Devon salons unite to oppose new chain that would "force" them to close

Two tanning salons in Barnstaple, Devon, have joined forces to oppose national chain Consol Tanning Company opening a new site in the local area.

Leanne Sheruty, who has owned Perfect Tans for six years, and Sue Chang, who has run Aurora Tans for three years, agreed that the launch of this new "industrial scale" salon within 200 metres of theirs would be "catastrophic" for business. 

With more than 40 premises across the UK, The Consol Tanning Company's plans to expand has led the group to a former post office in Barnstaple, where it plans to offer a 15-bed salon open from 7am to 10pm every day.

A statement submitted to support Consol's initial application read: "the proposal would, in our opinion from experience elsewhere, add to the character, vibrancy and vitality of the area" due to "proposed extended evening hours" and "positive visual impact."

During a hearing with the Barnstaple Town Council, Sheruty and Chugg contested the opening on the grounds of "over proliferation," as well as the potential loss of eight jobs if their salons were to close due to the approval of these plans, Consol offering only six jobs in return. 

Perfect Tans and Aurora Tans each offer three sunbeds and the owners believe there is not enough demand to accomodate the move. "Something like this would probably force us both to close," Sheruty told Devon Live.

"We hope it will not go ahead and we have been fighting it. We've had a lot of objections in from local people and clients."

"We are now hoping that a (North Devon District) councillor will call it in to the (planning) committee for us. As a town, if we all pull together in these times and stick together, then hopefully the locals can create a town that we actually want."

So far, the application has drawn 74 comments, 73 of which are complaints. The plans will remain under consultation until February 27.

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