A nail salon owner in Scotland is fighting to keep her sign after the local council ordered her to change it because it did not fit the traditional style of the conservation area.
How the sign controversy started
The owner of USA Nails, on Dalkeith High Street, had painted her shop front bright pink and installed a red, white and blue sign without planning permission. The building is a Category C listed property, which means it has some historical or architectural interest.
The Midlothian Council issued an enforcement notice in August, saying that the changes had a “significant adverse impact” on the character and appearance of the conservation area. The council said that the sign did not respect the historic character of the shop front and detracted from the interest of the property.
What the owner did and said
The owner complied with the order to repaint the front of the salon, but appealed to keep the sign. She said that she had waited a long time to get it and that it was expensive for a new business owner like her. She also said that she hoped her beauty salon could help make Dalkeith beautiful.
She argued that there were other shops in the area that had similar signs and colours, and that her sign was not harmful or offensive. She said that she wanted to attract customers and make her business stand out.
What the council and others said
The council maintained its position that the sign was inappropriate and harmful to the conservation area. It said that it encouraged the use of traditional materials, colours and designs for shop fronts and signage to preserve the historic interest of the listed buildings.
The council also said that it had received complaints from local residents and businesses about the sign. Some of them said that the sign was too bright, too large, too modern and too American for the area. They said that it did not match the style and character of Dalkeith.
What will happen next
The owner’s appeal will be heard by a reporter appointed by the Scottish Ministers. The reporter will consider the arguments from both sides and make a decision based on planning policies and guidelines.
The outcome of the appeal could have implications for other businesses in the area who want to change their signs or colours. It could also affect the future of Dalkeith’s conservation area and its heritage.