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Tanning salon challenging order to remove 'offensive' bikini display in window

Malibu Tanning Lounge in Leicestershire is locked in a dispute with the council over its shop front.

Malibu Tanning Lounge in Market Harborough is challenging a decision to ban its window display
Malibu Tanning Lounge in Market Harborough is challenging a decision to ban its window display

A tanning salon is challenging a decision to ban its window display featuring a sunbathing woman.

Malibu Tanning Lounge in Market Harborough, Leicestershire, is locked in a dispute with the council over its shop front which was installed in August last year.

Owner Jim Cole, 29, said he put up the display when he noticed "builders and other people gawping at the girls inside" the salon.

But when Harborough District Council officials visited his business, they said there had been complaints over the display which also required planning permission.

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Harborough District Council says there have been complaints over the display. (SWNS)
Harborough District Council says there have been complaints over the display. (SWNS)
Owner of Malibu Tanning Lounge Jim Cole. (SWNS)
Owner of Malibu Tanning Lounge Jim Cole. (SWNS)

The council then refused a retrospective application on the grounds the images adversely affected the character and appearance of the area, Jim said.

He has now taken the decision to the Planning Inspectorate - which will decide if the design is appropriate for the town centre.

He said: "I completely understand the complaint that two people found the shop front offensive but they asked me to remove it because they don't like the brightness in the conservation area.

"But if you go in to the town centre there are big bright yellow and green displays.

"Is it because it's a lady on the beach or is it because it's colourful?

"If its okay for the council to put a big colourful thing up why is it not for me?"

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Inside Malibu Tanning Lounge. (SWNS)
Inside Malibu Tanning Lounge. (SWNS)

Jim, who opened the business in October 2021, admitted he had not applied for planning permission before putting up the £700 display, but said he did not know it was required.

He added: "If we lose the appeal I'll be forced to reconfigure the whole shop and move beds around which will cost me thousands of pounds."

Harborough District Council has said it was now down to the government planning inspector to decide what happens next.

A council spokesperson said: "The council is aware of the planning appeal which will be decided by a government planning inspector.

"The inspector will decide if the council's concerns about the impact to Market Harborough conservation area and town centre are well-founded.

"The applicant submitted a planning application and this was duly assessed against the Harborough Local Plan, Supplementary Planning Document and the National Planning Policy Framework."