An independent trader has been told to change the door of his shop because planners say it is not in keeping with the area.

John Wright, opened Needful Things, an antique furniture and art business, in St James’s Street, Kemp Town, Brighton, two months ago and put in a recovered wooden door with a giant door knocker.

But council officers have demanded he put back the old front door.

The news has angered members of the Stop Starbucks campaign after the coffee shop opened a store in St James’s Street, despite the council refusing its application for a change of use for the shop that would enable it to sell food and drink.

Last week, Mr Wright received a letter from the council planning department telling him he needed permission to replace the door of his shop.

Mr Wright phoned the council and was told that even if he applied for retrospective planning permission he would not get it and the door would have to be replaced.

He said: “I have got until October 1 to replace it. The new one is a proper, old original door and it looks amazing.

“You have got Starbucks trading down the road, even though they are not meant to be. It’s one rule for them and another rule for us.

“I have put so much effort in, to make the shop eye-catching and quirky, which is what Brighton is all about. It’s a secure safe door and looks a lot nicer than any of the other shop doors in the street.”

Starbucks opened its controversial café in St James’s Street in May and residents have been protesting outside every Saturday.

The coffee chain has until November to appeal against the council’s decision to reject its application to open at the site.

Jon Barrenechea, 31, of New Steine, Brighton, started the Stop Starbucks campaign on Facebook, which now has more than 1,500 members.

He said: “I think this case highlights the double standards the council has when it comes to small, local businesses compared to big corporate giants.

John is trying to set up a business on his own and in this current economic climate he should be given all the help he can get from the local authorities.

“It is a beautiful door and it fits in with the shop and the area.

“People who support the Stop Starbucks campaign are really angry about this.”

A council spokesman said: “Such notices are typically issued in conservation areas or listed buildings to stop historic areas or buildings losing their character.

“The rules are administered without fear of favour – if a retailer is breaking rules we will pursue them regardless of whether they’re a national chain or not.

“The Starbucks issue is not resolved yet.”