A BUSINESSMAN has become locked in a war with Southend Council over his attempt to brighten up the seafront by adding bright and colourful signs to his businesses.

John Remblance has launched one planning appeal and is considering a second after Southend Council criticised new signs on two of his seafront businesses.

In recent months, Mr Remblance has added a bright blue sign to Scoops 37, on Pier Hill, as well as adding a colourful sign to the Circus Circus amusement arcade.

Southend Council has refused retrospective planning applications for both signs, claiming they are “inappropriate” and “significantly over-scaled”.

Now, other seafront traders have rallied in support and praised Mr Remblance for investing in the seafront and attempting to brighten up the area.

Martin Richardson, who owns the nearby Happidrome Arcade, said: “It is total rubbish. We are a seafront. We are all about prettiness and standing out.

“We are trying to make improvements and invest in the seafront to make it look better but get told we can’t.

“This is what you want on a seafront, it is what it needs. It needs brightening up. Dull and dark places become quieter. Bright and vibrant places become lively.

“You would think with the cost-of-living that Southend Council would be happy that we are investing into the seafront as it will attract more people.

“We haven’t got enough lights full stop; it is dark and dull. We used to be known for lights. The seafront needs to be vibrant.”

Mr Remblance has officially submitted an appeal with the Government planning inspectorate over the Circus Circus sign, and is expected to appeal the decision over Scoops 37.

When plans were refused, a spokesman for Scoops 37 stated: “Star Amusements invest heavily in Southend seafront and feel upset that they have been penalised for doing something that they thought was for the good of pier hill and the city.

“This was by way of an ice cream parlour to try and inject some regeneration, as opposed to all the tired shopfronts and hoardings that currently exist on the gateway to the seafront.”