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Apprentice contestant’s ‘yellow shop not acceptable’ for conservation area

Marianne Rawlins with her family at the opening of her shop, the frontage of which is painted black and a colour named cherished gold
Ms Rawlins with her family at the opening of Stork of Stamford, which is painted black and a colour named cherished gold - Stamford Mercury/SWNS

A former BBC Apprentice contestant is embroiled in a row with the council over the colour of her newly opened baby shop after officials said yellow was “not acceptable” for the town.

Marianne Rawlins, who made it to the final weeks in the 2019 series, opened Stork of Stamford in Stamford, Lincolnshire, in September.

The Tudor building had been vacant for more than two years before it was decorated by Ms Rawlins with a paint called cherished gold, a colour she said was selected from Dulux’s heritage range.

But following a complaint, officials say planning permission should have been sought before the colour was used because of the building’s history and its place in a conservation area.

The town’s civic society told planning officers: “The application of the so-called ‘heritage colour’ has a negative impact on the building and should be reconsidered.”

Stamford town council added: “Yellow is not an acceptable colour in the conservation area”.

The Tudor building was vacant for more than two years before Ms Rawlins took occupancy and opened Stork of Stamford
The Tudor building was vacant for more than two years before Ms Rawlins took occupancy and opened Stork of Stamford - Stamford Mercury/SWNS
Ms Rawlins has pledged to challenge the ruling if the council’s decision goes against her
Ms Rawlins has pledged to challenge the ruling if the council’s decision goes against her - Stamford Mercury/SWNS

Ms Rawlins, 40, now faces having to change the shop frontage if a retrospective planning application is unsuccessful.

“I’m a little surprised. I think we have done a great job to preserve the heritage of the building,” she said.

“The last thing we want to do is detract from the character - we tried to accentuate it more than anything else.”

Officers from South Kesteven district council’s planning department will now make a decision as to whether the shop must be repainted.

Ms Rawlins has already pledged to challenge the ruling if the council’s decision goes against her.

“You have to be careful what you do as it’s a listed building, so I was careful. I thought I was within the bounds,” she said

“There’s black and gold on quite a few shops. There’s one just a few shops down, then there’s even a pink shop on the high street.

“I was really surprised because everyone seems to love it. I’ve not heard any negative comments about it at all.

“I’m still waiting to hear back but it doesn’t look good. It is ultimately the district council that makes the decision.

“I won’t even dare decide what to repaint it to, I’ll have to ask them.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if I hear back in the next couple of weeks, but I will challenge it.”

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