Helston florist ordered to remove plants and flowers is "ridiculous"
A HELSTON florist who was ordered to remove flowers and plants from outside his shop said he only wanted to promote the "dead" town.
Barry Dunstan said his customers at Sweet Pea in Meneage Street thought the move was "ridiculous".
Cornwall Council said his large plant stand and containers must go after it received a complaint that pushchairs could not pass on the pavement.
Mr Dunstan said: "We've had so many good comments about how nice the plants looked and lots of people coming in and saying it's ridiculous.
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"We've had no adverse comments. The plants have been there two months already.
"Somebody has objected, which they have the right to do, so we've had to take them away."
The move has sparked fears from other businesses that their A-board signs will now be confiscated.
Mr Dunstan said his display caught people's eyes and increased casual sales while making the town look pretty.
"Helston is dead at the moment. All we wanted to do was something to help promote the business.
"All these plants are grown within seven miles of Helston, so I am helping local producers as well.
"People buy flowers on impulse. My take is that part of a florist shop's job is being able to put plants there and make the street look attractive.
"If it was causing an obstruction or making people upset, I'd be the first to take it away."
A spokesman for Gillian's Tubs, further down Meneage Street, said: "Quite frankly, Helston needs all the help it can get.
"If people want to sell flowers outside their shop, let them do it, as long as people can get through. It's such a shame."
Mayor Jonathan Radford-Gaby, referring to the A-boards issue, said: "As long as they are not causing a genuine obstruction, I think there is a balance to be struck.
"I think it would be heavy-handed and unnecessary to sweep the town of all A-boards.
"There are a lot of businesses up alleyways and off the main street that rely on these A-boards to drum up trade."
Cornwall Council spokesman Louise Lever said it had acted after a complaint from a member of the public.
"The council has a duty to ensure pedestrians and drivers can safely use public highways," she said.
"Following a complaint that pushchairs were being forced into the road due to the shop display on the pavement, we inspected the area.
"We advised the shop-owner that he would need to remove the display as it was obstructing the footway."