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Helston florist ordered to remove plants and flowers is "ridiculous"

By West Briton  |  Posted: July 15, 2013

  • Barry Dunstan outside The Sweet Pea where he is no longer allowed to display flowers.

Comments (5)

A HELSTON florist who was ordered to remove flowers and plants from outside his shop said he only wanted to promote the "dead" town.

Barry Dunstan said his customers at Sweet Pea in Meneage Street thought the move was "ridiculous".

Cornwall Council said his large plant stand and containers must go after it received a complaint that pushchairs could not pass on the pavement.

Mr Dunstan said: "We've had so many good comments about how nice the plants looked and lots of people coming in and saying it's ridiculous.

"We've had no adverse comments. The plants have been there two months already.

"Somebody has objected, which they have the right to do, so we've had to take them away."

The move has sparked fears from other businesses that their A-board signs will now be confiscated.

Mr Dunstan said his display caught people's eyes and increased casual sales while making the town look pretty.

"Helston is dead at the moment. All we wanted to do was something to help promote the business.

"All these plants are grown within seven miles of Helston, so I am helping local producers as well.

"People buy flowers on impulse. My take is that part of a florist shop's job is being able to put plants there and make the street look attractive.

"If it was causing an obstruction or making people upset, I'd be the first to take it away."

A spokesman for Gillian's Tubs, further down Meneage Street, said: "Quite frankly, Helston needs all the help it can get.

"If people want to sell flowers outside their shop, let them do it, as long as people can get through. It's such a shame."

Mayor Jonathan Radford-Gaby, referring to the A-boards issue, said: "As long as they are not causing a genuine obstruction, I think there is a balance to be struck.

"I think it would be heavy-handed and unnecessary to sweep the town of all A-boards.

"There are a lot of businesses up alleyways and off the main street that rely on these A-boards to drum up trade."

Cornwall Council spokesman Louise Lever said it had acted after a complaint from a member of the public.

"The council has a duty to ensure pedestrians and drivers can safely use public highways," she said.

"Following a complaint that pushchairs were being forced into the road due to the shop display on the pavement, we inspected the area.

"We advised the shop-owner that he would need to remove the display as it was obstructing the footway."

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  • Big_Ger  |  July 15 2013, 9:30PM

    More council lunacy!

    |   6
  • charliebravo  |  July 15 2013, 1:25PM

    Placing an advertisement, goods for sale or any obstruction is illegal because it prevents the public's right to free passage over the highway. If a person were to be injured, who would be sued - the Cornwall Council because it is the Council that has the duty to protect and preserve the rights of the highway user. When I managed a highway area in another county, we were for ever removing commercial obstructions from highway land but we turned a short-term blind eye to charity advertisements provided it did not obstruct drivers' or pedestrians' visibility. The crucial question to be answered is "Would the County be a better place to live in if every business were allowed to place advertisements and goods for sale on the highway?" The answer is clearly "No" so why should a few chancers be allowed to gain a commercial advantage by doing it?

    |   -10
  • TWINSCREW  |  July 15 2013, 10:59AM

    What is it these days with selfish people, in this case one person, they can't be inconvenienced for one second in their busy little lives, probably on a mobile phone and didn't see the display. The council should have a set number of complaints before they come down like a ton of bricks on a trader who is trying to earn a living.

    |   7
  • josdave  |  July 15 2013, 8:36AM

    Typical high handed attitude of somebody trying to justify his/her own position. Leave it be every town and city in the country ought to welcome something like this as it brightens the place up.

    |   5
  • NormaStitz  |  July 15 2013, 7:12AM

    "Cornwall Council said his large plant stand and containers must go ...." There are very few situations that are improved by the presence of Cornwall Council or its unelected (and largely overpaid) 'officers'. Remember this: http://tinyurl.com/qhsvphw

    |   7