AN amateur photographer was stopped from taking photographs of Colchester’s newly installed brollies.

The 150 umbrellas were put up in Culver Square earlier this week after a collaboration between Colchester Council, Colchester’s Business Improvement District and Culver Square.

Since they went up residents across the town have been sharing their pictures of the brollies on social media.

But when Clive Bowyer, of Colchester, decided to visit the centre on his day off and take some pictures he was stopped by security staff.

He said: “I went to have a look at the umbrellas and to take some photos only to be told by someone from Culver Square management that I am not allowed to take photos and need to have prior permission from the management first.

“What harm is there taking photos of these umbrellas which the council hope will attract visitors to the town?

“I really did not think I was doing anything wrong.

“It’s the first time in all the years I have been taking photos for a hobby that I have been told photography is not allowed.

“It has now made me wary in future if I now need permission first to take all photos.”

Mr Bowyer said he believed it was obvious he was taking pictures of the umbrellas.

He said: “Colchester is meant to be attracting visitors not deterring them.

“You can walk around a lot of towns and cities and take photos of art installations without being stopped it was obvious that I was taking photos of the umbrellas as my camera was pointing upwards.

“I was not taking photos of people that’s why I went early morning come to avoid people in my photographs.”

In an email seen by the Gazette the centre said professional photographers need permission and the centre has to be vigilant against “hostile reconnaissance” in “today’s security environment”.

The centre has since apologised to Mr Bowyer and said he should not have been stopped.

Anyone is legally allowed to take a photograph in a public place but the centre says the shopping centre is private land.

Culver Square was contacted by the Gazette but declined to comment.