‘Mildly offensive’ sex shop prank in Budleigh slammed

Budleigh Salterton High Street. Ref exb 18-16SH 2918. Picture: Simon Horn.

Budleigh Salterton High Street. Ref exb 18-16SH 2918. Picture: Simon Horn. - Credit: Archant

An April Fool’s prank suggesting a Budleigh Salterton building could be converted into a sex shop has been branded as ‘offensive’.

On Saturday (April 1), passers-by were shocked to see what appeared to be a planning notice claiming an empty Fore Street premises could be converted into a business for illicit material. It is not known who was responsible for the prank.

The bogus East Devon District Council (EDDC) notice suggested that a change of use application had been entered for the ‘conversion for the purpose of the purveyance of adult reading materials, adult DVDs, marital aids and novelty costumes’.

On closer inspection, residents noticed the date of the application was April 1 and the contact given for the district council was given as ‘Avril LePremier’.

Mayor Chris Kitson has branded the sexual content of the joke application as ‘mildly offensive’.

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He told the Journal: “There is a danger that people might fall for it. It was there for a day and anyone reading it could have been misled.

“They copied the East Devon headed paper and made it look quite official.

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“If people are doing this sort of thing, they do need to proceed with caution.

“The content of the sign was mildly offensive and I would not wish to see it encouraged.”

An East Devon District Council spokesperson said: “It is obviously concerning when people post fake site notices as this can mislead the public and cause unnecessary concern among residents.

“If residents are in any doubt as to whether a site notice is genuine, they should give us a call and we would be happy to advise them.

“When notified, we will always endeavour to remove a fake notice as swiftly as it is practicable to do so.”

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