HAIRDRESSERS have been told they must remove a giant snail attached to the side of their building.

Twins Kevin and Dean Colburn, 58, run the family-owned business DnK in Church Road, Hove.

Dean bought the “Geronimo” snail from The Martlets hospice charity art trail for £2,600 at auction in December.

In April, the twins decided to erect the snail on the side of the building to entertain customers and passerby.

But following “several complaints”, Brighton and Hove City Council has demanded they remove the snail – along with most of their other 11 frontage signs.

Kevin said: “We think it’s pathetic as it is just a bit of fun.

“A letter was sent out the blue, we hadn’t heard anything and it had been up for three months.

“But we knew it wouldn’t have been too long before someone decided to have a moan.”

The letter told the hairdressers they had 28 days to remove 30 signs from outside their building but later downgraded this figure – as the business only has 11.

Some signs advertise other businesses who share the building.

Kevin, who said the council was refusing to negotiate, said: “If we set up some paper outside where people could vote ‘snail down’ or ‘snail up’, I know what people would say.

“People are loving it, they’re walking past and laughing.

“The snail might be too big and maybe the tattoo sign with the flashing lights is, but the others are inoffensive.”

The twins are paying £450 to a scaffolding company to remove the snail and other signs this weekend.

Kevin’s daughter, Lottie, 30, works at the salon, which will be celebrating its 40th anniversary next year. She said: “My uncle bought the snail and it was money for the Martlets so it’s not like we’ve got together and stuck anything on the building.

“The snail is something that has meaning and is for a good cause.

“The reasons for the other signs are for other businesses.

“We’ve got a hairdressers, tattoo studio, an osteopath and someone who does microblading.”

A Brighton and Hove City Council spokesman said: “DnK is in a conservation area which means there are controls in place to help preserve and enhance the character and appearance of buildings and streets.

“There are a lot of adverts on DnK and other nearby shops and businesses which exceed the permitted number on buildings in this area.

“We are continuing our conversations with DnK as to how best to resolve this matter.”