Council lightens up over flag sign

Lesley and Peter Salthouse outside their Naze Lane chip shop after a planning row over the signage.
Lesley and Peter Salthouse outside their Naze Lane chip shop after a planning row over the signage.

A VILLAGE chip shop can keep flying the flag.

Council planning bosses compromised with Lesley Salthouse and her husband Peter - owners of the Naze Lane chippy in Freckleton - over a signage dispute.

Fylde Council had ordered the patriotic pair to take the shop sign - a union flag with St George’s flags either side - down following a complaint about it earlier this year.

Lesley, 53, and Peter, 54, appealed against the decision but lost.

The council refused planning permission on the basis it was “too big and too visually busy” and that it was a “gawdy design and out of character for a semi rural village”.

But now, following a visit from a senior council planning officer, it has been agreed that if just two exterior lights are removed, the sign can stay.

The story went worldwide after the couple, who have run the chippy for almost 25 years, slammed the original decision to remove the sign “an insult”.

Lesley fumed: “Given that we are an English chip shop and our main sales are fish, we thought, what better than a Union flag with a St George’s flag on each side.”

Lesley and Peter, from Preston but who now live in Freckleton, organised a petition and received just under 600 names in support.

She said local councillors and the parish council had supported their case.

And she even wrote to Buckingham Palace to complain – but was told the Palace could not get involved.

Lesley thanked the “fantastic” support they had received from customers, friends, acquaintances and complete strangers.

She said: “We have been amazed at how far this subject has travelled, Australia, Thailand America, Canada etc. The majority consensus has been that the people like the shop sign and have been flabbergasted at the response from the planning officer that deemed it to be too busy with too many triangles, angles and colours.

“Anyway we are very, very pleased with the outcome of this saga and again would like to say how very grateful we are to all who have supported us.”

A council spokesman said: “We have reached a sensible compromise with the owner of the chip shop.

“The issue was the owner put up a sign which was deemed to be unsuitable to the area in its design and because it was illuminated.

“We don’t want to hinder honest business people going about their honest activities.”