourselves before we take it any further.

“Shop signs do become a problem if they do not conform with planning policies as they can impact on the visual amenity of the town centre.”