Has the world gone bonkers?

Support for tattooist Neil Murphy.

I feel immensely sorry for Mr Murphy, of Mavericks Tattoo Studio. He set up a business, paid rates and tattooist certification fees to the district council for four years, only to be told by the same council he has to move.

To name but a few, East Devon Business Park houses an array of other businesses ie dog grooming, car repairs, office furniture and caravan sales. A tip/recycling outfit is close by.

How can a tattoo studio be deemed as “not suitable” when the rest appear “suitable”? What criteria does East Devon District Council (EDDC) apply to “suitability” - particularly where a business has been “suitable” for four years and then becomes “unsuitable”? Why should a citizen have to pay the council, who are our servants, to get a formal set of advice? In this case, the advice should be free.

EDDC has a duty in law to consider employment and sustainability issues. Mr Murphy should have been given the formal set of advice four years ago when EDDC allowed him to trade and charged him for doing so.

In times of recession, EDDC should be encouraging small and medium enterprises.

The tattoo studio is neither causing a nuisance nor depriving anyone of an amenity. We will never know as to challenge them in court would cost Mr Murphy a fortune.

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Planning laws should not be interpreted as restrictively as this. Issues of local employment, sustainability, economic well being and regeneration should be at the fore.

Perhaps EDDC should consider the “suitability” of their location at Knowle, set in an enormous green park, surrounded by trees and beauty. It would be more suitable for them to move to town so they were accessible and less inappropriate.

What a bonkers world we live in. Good luck, Mr Murphy!

Susan Jefferson

via email

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