Brewer fined over hotel sign

A SUFFOLK brewing giant has been fined by the courts after it refused to take down an “inappropriate” sign from a historic village pub.Magistrates in Bury St Edmunds heard how Greene King failed to remove an illuminated advertising sign from the side of the Bull Hotel, in Long Melford, despite being ordered to do so by enforcement officers at Babergh District Council.

A SUFFOLK brewing giant has been fined by the courts after it refused to take down an “inappropriate” sign from a historic village pub.

Magistrates in Bury St Edmunds heard how Greene King failed to remove an illuminated advertising sign from the side of the Bull Hotel, in Long Melford, despite being ordered to do so by enforcement officers at Babergh District Council.

On Friday, the company was fined £250 and ordered to pay £340 in court costs after pleading guilty to a charge of failing to comply with a listed buildings enforcement notice.

It comes just days after the owners of Chimneys restaurant in the village were prosecuted for an illegally sited display board.


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The dispute was over the advertising board along the side of the busy A134 - which bypasses the village - that the council deemed a hazard to passing traffic. The restaurant was made to remove the board, and was fined £300.

During last week's court hearing, magistrates heard how council enforcement officers had demanded the removal of the box sign on the Bull - which advertised the hotel's AA star rating - claiming it detracted from the “special architectural character” of the sixteenth century Grade II listed building, in the heart of the picturesque village.

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The notice was challenged by Greene King bosses, who appealed against the decision, but the application was dismissed after the inspector dealing with the case found that the “artlessness of the lettering, the sub-division of the colours within the sign and the shape of the sign detracted from the timber background on which it was fixed.”

When Greene King still failed to remove the sign, the council took the matter to court.

Council enforcement officer Paul Spens said he was pleased with the outcome of the court hearing.

“This shows that Babergh will always take action against inappropriate alterations to listed buildings, regardless of who owns the property,” he said.

Elizabeth Gray, estate manager for the Greene King Pub Company, said: “We're sorry about the delay in removing the sign. It was an unfortunate oversight, for which we're now paying the price.

“We're now working to find a sign that reflects the hotel's achievements at the same time as passing the council's rule book.”

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