Islington Council removes Amwell Street trader’s 30-year-old sign

A shopkeeper was aghast when Islington Council removed the sign above his store because it had no planning permission – even though it was 30 years old.

Just two days before Christmas, officers left Amwell Wine and Groceries in Amwell Street, Finsbury, without a frontage.

Kalender Surensoy, the proprietor, says he had no warning and has seen sales slump in what should have been his busiest time of year because people think he is closed.

He said: “I couldn’t believe it. I was just at home when my assistant called me �saying some people had come to take the sign down.

“It has been there years – they tried to say it was a new one, but half of it was broken so how could it be new?

“They gave me no notice. I am furious because it is �really affecting my business. Without the sign the shop doesn’t look right and I may have to close. People don’t even know I am open.”

Mr Surensoy has received support from the community, for whom the shop �provides a vital service.

Most Read

Susan Oliveer, who uses the shop regularly, said: “Everyone is up in arms about it – the sign has been there for 30 years, why have they suddenly decided to take it down?

“Now it looks like the shop has shut down, which can’t be good for business.

“The poor man only took the shop over about a year ago. It’s unbelievable.”

A spokesman for the council said: “The proprietor was served with a notice in November to remove the �illuminated signs above his shop front which are not allowed in the New River Conservation Area. The signs were harming the character and appearance of this listed building.

“We are very happy to �discuss what signage is suitable and what could further enhance his shop front.”