A family of bakers which has traded in a picturesque market town for nearly 90 years has been ordered to redecorate their shop front – after painting it garish GREEN.
Chris Pocklington, 49, and wife Tina, 56, decided to give their town-centre shop a facelift two weeks ago.
But the couple – who have run Pocklington’s bakers for 15 years – received a letter from the council demanding they revert it back to the original dark green colour.
The Grade Two listed building sits within a conservation area governed by strict rules in the historic Lincolnshire market town of Louth.
East Lindsey District Council told them the shop no longer fitted the market town’s quaint colour scheme.
Instead of lurid green, the council suggested the couple choose from a range of Victorian colours in darker shades to match neighbouring buildings.
Chris and Tina now face forking out hundreds of pounds to paint the shop to avoid possible court action from the council.
Tina, who manages the bakery, said there had been an overwhelming positive response to the new look from locals.
She said: “I can’t help feeling we’ve been singled out but the council said they had to act because they received a handful of complaints.
“Everyone who comes in the shop says how bright and fresh it looks and we’ve had dozens of posts on our
Facebook page supporting us so I don’t know who’s been complaining.
“Since the news spread we’ve had people sticking their head in just to say how much they love the green colour.
“One lady came to see what all the fuss was about and expected to hate it but went away saying how brilliant she thought it was.
“We’re trying to reach a compromise but it’s a shame it’s come to this.
“With so many high street shops closing and family businesses struggling you might expect the council to be more open-minded.”
Chris, whose grandfather James Pocklington founded the bakery in 1924, said the couple would comply with the council’s request but hoped to keep the shop front looking as bright as possible.
He said: “My wife picked out the colour with my daughter – we thought if we just changed the shade of the green we would be okay.
“We are not going to fight the council.
“We respect the conservation area and we will repaint it a colour they approve in the end.
“Perhaps we will see a colour chart with the approved colours on and we will come to a compromise eventually.
“If anything, we have more people coming into the shop purely to see what the all the fuss is about – which is good for business.”
But some customers expressed their relief that the council have ordered them to repaint the shop front.
One customer, who only wanted to be named as Barbara, said: “I have to say the bakers is wonderful but I did start to feel a bit queasy at the colour.
“If there is one colour to put you off your pasty at lunch time it’s neon green. I overheard several other people say the same.”
Council spokesman James Gilbert said the council had received “a handful of complaints” about the colour.
He said: “As Louth is an historic town, it is important that the shops have a degree of unity and use colours that are right for their age and character.”
He added the bakery was situated in a “particularly sensitive” area because of its proximity to the town’s 19th century Market Hall.
The bakery is famous for it’s Lincolshire Plumbread which is still made using the same recipe first invented by James Pocklington’s wife Myra in the 1930s.