Council taking a firm line on signs

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THE OWNER of a hot tub company in Bury St Edmunds has criticised a council’s decision forcing him to take down advertising signs next to the A14.

Richard Smith, who owns the Tub Company in Mercers Road, originally leaned signs against haybails in a pig field next to the dual- carriageway but was later told by St Edmundsbury Borough Council he needed planning permission for them.

Richard then bought the owner of the pig farm a new water bowser to feed his animals, asking that a sign be put on the side of the vehicle. But the council sent him an enforcement letter on August 30 saying he cannot advertise on the bowser either, as it is used for purposes other than a moving vehicle.

After receiving the letter, he used a freedom of information request to discover there had been no public complaints about the sign.

Mr Smith said: “I think it is ridiculous – it is legislation over common sense. It is difficult enough running a business at this time without having to deal with this.

“The issue is a grey area at best and the council is going to cause a lot of damage to a small business.”

A council spokesman said: “The council’s position is that the advertisement that is being displayed is unauthorised and requires advertisement consent.

“We have explained that the exemptions that usually apply in relation to advertisements displayed on moving vehicles (such as on a bus used for transporting passengers) do not apply in the case of the bowser, which is used for purposes other than as a moving vehicle and is not self-propelling.”