A branch which was holding a charity coffee morning for Macmillan advertised the event on a temporary pavement sign right outside its door – and was fined £100.
Connells branch manager Lee Hassan was so upset that he put up a tweet saying Chelmsford City Council’s action had been appalling, and using the hashtags “have a heart” and “disgusting”.
A spokesman for the council said: “The Public Space Protection Order relating to the advertising boards is in place to reduce the impact of such boards on the pedestrians, residents and visitors using the footpaths, especially for those who are visually impaired or disabled.
“Unfortunately, exemptions cannot be made for charities or charitable purposes as it is the advertising board that is the problem not the advert. All businesses within the city centre are fully aware of the Public Space Protection Order.”
A Connells spokesperson told EYE: “Connells of course abides by the Public Space Protection Order as set out by Chelmsford City Council.
“The temporary placement of the board outside the premises was an isolated error which will not be repeated and was simply driven, on this occasion, by good intentions from the branch team to raise money for charity.”
The tweet, now apparently removed, had a photo showing the pavement sign with a modestly sized paper invitation attached to it. The tweet said: