A popular tourist attraction has to change its name if a new hotel and leisure complex is to come under the same brand, the Whitchurch Herald can reveal.
Rob Bebbington says he has been given no option but to drop the name Dearnford from his lakeside business after neighbour Councillor Tom Biggins sought to trademark the name.
Although Cllr Biggins said yesterday he was happy for the site to continue as “Dearnford Lake”, Mr Bebbington explained how clauses in the legal agreement that he has been asked to sign would prevent him using the name in conjunction with any other developments at the site, such as the forthcoming hotel and spa.
He told the Herald: “We have been put in this position by Cllr Biggins. We could never use anything other than Dearnford Lake, so we could never call the hotel ‘Dearnford Lake Hotel’. This only came to light when we started to look at the branding which would have to be given the go-ahead by Cllr Biggins.
“We are not prepared to operate a business is we are to be governed by Cllr Biggins and you have to ask him for permission on an image or a sign.”
Describing the move as “extreme”, Cllr Biggins said he thought the pair had reached an agreement after Mr Bebbington had agreed to use the two words together in future.
But Mr Bebbington said the two had never talked other than his initial question, to which he says he has never received a response.
The new name is set to be launched on May 27 and Mr Bebbington says he has already been swamped with suggestions. He urged Herald readers to get in touch with theirs.
“It has been a very difficult few months – but the support of customers and local people has been overwhelming.”
Cllr Biggins told the Herald he was “saddened” by Mr Bebbington’s decision, adding: “I genuinely thought we had reached an amicable solution.
“Mr Bebbington keeps saying that he wants to continue to call his business Dearnford Lake. I don’t have a problem with this. I have agreed to let him trade as Dearnford Lake because that is the name people associate with his business.”
He continued: “His decision to completely rename his business seems somewhat extreme. But should he change his mind, I am still content for him to trade as Dearnford Lake, always using ‘Dearnford’ and ‘Lake’ together.”