Sunday, 10 April 2011

Colchester Council: ‘”We’d Rather You Were Robbed, Frankly…”

And they wonder why they can’t attract business?
A jeweller says he will close his business this month because Colchester Council has refused to let him use his shutters.
OK, he’s in the wrong for putting them up and then applying for planning permission, though just why you should need to have planning permission for an anti-theft device is anyone’s guess…
Hosh Slar plans to shut Hosh jewellery store in Crouch Street after two-and-a-half years of trading and move to London or another town or city in East Anglia.

He says the valuable goods displayed in the shopfront mean he needs shutters.
That’s what we call a ‘no brainer’, Colchester Council…
He insists they do not make the surrounding conservation area look rundown.
The commenters to the article are a little sceptical that the area is considered a ‘conservation area’ in the first place, and with good reason.
The inspector recognised Mr Slar was the first tenant at the shop since travel agent Thomas Cook had moved out, and had improved its appearance. But he said Crouch Street was a conservation area and described the shutter as an “unsympathetic change”.
Would it be better if he painted a nice landscape on it?
Mr Slar said the council had told him alternative shutters may be acceptable, but he said they were not appropriate and would cost a further £3,000.
And Colchester Council is quite happy to see businesses either pay over the odds for security fittings, or f**k off, it seems.

It’s really no surprise that they are going downhill rapidly, is it?


Rob said...

Perhaps a poundland or a KFC would be more acceptable to them.

gildas said...

Or a pokey charity shop

Campaign for Non Disarmament said...

I'd go for a "peace shop" every time. You know, full of tat with the CND badge on them. There used to be one near where I lived and it specialised in rainbow-coloured tat.

I was sorry it go, but maybe it moved to Tehran.

Anonymous said...

Colchester is, alas, way beyond redemption.

A hideous conglomeration of concrete over the top of what must have once been a rather nice market town.

Perhaps they'll get a 'community cafe' or 'drop in centre' in its place.

Sic transit gloria mundi.

Anonymous said...

The only way a jumped up jerk can get hold of any power is to become a councilor or worse a politician.

Anonymous said...

@ Last Anonymous

The easiest way to near permanent power is to become a planning officer.

They make up the rules as they go along.

I am extremely fortunate to have a planning barrister as a weekender neighbour who once empowered me to catch them in their lies.

Woman on a Raft said...

Through the modern miracle of Googlemaps, it is possible to 'walk' down the street where Mr Slar has his shop and to decide if it is a dump or not.

The postcode is CO3 3EN. Hosh stands at the junction of Crouch Street and Headgate/Head Street.

Crouch Street itself is bisected with the other half being the richer end with bistros, antique shops etc, but the council have gone to some effort to make sure that it is easy for people to walk along and spend money. They have aimed for an a 1950s or 1960s version of a British market town high street; some of the shops are very old indeed, dotted with newer ones, but most are independents. Even in the slightly rougher end there is no shortage of bars, florists and gift shops aiming to be like Crouch End or maybe even Islington.

As the road leads in to a pleasant and rich suburb of arts and craftss 5-bedroom houses it is not a dump. It is just that Mr Slar has picked a site near the pub and Chinese takeaway end with more foot-fall, whereas he might have preferred to take a unit up the quieter end where the posher shops are. He has put in a neo-brutalist black and silver front which is as subtle as a black eye and jars with the adjoining Tudorbethan pizzeria.

About three doors down a competing jeweller doesn't appear to be in an argument with the council, but it is possible Hosh Jewellery is more vulnerable to attack as it is right on the corner. Especially from anybody who doesn't care for a building which looks like corned beef with a wellington boot embedded in it.

JuliaM said...

"Or a pokey charity shop"

In Southend, we'd WELCOME charity shops in the high st!

Where Boots and others have moved out, they seem to be taken over by tacky shops selling ultra-cheap clothing with vaguely middle-eastern men standing outside shouting their wares.

"Colchester is, alas, way beyond redemption."

And at one stage, it was a decent shopping experience. :(

"The easiest way to near permanent power is to become a planning officer.

They make up the rules as they go along."

iDave's 'localism' is presumably going to make that worse?

"... a building which looks like corned beef with a wellington boot embedded in it."

It IS amazingly unattractive, isn't it? I wonder what sort of shutters the council inspector recommended?