A BUSINESS owner in Ilminster says she is struggling to make ends meet after her application to display advertising signs was refused by South Somerset District Council.

Inga Marcinkoniene runs a hand carwash at the former Stewley Cross Filling Station in Ashill and relies heavily on passing trade.

She paid £110 to apply for two free-standing Aboard signs on the A358, but was refused on the grounds that they would distract drivers and impact negatively on the area’s character.

Inga is appealing against the decision, which she has branded as “ridiculous”.

She claims less than a mile up the road businesses are allowed to advertise because they fall within Taunton Deane Council’s jurisdiction.

Inga told the News: “We’re on Wood Road, and you can’t see us from the main road because there are trees and without signs we are stuck.

“We still have three years on the lease and our landlord is supportive, but the council isn’t helping us.

“The appeal is my last hope. If I’d known this was going to happen I’d never have set up the business here in the first place.”

A South Somerset District Council spokesman said: “We’re disappointed to hear that Miss Marcinkoniene feels there has been a lack of support from SSDC.

“On first making contact with the applicant it was made clear that any adverts would be unlikely to be supported, but our planning department has actually given Miss Marcinkoniene a lot of assistance in making the application.

“Notwithstanding the refusal reason, the signs are also located on the public highway, which is county council land, for which no consent has been given by SCC as the land owner.

“It should also be noted that in addition to the two adverts that were applied for a further three unauthorised adverts were being displayed around the site, causing further harm to the amenity of the area and increasing the risk to public safety on the highway.”