West Sussex trader’s anger over canopy ruling

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A SMALL business owner said she was ‘gobsmacked’ when she was given 28 days to remove her shop canopy or face a fine of up to £2,500.

Jo Price owns The Lunch Box, in St John’s Street, Chichester.

She received a letter from Chichester District Council telling her the canopy outside her café must be removed within 28 days or she could face a fine of up to £2,500 and £250 for each day after the ‘breach’ continues.

‘It was a huge shock because I thought we had done everything nicely,’ she said.

‘It all looks beautiful, I think, and it is not up there for advertising, it is just our name. All businesses have their names above them.

‘It is on a side street, it is not even on the main drag.’

Ms Price didn’t think she needed planning permission for the canopy because, when she took the shop over late last year, there was an existing, retractable, one outside.

A spokesman for Chichester District Council said: “We are working with the owner of The Lunch Box to find a suitable way forward with regard to the replacement canopy.

‘The advertisement does not comply with the design principles set out in our Shopfront and Advertisement guidance for conservation areas and so an application for its retention would be unlikely to get support.’