Honiton man slams Starbucks for installing 'huge' sign outside his property

PUBLISHED: 16:00 28 June 2017 | UPDATED: 16:07 28 June 2017

Starbucks sign on the Monkton Road. Ref mhh 26 17TI 6068. Picture: Terry Ife

Starbucks sign on the Monkton Road. Ref mhh 26 17TI 6068. Picture: Terry Ife

Archant

John Freeman, 59, who lives next door to the old Little Chef on the A30, said he woke up last Thursday to see the 'ugly black monolith' installed on a bank outside his house.

A Honiton man has slammed a multi-national coffee chain after it erected a ‘huge’ sign outside of his property without advertising consent.

John Freeman, 59, who lives next door to the old Little Chef on the A30 in Monkton, said he woke up last Thursday to see the ‘ugly black monolith’ installed on a bank outside his house.

Starbucks is currently refurbishing the former restaurant as it prepares to open a new store.

The company has since apologised for putting up the sign and is working on having it removed.

Mr Freeman said that he has been confronted by residents of the road who asked him why he allowed the sign to be erected outside of his property.

He added that the sign has made turning left out of his property nearly impossible as he cannot view oncoming traffic on the road, which has a 60mph speed limit.

Mr Freeman also told the Herald that he could find no documentation on East Devon District Council’s (EDDC) website about permission being granted for the sign to be installed.

He added: “I am angry and disgusted that a company such as Starbucks think that they can break the rules when everyone else would have to apply, because of who they think they are.

“Planning rules are a whole process everyone has to adhere to, whether it’s a domestic or business application.”

Mr Freeman said he was almost ‘sideswiped’ by a vehicle as he edged out of his drive to try and see the road clearly.

He said if the oncoming car had not ‘slammed on its anchors’, the results could have been disastrous.

“Until this huge monolith went up, we did not have to pull out because we had clear vision,” Mr Freeman said.

“Now, our left-hand vision is totally blocked. We almost got sideswiped the other day because there was a vehicle overtaking on the road.”

Mr Freeman said the near-miss was the second incident in a 48 hour period.

He also expressed concerns that the sign could affect his and his family’s insurance policies on their vehicles.

“As far as I know, if you have a known hazard attached to your property, that could affect any insurance policies on your vehicles,” he added.

When approached, EDDC said it had notified Starbucks about the need to apply for advertisement consent for the sign.

A spokesman added: “We understand that an application will be made shortly.

“Once received, the application will be fully consulted on and the concerns of residents regarding matters such as highways safety will be fully considered.”

A spokesman for Starbucks said: “We’re sorry for the concern this has caused residents living nearby.

“As soon as their views were brought to our attention we arranged for the sign to be removed, and it will be taken away in the next couple of days

“We are looking forward to opening our new store on Friday and would like to invite this resident and their family in for a coffee on us.”

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