A BALLOON advertising a carpet warehouse has been grounded by the council.
The Big Carpet Depot, Ellesmere Port, has been flying the balloon, or blimp, since July 24.
It had been floating high above its Cheshire Trade Park building, off Junction 10 of the M53, following Civil Aviation Authority approval for Liverpool air space.
But, after visits from landlords Hollins Murray Group and the council’s enforcement officer, store manager Mark Durant had to ground the balloon indefinitely while he campaigns to get full permission to relaunch it.
He said: “We opened The Big Carpet Depot back in April and sales were very slow for the first few months, possibly not helped by poor site waymarking. Investing in our balloon made it easier for customers to find us. As a result sales improved, meaning we could take on extra staff.
“Unfortunately, having got permission from the Civil Aviation Authority with no problem, we weren’t aware that we needed to get a council licence for the balloon until early September, when the council told us we would have to take it down. We’ve now been told that there is no point in applying for a licence retrospectively as it’s unlikely to be granted.
“This is disastrous news for us, as it has a huge impact on sales when the balloon’s not flying – it could potentially put the future of the store in doubt.”
The Ellesmere Port store, which offers wood laminate flooring and linoleum, employs five people, including sales staff and fitters.
People can call in to the store on Cheshire Trade Park to sign a ‘Save Our Blimp’ petition.