Apprentice star in planning war in beautiful market town after she painted shop gold | UK | News

December 1, 2023
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Marianne Rawlins, a former candidate on the BBC reality show, opened her baby and toddler shop ‘Stork of Stamford’ in September this year. However, it did not take long for The Apprentice star to become embroiled in a dramatic planning permission row in the market town of Stamford, Lincolnshire.

Ms Rawlins, 40, gave the building, which had been empty on St Mary’s Street for two years, a new yellow and black paint job before opening.

The town council and civic society are furious that Ms Rawlins did not apply for planning permission to paint her store, with particular anger aimed at the ‘yellow’ shade.

They point to the fact that the building sits in a conservation area, giving it certain statutory protections.

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The town civic society told planning officers: “The application of the so-called ‘heritage colour’ has a negative impact on the building and should be reconsidered.”

Stamford Town Council added: “Yellow is not an acceptable colour in the conservation area.”

The Apprentice star has hit back at the town council, claiming that she chose the colour shade – ‘cherished gold’ – from the Dulux heritage range.

Ms Rawlins’ shop offers clothing, toys and equipment for babies and children.

But, she faces having to remove the paint if her retrospective planning application is unsuccessful.

Ms Rawlins said she was “surprised” to be sucked into the planning permission row.

The mum-of-two spent £2,000 on the new lick of paint, adding that she had turned an “eyesore” into a “warm and inviting” business.

She said: “I think we have done a great job to preserve the heritage of the building.

“The last thing we want to do is detract from the character – we tried to accentuate it more than anything else.

“It wasn’t lost on me that this building may be one of the oldest buildings in arguably the most historically preserved town in the UK. It’s absolutely stunning.”

She said: “You have to be careful what you do as it’s a listed building, so I was careful. I thought I was within the bounds.

“There’s black and gold on quite a few shops. There’s one just a few shops down, then there’s even a pink shop on the high street.

“I was really surprised because everyone seems to love it. I’ve not heard any negative comments about it at all.

“Before I came along, it was vacant, empty and dirty for two years, it was an eyesore. I wanted to use a different colour.

“It’s warm and inviting and I thought it was culturally significant. Apparently, it was just a single complaint.

“I’m still waiting to hear back but it doesn’t look good. It is ultimately the district council that makes the decision. I won’t even dare decide what to repaint it to, I’ll have to ask them.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if I hear back in the next couple of weeks but I will challenge it.”

The Californian businesswoman made it to the final weeks of Lord Sugar’s reality series in 2019.



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