Restaurant owner’s anger over ‘massive’ new billboard next to his Melton business

New owner Atul Dawda outside the old Bricklayer's Arms in Melton EMN-170313-172415001
New owner Atul Dawda outside the old Bricklayer's Arms in Melton EMN-170313-172415001

A restaurateur who is spending £175,000 converting a derelict Melton pub is angry that a huge new advertising billboard has been erected adjacent to it.

Atul Dawda plans to open an Indian restaurant, called The Spice of India, this summer on the site of the Bricklayer’s Arms, which has been closed for a decade.

The new billboard outside the old Bricklayer's Arms in Melton EMN-170313-172403001

The new billboard outside the old Bricklayer's Arms in Melton EMN-170313-172403001

But he says he wasn’t consulted about the illuminated billboard, which is 5.40 metres high and 6 metres wide, and is concerned it will detract from the appearance of his property and harm trade.

Mr Dawda said: “This billboard is massive, it’s absolutely disgusting and an eyesore.

“I feel it is really unfair they have put this up without telling me and it is going to have a detrimental effect on my business and the surrounding area.”

Mr Dawda said that when he bought the vacant pub the area of land where the billboard is sited, which is believed to be owned by Melton Council, was an attractive green space with trees and plants.

He claims he was approached by a company to put an advert on the wall of the pub behind where the billboard now is, but declined on the grounds it would spoil the look of the building.

Melton Council approved the erection of the billboard in November following an application by Space Outdoor.

The authority’s regulatory services manager, Pat Reid, wrote to Mr Dawda to state the council was happy with the proposal following a site visit, adding: “While I understand that you may not be satisfied with this response, I can only reiterate that the advertising company applied for and received the necessary consent and the sign seems to be in accordance with that consent.”

Mr Dawda plans to employ 15 local people when the restaurant opens in two or three months. The old pub has been damp-proofed and a new extension is being added.