(image: via Twitter)
Reader Adam Frost got in touch with us via Twitter to ask: “Whose absolutely terrible idea to allow a vape shop with the worst possible facia in Knutsford?! How does this fit with the town aesthetic? Come on… sort it out, we lose McLaren and get a vape shop!”
In a separate tweet Adam continued: “It was a centrepiece, eye candy if you like. Still would have provided some jobs in the local area and brought people into the town who may have spent money locally. A vape shop is a symbol of bad health… next we will have a home bargains, a cash converters and more rubbish”
Adam also tweeted: “The high street needs something exciting and interesting to get people into the town and spending instead of going online. I strongly believe a vape shop with a bright yellow exterior does not do this…”
Adam is not alone in his dislike of the new store.
Other comments on social media have included: “It’s awful! Not do long ago a shop on another street was denied a perfectly tasteful sign. This is just vulgar and in a prominent position. Let’s hope it dies fast”
Another said: “So bloody ugly. Surely they’ll be made to change the sign. Anyone know who to complain to?”
Someone else asked: “It sneaked into existence last week. How did that sign get passed???”
Not everyone is against the new vape shop, however.
One social media user observed: “A vape shop is a place where smokers can get help and products to stop smoking (an activity which often leads to bad health). In that respect, it’s not much different to a Stop Smoking Service clinic. Can’t comment on the facia though…
Another social media post also pointed out: “McLaren only employed a few people in Knutsford, Bentley employs a lot more and fulfils any ‘eye candy’ purpose. Home Bargains would probably employ more people than McLaren and have a constant stream of local customers, why would that be a bad thing?”
Knutsford Town Council
A spokesperson for Knutsford Town Council said: “A vape shop is a shop; so no permission required to open one in an existing shop (A1 usage class) unit.
“There is limited control for signage above shops; they have deemed consent for non-illuminated fascia signs under a certain size. We’ve asked CEC to check it complies.”
They added: “When we spotted the signage we raised a case with Cheshire East Council’s Planning Enforcement Team for them to check if it complies with advertising regs.
“Our Town Centre Manager will be visiting the new business in the coming weeks to introduce them to the local business community.”
Cheshire East Council
In addition, a spokesperson for Cheshire East Council told us: “We can confirm this issue was first reported to the planning enforcement team on Tuesday, 31 July 2018.
“It is currently under investigation to establish whether or not advertisement consent should have been obtained prior to signage being displayed.”
Note: we contacted the store for comment, but have not yet received a response.