North East Wales

Ruthin shop Hardly Nickels told to repaint purple front

Shop fronts in Ruthin
Image caption Karen Webb says 150 people have signed a petition supporting her colour scheme

A Denbighshire town centre shopkeeper has been told to paint over her purple and green shop front because council officials say it is too bright.

Karen Webb said she wanted to brighten up Ruthin by making her curiosity shop colourful.

But the county council said the colours were "detrimental to the historic character of the building".

They want the shop front repainted but Ms Webb said she has a 150-name petition showing people are in favour.

"The town is on knees," says Ms Webb.

"We need to do something to attract more people here.

Conservation area

"It's a lovely, historic town, but there are too many empty and decaying buildings.

"If I thought that what I've done was detrimental I would paint the shop back to the original dirty white colour. The buildings here are a mishmash of colours."

She said: "Three shops in Ruthin closed last week and I think the council are focusing on the wrong thing.

"They should be more concerned with economic growth and doing more to regenerate the town to help traders bring in more business."

Ms Webb said 150 people have already signed her petition in favour of the colour change, but she wants to hear from objectors too.

She said she is prepared to repaint the shop called Hardly Nickels which sells, among other things, hula hoops and juggling equipment if the majority of townspeople indicate they do not like what she has done.

A Denbighshire council conservation official has met Ms Webb to try to persuade her to repaint the shop.

A council spokesman said it stepped in as the property is listed and within Ruthin Conservation Area.

"We have been in touch with the shop tenant following a number of complaints received by the public," said the spokesman.

"In our professional opinion the colour scheme affects the historic character of the listed building and we have urged Ms Webb to apply for listed building consent.

"The official guidance to the listed building legislation says that consent is needed in these circumstances."

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