Hotel owner hits out at ‘ridiculous’ rules

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A Darley hotel owner has hit out at the district council’s “ridiculous” planning rules after his promotional signs sparked a legal threat.

Robert Barrington Evans, owner of the Whitworth Park Hotel, Darley Dale, erected two promotional signs on his hotel’s surrounding wall.

But within days, he received a letter from Derbyshire Dales District Council’s planning department stating that if he didn’t take his signs down – he could expect legal action to be taken against him.

Mr Evans said: “I see promotional signs like mine all up and down the A6. To target me is plain persecution.

“I pay a fortune in rates for this place, not to mention the fortune I’ve spent doing it up, and I honestly think the council could show more support for local businesses – rather than strangling them with pedantic red tape!”

The district council’s Director of Planning and Housing Services Paul Wilson said the council have a responsibility to apply the law fairly to everybody.

He said: “Mr Barrington Evans should not regard himself as an exception to the rules everyone else has to follow. If he wishes to display advertisements he should follow the correct process and submit an application to us. We are here to help in that respect.”