A BUSINESS told to remove a five-year sign by the council will instead use the advertisement as material for tents for the homeless.

Rob Santwris Carpets and Flooring received a letter last week saying their sign had to be removed as it breached section 224 of the Town and County Planning Act 1990.

“It was just a kick in the teeth,” said Rob Santwris, who owns the business with his partner Mandy Santwris.

He was told that his sign was “unsightly” and that it exceeded the legal measurements.

But he is now speaking to several organisations about handing out free tents with advertisements for his business on.

“It is to highlight that my sign was unsightly, well the people of the council can walk around the city to see what is unsightly,” he said.

“I have lived in this city all my life and we are all appalled when you see beggars and anti-social behaviour.

“I do not want to see someone sleeping outside, especially now we just had this storm.

“Why not use some of the empty buildings?

In return for sleeping in tents with the business’ advert on them, Mr Santwris will hand out a free hot breakfast every week as “thank you”.


“It could have a detrimental effect because people might see my business on these tents and see signs of drug addiction.

He added he will hand out as many tents as needed.

“There is no legislation on advertisement on tents,” he said.

Responding to a previous story about the council asking Rob Santwris Carpets and Flooring to remove its sign, a spokeswoman for Newport City Council said: “The majority of enforcement cases that Newport City Council deals with are in response to complaints from members of the public.

“The council is required by law to investigate any breach of planning control.

“The advert did not have advertisement consent. The owner of the shop, which is in a conservation area, was informed of the breach and advised that it should be removed.

“Information and advice on whether planning permission is needed can be found at www.newport.gov.uk/planning.”