THE brightly illuminated sign for a new Billericay High Street coffee shop must it’s in violation of conservation rules.

Colourful comments about Queenies coffee shop’s front sign were made during the council’s latest planning committee, before councillors unanimously called for it to be pulled down.

Conservative Councillor Phil Turner likened it to the bright lights of Las Vegas.

He said: “What a shame we’ve got into the situation where someone has invested in the High Street, it’s nice to have them there, they are providing a good service but we’ve had to come here and be heavy handed.

"However, I think we need a heavy hand when things get out of line. There is no grey here, it is black and white. This sign has to go.

“It is out of keeping with the High Street and I think residents – although some may like it and in Vegas it would go down a storm - but in Billericay conservation area we are looking for something a little more understated.”

A council officer told the committee bosses had asked if it would be okay if it was “toned down” but it is not purely the illuminating aspect.

He added: “It is the number of lights, the method of illumination, it’s the typeface, the projection, it’s the colours used and it’s the materials used. My understanding is it’s within the conservation zone but even if it wasn’t, I don’t think it’s acceptable.”

Tory councillor Andrew Schrader, who represents East Billericay, said: “Queenies is a relatively new addition to the High Street and the sign I think it is fair to say has divided opinion.

"It has its detractors and I think there are a lot of people who like it. I had a look at the Billericay discussion page and you’d be interested to know that I found two threads.

"One saying how dreadful the sign was and one saying how good it was.

“There is an argument to be made, it’s subjective and it’s all a matter of personal taste.

“But of course this council introduced the Billericay conservation area and the Billericay shopfront design guide and by doing so we made it not subjective, we made it objective and measurable.

"I think Queenies is a welcome addition to the High Street but the sign, regardless of personal taste, is illegal in general terms and in the context of the conservation area is unacceptable.”

The council has given the shop three weeks to remove the sign.

Queenies was contacted for comment.