Dalkeith scent shop facing court action over ‘unworthy’ sign

Wednesday January 17th 2024

Mr Melts Wax Shop Dalkeith

Mr Melts shop sign was branded out of character with Dalkeith High Street.

Written by Local Democracy Reporter, Marie Sharp

A Dalkeith candle wax shop owner is facing possible court action and a £50,000 fine after defying planning orders to put up a sign officials said was ‘unworthy’ of its conservation surroundings.

Mr Melts applied for permission to install the two metre wide white sign bearing its name above the door of a former opticians in a Listed Building on Dalkeith High Street, in 2022, after taking it over.

The proposal was turned down by Midlothian Council, and planners said the black and white sign did not reflect the traditional features of the area’s shop fronts and demanded a more traditional approach.

Refusing Listed Building Consent for it, they said the use of an aluminium board “would not respect the historic character and appearance of the shopfront”.

And the Architectural Heritage Society of Scotland also criticised the style of the sign to planners saying: “These are very temporary and ill-designed signage material unworthy of a conservation area.”

Despite the decision, the shop went ahead and installed the sign – leading to an enforcement order being issued.

And when the owner was approached about whether he was going to remove the sign, officers said: “He indicated that his intentions were to leave the signage in situ.”

The site for the shop is part of a C listed building in the Dalkeith House and Park Conservation Area and has been involved in a scheme improving shopfronts in the town centre in recent years.

Officers are now asking elected members approve their request to refer the refusal to meet the terms of the enforcement notice to The Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service for possible prosecutorial action.

In a report going before council next week they tell councillors: ” The maximum penalty on successful prosecution is a fine of up to £50,000 per offence.”

You can read the report HERE.

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