Newbury Park businesswoman slams ‘petty’ council ruling over ‘instrusive’ sign

Shop owner Maria Macleish in front of the shop with the sign and banner

Shop owner Maria Macleish in front of the shop with the sign and banner - Credit: Archant

A Newbury Park businesswoman has slammed a “petty” Redbridge Council ruling that a shop sign must be taken down because it is unsightly.

Maria MacLeish, who owns safety jewellery company SOS Talisman, did not apply for planning permission before installing the banner above a first floor window of her business and retrospective permission has now been refused.

Miss MacLeish said it was erected so drivers in Eastern Avenue could see the shop, in Grays Corner.

The family business has been running since 1985 creating jewellery that conceals vital information that can be used by the emergency services.

Miss MacLeish said: “Not everyone knows what we do and that banner is essential to the business.

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“I think it’s very petty of the council and goes against small businesses in the recession.”

She added that the design had been co-ordinated with the colour scheme of the shop.

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The decision letter from the council said the banner was an “intrusive display out of character” with surroundings and “detrimental to the visual amenity of the locality”.

A council spokesman said: “We have refused the application for this sign as the size and position means it is not in keeping with the design of the building it is on and negatively impacts the character of the surrounding area.

“We’d strongly advise that residents avoid starting work that needs planning permission before they’ve received permission, to avoid any costs if it isn’t granted.

“If the sign is not taken down, the Council will be required to take enforcement action.”

She added permission for an “additional projecting sign” could be applied for.

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