Sign removal hits farm shop trade

Richard Hilsdon of Boycott Farm Shop.'120314M-A164
Richard Hilsdon of Boycott Farm Shop.'120314M-A164
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A LOCAL farm shop is suffering after having to take down its roadside signage.

Business at Boycott Farm Shop at Stowe has dropped dramatically since Aylesbury Vale District Council (AVDC) demanded roadside advertising signs were removed last month.

Shop manager Helen Jefferies said: “The impact has been huge. People think we’re closed, and people who are new to the area can’t find us.”

She said she would soon have to think about cutting staffing.

Owner Richard Hilsdon said: “It’s the first time our business has dropped off apart from the snow.”

Mr Hilsdon has applied to Transport for Bucks (TfB) for brown heritage signs but does not know how long that will take.

He said loyal customers are writing to AVDC to protest.

“Our customers have been absolutely fantastic,” he said. “I’ve got about 50 letters we’ve been given by customers and we’re still getting them. One lady has written to John Bercow and AVDC as well.”

An AVDC spokesman said: “A member of the public expressed concerns to the council in respect of unauthorised advertisement signs in Welsh Lane and at the junction opposite Stowe School.

“The siting of signs outside the site to which they relate always requires consent and is necessary in order to safeguard highway safety and to protect the appearance of an area. In this particular instance some of the signs have been erected within part of the historic Grade I landscape associated with Stowe House and within the highway boundary.”