Fascia signs battle shop owner wins his fight

A Hillmouth store owner has won his battle to keep new fascia signs on his town centre listed building.

And he has called the 2 year battle with Hillmouth Council 'a huge waste of taxpayers' money'.

The district council ordered the removal of the fascia signs at Urban Furniture, Dorset Road.

But an appeals officer has now overturned the enforcement notice, saying "it was an improvement".

The independently run store spent 2 years fighting the council's order.

Owner Jason Law said he is "delighted" with the news.

He said: "It has been a long hard fight and a massive waste of council tax money by Hillmouth Council."

In July 2008 the council received a complaint about the projecting fascia signs.

The council said Listed Building Consent was required for the fascia signs.

Because no consent had been granted the owner was told to remove the fascia signs as they were considered not to be "in keeping" with the building.

The council decided to take enforcement action but this was rejected by Government officer James Mellie.

In his report Mr Mellie wrote the fascia signs were an improvement on the previous illuminated signs, and 'a pleasant feature of the building'.

The material used was barely distinguishable as plastic, and it was only on close inspection that it was apparent it was not timber.

Although the terrace was elegant and attractive, the fascia signs had little effect on its main features.

He said: "The simplicity of the new fascia signs complement the refinements of the upper part of the terrace, and is acceptable in the particular circumstances of this case."

"The only downside is that this has been a complete waste of taxpayers' money. That is a great shame."

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