A businessman has accused a local planning officer of acting as the “sheriff of Strathdon” by removing an SNP sign from his premises.
Casemaker Simon Baker – who supplies briefcases to the Chancellor of Exchequer’s office – had attached the sign to his shop sign in Roughpark, Strathdon during the countdown to the election.
But last week, he received a letter from the Cairngorms National Park Authority (CNPA) advising him that under planning rules the sign should have been removed 14 days after the polls closed.
The planning officer, whose letter was dated May 20, told Mr Baker that to comply with the Town and Country Planning (Control of Advertisements) Scotland act he had to remove the sign by 10pm on May 21.
He warned that failure to remove it would be a breach of planning, and that enforcement action may be taken.
Yesterday Mr Baker noticed the sign was missing and accused the officer of going onto his private property to “steal” it – taking his old business sign too.
He has now contacted the police, and lodged a complaint with the CNPA.
“I got the letter, but he didn’t advise me that someone would come on to my property and take it upon himself to act as the sheriff of Strathdon,” Mr Baker said.
He claimed that when he called the officer after noticing it was missing at about 9am yesterday, he had admitted taking it.
Mr Baker added: “I simply can’t believe he’s come onto my private property to steal the sign.”
A police spokeswoman confirmed they had received a complaint and were looking into the matter.
Murray Ferguson, director of planning and rural development at CNPA, said: “We have received a complaint in relation to the actions of a member of our planning team with regards to signage.
“We are looking into the circumstances of this complaint and will take any appropriate action we feel is necessary once we have all the facts to hand.”