Tesco sign stays, says farmer

A GALASHIELS farmer has insisted his 'Tesco sucks' sign will remain in place despite being ordered to remove it.

Tom Douglas says the 40ft-long banner, which has sat on Darling’s Hill for more than a week, will not be moved despite Scottish Borders Council placing an enforcement order upon it.

SBC say Mr Douglas must pull down the sign as it has no planning permission.

The local authority added its highly-visible location above Galashiels was another reason for its removal.

But the Glendearg farmer maintains the sign will stay until Tesco have rebuilt the frontage of the former technical college and Government building they pulled down to construct their Galashiels superstore.

Mr Douglas, who is part of Borders Heritage at Risk Campaign (BHRC), said: “Why are the council picking on me? My sign is there for all the right reasons and I will keep it there until Tesco build a new frontage from the college building. Once the frontage is built, I will apply for retrospective planning permission.

Mr Douglas also angrily reacted to Tesco’s comments in last week’s Southern when the supermarket chain claimed they were ‘appalled’ at his sign.

He blasted: “Tesco are appalled? I am appalled at the ruination of what was a nice, little Borders town.

“I have not ruined the town centre or re-routed the roads to suit myself. I understand my sign does not suit everyone but I have not had a derogatory remark yet.”

Following the enforcement notice being issued, Mr Douglas has 28 days to remove the sign or face further action.

In a brief statement, an SBC spokesperson said: “Action was taken because the sign is unauthorised and in a very prominent location. The owner has been served with notice to remove the sign.”

Tesco insisted they had played no part in the action being taken against Mr Douglas’ protest banner.

The supermarket’s corporate affairs manager, Doug Wilson, said: “This is a planning matter between SBC and an individual local land owner.”


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