A SMALL flower stall business run from a home in Harrowby Road is to be closed down by enforcement officers from South Kesteven District Council.
John Kidd has been running the flower stall on the drive of his Grantham home as a hobby for years. He has worked for most of his life in the construction industry until medical problems and an operation curtailed his ability to work on building sites.
While recovering from the operation he briefly closed his flower stall before re-opening about a year ago.
He said: “It’s just something I do as a hobby - I’m not going to become a millionaire through it. But, for some reason or another, I’m getting quite a lot of grief from the the council enforcement officer.
“Everyone who comes are basically regulars and everyone has been saying how happy they are to see us back up and running again so I can’t understand it but it seems that one person who doesn’t even live nearby has complained.”
Mr Kidd said he never intended to permanently use his home as the base of the business but he has found finding a suitable home difficult.
He said: “It has been hard to try and find somewhere. I did try to get a market stall on a Saturday only to be told no because they already have more than their fair share of people doing what I do.
“I’m just looking for an outcome to suit us, the council and the people we have upset.”
He also looked into opening as a mid-week market stall but was put off by the cost, saying the amount it he would pay would almost pay for a shop premises. There are currently no mid-week market stalls in Grantham.
Mr Kidd even contacted the council to ask if he could base himself out of the old, disused toilet block in Wyndham Park close to the nursery.
He said: “I was told no. I thought, with it not being used, it might help everyone out.
“Up and down the country you see people selling flowers and logs and things from their doorstep. It just seems a bit unfair.
“It would be a shame if I had to pack up - not just for us but for my regulars too.
SKDC’s head of development and growth Mark Williets said: “SKDC was first made aware that Mr Kidd was selling flowers from his property 12 months ago.
“The council looked into this case and advised him that in order to operate this business he would need planning permission, but due to the surrounding residential use and parking restrictions outside his property our advice was that planning permission would most likely not be granted.
“We have looked at a number of options for Mr Kidd to give him an outlet to sell his flowers including the opportunity to have a stall Monday to Friday on our week-day markets. We currently have no vacancies for florists on our Saturday market, however he can put his name on the waiting list.”