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Nail Expert sign in Tenterden High Street taken down after row

A fluorescent sign outside a nail bar which provoked outrage when it appeared in a conservation area has been taken down.

The owners of Nail Expert in Tenterden were given seven days to remove the flashing neon sign that appeared to be tacked onto a Grade II-listed building in the tree-lined high street.

The new business was accused of “an act of vandalism” by a concerned resident as the red, blue and lilac flashing lights of the sign blazed out into the night.

The neon sign with St Mildred's in the background (14852697)
The neon sign with St Mildred's in the background (14852697)

The sign on the former Carole Ridley dress shop, adjacent to Grade I-listed St Mildred’s Church, had been crudely attached and supported by visible wood batons, rope and polystyrene blocks.

Speaking at the time the sign was put up, nail bar manager Huong Dong said her team did not realise they had broken any rules and apologised, while also pointing out that the Central Garage sign on the opposite side of the high street was bigger than the one installed by the nail bar.

An unsightly air conditioning unit had also been attached to one side of the building with a pipe trailing down.

Tenterden Town Council said it had received a number of complaints and Ashford Borough Council’s (ABC) planning enforcement team were contacted.

The Nail Expert sign has been taken down
The Nail Expert sign has been taken down

Town clerk at Tenterden, Phil Burgess, said while new businesses were always welcome in the town they had to abide by the planning rules which protect its conservation area.

He added the town council was happy to see the sign taken town and said: "We’re pleased the owners of Nail Expert are removing the sign, which didn’t meet the requirements of our conservation area, and we are available to offer any help and advice they may request."

A spokesman for ABC said: "We can confirm we wrote to the owners to advise that the signage was unacceptable and gave them seven days to remove it."

The owners of Nail Expert declined to make any further comment.

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