A COUPLE are facing prosecution over promotional banners displayed outside their pub.
Peter and Barbara Arbuary of the Miners Arms couldn't believe their eyes when they received a summons from Hyndburn Council.
For the banners have been on show outside the pub in Blackburn Road, Accrington, ever since they took over 10 years ago.
The summons alleges that they are in breach of the Town and Country Planning Act because they do not have planning consent.
Mr Arbuary said: "The banners, which advertise Sky television and the beers we sell, are there because we need to drum up custom.''
He added: "It seems this action has come about following a complaint from a member of the public, although they will not tell us exactly what it was about. This just seems to be being done out of vindictiveness.
"We also have the Stanley Street Club where there was a similar complaint just before Christmas.
"A man from the council came down to have a look and told the person behind the bar that the banners there were in keeping with the building and there was no problem at all.
"The banners here are just the same and yet we are told that they are not in keeping with the pub.
"This is just a complete waste of time and taxpayers' money.
"Our customers say they can see nothing wrong with the outside of the building and they are all people who live locally.
"We have been told the banners need planning permission but they have been here even longer than we have, when the pub was called The Apple Tree.''
Mr Brendan Lyons, Chief Planning and Transportation Officer, said: "The council tries to act fairly in all cases and would not usually take any interest in an occasional banner at a pub as part of a special promotion.
"But when the banners are permanently strung over a building, we try to bring them under proper control.
"The council has reluctantly had to take this case to court because the pub has not acted upon the many requests for it to apply for permission to keep the banners. Making an application is the only legal way to retain these advertisements.
"The planning officers' view is that the banners are messy and unsightly. If an application was refused by councillors for that reason, the owners would then have a right to an independent appeal. This has been explained to Mr and Mrs Arbuary.''