Saturday, 17 March 2012

Yet another decent English family are being persecuted for the heinous crime of flying their own flag in their own country.
The latest ‘offenders’ live in the small Lancashire village of Freckleton and have been forced to remove their Union Jack sign from the front of their chip shop by the local council.
Lesley Salthouse and her husband Peter, who have run Naze Lane Chippy in Freckleton for almost 25 years, were told by Fylde Borough Council that the sign was ‘gaudy’ and not in keeping with the village.
The sign has a simple Union Jack flag in the middle, with two St George's flags on either side.
Lesley and Peter Salthouse and their ‘gaudy’ sign
The couple lodged a planning application after a single complaint spurred the council into taking action, but it was denied.
They then took their case to the planning inspectorate in Bristol, but they were again rejected.
Lesley, 53, was furious at the decision and said: ‘We are an English fish and chip shop, yet we cannot even use our own flag to celebrate that.
‘There is nothing more traditional than a Union Jack flag, and our patron saint of England is St George so why not have that flag on either side of our sign?
‘If you go to Spain or Portugal, you see their national flag in so many bars and restaurants.
‘You see more national flags abroad than in our own country, which I think is really sad.’
Freckleton Parish Council approved the planning application, but it was Fylde Borough Council that denied it on the basis that the design was ‘oversized and gaudy with too many angles, triangles and colour’.
Lesley added: ‘The council called the sign too busy and gaudy, and by saying that they are effectively insulting the national flag and our history.
‘Do they want to tell the queen that her national flag is too busy and ask her to change or remove it?
‘It is just utterly ridiculous.’
Note to councils: This is what an actual gaudy takeaway sign looks like
Lesley and her husband Peter, 54, who are originally from Preston but live in Freckleton, began a petition to keep their sign that received just under 600 signatures from customers and councillors alike.
Lesley even wrote to Buckingham Palace about the issue.
She added: ‘I wrote a letter to Buckingham Palace because, at the end of the day, it is our national flag and we should be celebrating it, not tearing it down.
‘I got a reply saying it was not a matter in which the queen or any member of the royal family could get involved. But it was nice to get a reply and be acknowledged.’
Lesley also said that there are takeaways on the same road with bright lit-up signs just 30ft away from houses that had not been told to take their signs down.
A spokeswoman from the Planning Inspectorate said: ‘The Planning Inspector agreed with the council's decision not to allow this application.
‘The Inspector's decision letter makes clear that the actual design and size of the sign would be "a prominent and intrusive visual feature in views along Naze Lane" affecting the visual amenity of the area.’
The couple are now consulting with the sign maker to create an alternative design.
A little advice for the owners of the chip shop – don’t bother with your feckless council or useless Queen. Try your BNP North West MEP Nick Griffin instead: www.nickgriffinmep.eu


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