Shops under fire for blocking windows

Kubus, Sheep Market Spalding
Kubus, Sheep Market Spalding
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Foreign shops in Spalding town centre have been accused of having something to hide because of a trend for blocking out their windows.

The accusations have been made following the successful prosecution of Kubus shop owner Jasem Amed Ali for selling out of date food in the Sheepmarket store.

He was fined more than £3,000 after an investigation by Lincolnshire Trading Standards found hundreds of items of stock, including yoghurts and milkshakes which were past their use by date.

After the story appeared in the Lincolnshire Free Press last week a number of comments were left on our website, saying action is needed over blocked out windows of shops such as Kubus.

One reader said: “I wonder how much law-breaking goes on behind these windows?”

Another said the issue was one the council should be focusing on and another said he believed the window stickers were “illegal”.

Another added: “I always thought that most of them shops are dodgy, dirty looking and crammed up and I don’t understand why you’d black out the windows unless you’re hiding something.”

But a South Holland District Council spokesman said”adverts” in shop windows do not require planning permission and are not illegal.

He said: “The planning service has had a number of successes with several premises in the town centre either removing all window adverts or reducing them in size.

“This has been achieved through negotation with shop owners rather than formal action.”

He added that adverts are covered by Advertisement Regulations and it is possible to display many adverts without having to formally apply to the council as they are given deemed consent by the regulations.

Many applied vinyl signs fall within this deemed consent category.