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'Proud to be pink' - Cake and Sugarcraft Boutique vows to fight Tewkesbury Borough Council

By Gloucestershire Echo  |  Posted: January 24, 2013

unhappy:  The Cake & Sugarcraft shop owner Jan Minett, right, and Tess Deacon  with the petition

unhappy: The Cake & Sugarcraft shop owner Jan Minett, right, and Tess Deacon with the petition

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WHEN Winchcombe cake shop owner Jan Minett gave her business a fresh lick of paint, she thought customers would be tickled pink.

So imagine her dismay when officers at Tewkesbury Borough Council wrote to the owner of The Cake and Sugarcraft Boutique to say the work would have to be undone.

It came after the authority received a complaint the new pastel-pink look made the North Street store look too gaudy next to other shops.

But, not to be defeated, Jan has vowed to fight the order, which she has branded "churlish", and has mounted a petition for customers to sign to show their support.

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The 56-year-old said: "I was very taken aback when I was contacted by the council.

"It doesn't make much sense to me. Beforehand the front of the unit was painted in red and blue, but it looked tired.

"When I took over I wanted to give it a lift and lots of people have come in to tell me they think it's an improvement."

Jan took over the premises, which was formerly home to Indian restaurant Raja Balti, in November, which is when the paintwork was carried out.

However, within weeks, she was contacted by the council who warned her the new pink frontage was "inappropriate" and would need redoing.

But she has vowed not to give into the order and has already amassed a groundswell of support, with more than 40 people signing the petition.

She plans to hand it in to the council later this month.

"I'm going to fight this because I just don't agree," said Jan. "At a time when traders are finding it difficult and lots of shops are closing, this seems churlish.

"We have made a positive impact on North Street since arriving and I think the council should be more supportive."

The council said there were rules against repainting buildings in Winchcombe's conservation area without planning permission.

Paul Skelton, development control manager, said: "In this case we feel that the new paint colour isn't appropriate and have recommended a range of suitable alternatives.

"We hope to be able to come to an agreement with the owner without needing to resort to formal action. We always advise property owners to check with the council as to whether permission may be requir- ed before carrying out works to buildings."

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11 comments

  • MsPositivity  |  January 26 2013, 11:41PM

    I read about this before I saw the photo and was expecting to see a 'hot' pink shopfront, but when I found the photo I was shocked! It's beautiful. I would have thought that if a tasteful pink shopfront is good enough for an internationally renowned cake shop in Belgravia, surely it's good enough for Winchcombe? http://tinyurl.com/cdq4f8c Now, where can I find that petition?

    |   2
  • tickle74  |  January 26 2013, 7:32PM

    "TimMessanger you may quote the law as everyone has the right to do but is it necessary to do so in such a condescending and prejudiced manner..? The people who are supporting Jan at the Cake and Sugarcraft Boutique are not being hypocritical, they are showing support for something that they feel passionately about. Lets hope that bureaucracy does not prevail on this one!!"

    |   2
  • TimMessanger  |  January 26 2013, 1:37PM

    If it was a travellers' camp would you also sign the petition? Look up hypocrisy http://tinyurl.com/9q7ft that's you that is! The law is there for a reason and if the shop wants to break the law then they should pay the "penalty" the same as everyone else. So the next step is to purchase some land in Winchcombe set up a travellers camp without planning and then the locals will sign the petition supporting the travellers camp and the council will give retrospective planning permission!

    |   -2
  • divermary2011  |  January 25 2013, 6:37PM

    when the country is up to its eyeballs in dept ,thousands of people made redundant this year and all the council has to worry about is a shop painted a very pretty pink colour,Jan does a wonderful job and in many ways adds a bit of colour to peoples everyday life,it puts a smile on faces and makes a talking point ,now if some very dull fuddy duddy dosent like it well thats tough ,get a life I am sure people have far greater things to worry about like the recession our country is facing ,so come on all you good people lets get behind Jan and give her all the support she needs ,dont let narrow minded have their own ,and beside this she makes wonderful cakes for all occasions.

    |   3
  • elgoog  |  January 25 2013, 9:31AM

    "Paul Skelton, development control manager, said: "In this case we feel that the new paint colour isn't appropriate and have recommended a range of suitable alternatives." CLEARLY A MAN OF TASTE; HE COULD PERHAPS ALSO OFFER THEM SOME ADVICE ON THE COLOUR OF THE ICING SUGARS.

    |   2
  • clevercow  |  January 24 2013, 2:52PM

    i can't believe this how petty - haven't the council got better things to do than complain about a colour of paint! i think it's attractive! times are hard for businesses at the moment and more you can do to get people through the doors the better! i have shared this on my facebook page and the consensus seems the same - 'go team cake and sugarcraft boutique'!!!! http://tinyurl.com/bjpj3ty

    |   9
  • IsitJimKerr  |  January 24 2013, 2:07PM

    I'll tell you what, I'll have a walk around Winchcombe, and come up with an arbitrary list of premises where the 'colour isn't appropriate'. I'll bet my mortgage that there will be a number of well established businesses on that list. Baby Pink is hardly 'gaudy' in any setting, and it would seem very approriate to me, here. Good luck Jan.

    |   9
  • Grahambarker  |  January 24 2013, 1:44PM

    Ask for the name of the complainant under the fredom of information act. If they received 'anonymous information' then they A) have to prove it and B) consider if it is entirley appropriate for their business to be driven by knee jerk meddling and the disdain of one disgruntled individual. Untill they received a complaint (Prove it) the council didn't blink an eye. Unless Council can provide an immediate and complet list of tried andtested pantone numbers it it deems appropriate for the last x years then you keep it as you want.

    |   9
  • Douglasknows  |  January 24 2013, 10:45AM

    Councillors need to justify their positions/jobs nowadays........ which include keeping their coffers in the 'pink'

    |   4
  • tickle74  |  January 24 2013, 10:01AM

    The council and narrow minded individuals who have lodged complaints with them need to seriously lighten up - exactly what Jan has managed to do with the exterior of this shop which was previously unkempt and delapitated. Please dont let us see another cotswold green or black frontage - this shop injects a welcome breath of fresh air into North Street - good luck with you're campaign and every success to you in the future!!

    |   15

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