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Council threat of fine over signage is ‘the last straw’
2:00pm Thursday 20th September 2012 in News
A VALE business engaged in an ongoing battle to keep a signpost directing customers to its site has been threatened with a £2,500 fine.
Vale Pianos, which is based near Throckmorton, has been trying to get official signage for eight years as it is tucked away about a mile off the main A44 road. The firm has been backed by MP Peter Luff, who described the threat of a fine made by Wychavon District Council, as “the last straw”.
Linda Lowe, owner of the shop, said she needed help rather than opposition. “It goes back to 2004,” she said.
“Because our business has grown and our customers now come from a wide area, we need to let people know where we are.”
The business is unable to have a fixed brown sign as it is not a tourist destination.
It initially had an Aboard at the end of the lane but was told it was unsafe, so the business took out insurance.
But the signs were still removed by the county council highways department so a small sign was attached to a post. Mrs Lowe has now received a letter warning her any future breaches could result in a £75 fine which, if contested, could end up costing £2,500.
“It seems to be an ongoing battle,” said Mrs Lowe.
“We were told we could apply for a sign in somebody’s field but that is untidy. There are better things they could do in a recession.”
Peter Luff MP, said: “The prosecution threat was the final straw. The council has failed to support them – and is now actually attacking them.”
Worcestershire County Council said the signs had been removed following complaints or for safety reasons but added it would be looking into business signage countywide. Phil Merrick, head of community development at Wychavon District Council, said: “We appreciate the difficulty Vale Pianos have being located so far from the main road, but this signage is not legal where it is. We’ll work with Vale Pianos on finding a suitable alternative and will do all we can to support the business.”