50 shades of nay - council forces hair salon to repaint exterior
Repainting has begun at a hair salon whose owners chose the wrong shade of grey during a revamp.
StandenMay salon, in Magdalen Street in Norwich, was ordered by the city council to change the colour of its exterior after it was coloured in an unapproved shade.
Decorators Prime Finish and scaffolders Torque were enlisted for the repainting, which started on Sunday and coincided with the salon's second anniversary.
After taking over the property from fellow hairdressers The Egg in 2017, owners Paul and Callum Standen-May decided to give the building a lick of paint – but the colour they selected, downpipe grey, left them in hot water with the council.
As a listed building, the property has to be painted in a shade from an approved colour palette – and the Standen-Mays' chosen hue was not on the list.
In December 2017 the salon was granted retrospective planning permission to repaint the building in an approved colour, cornforth white, and given three years to complete the work.
However, in July last year the city council opted to take enforcement action against the salon and set a new deadline of May 8, 2019 for the repainting to be completed.
Ellie Denny, salon manager at StandenMay, told this newspaper that it would be with a heavy heart that the business parted with its former colour.
She said: “We have received an overwhelming amount of support and well wishes from people over the whole situation, but we just haven't had the time or the resources to really fight the council over it.
“It really is a shame that we have had to fork out to repaint our building when there are others in the city rundown and empty. We simply tried to improve the area which is surely something the council should be supporting.”
She added: “We are not worried about losing our identity and hopefully it will give us a fresh feel, but it is frustrating.”
Norwich City Council previously said it only took enforcement action as a last resort and that officers had been in regular contact with the salon throughout the process.
A poll of 2,000 people by this newspaper after the enforcement action was taken found that 78pc thought the salon should not have to repaint, while 22pc supported the council's decision.