CAFE bosses say the council is being unreasonable making them remove another shop sign, even though this one is not illuminated.

Basildon Council is set to agree for solicitors to force the owners of Queenies Cafe on High Street, Billericay to take down the printed sign after they took down a sign likened to the bright lights of Las Vegas.

The council’s planning committee is set to agree the enforcement action at a meeting next Tuesday.

The council says the cafe owners did not get permission for the printed flat sign either.

A spokesman for the cafe said: “The original sign was, in our opinion, appropriate, some didn’t like it but we had about 1,200 residents sign a petition to keep it.

“Basildon Council asked us to remove the sign which we did and we put up a temporary sign and have submitted a planning application for a smaller sign.

“We are waiting for Basildon Council to consider this.

“There are other similar signs in the high street and there doesn’t seem to be any consistency.

“We hope the council allows us to keep the temporary sign in place until the council agrees our new plans for a new sign.

“The temporary sign is not out of character and nobody has objected to it.

“It seems more practical to keep the temporary sign in place until the new plan is agreed and we hope to work with Basildon Council on this.”

A council officer report calls the sign “garish and obtrusive”. It states: “The advertising subject of the original removal notice has been removed by the owner, but however replaced with a two dimensional version of the same advertising, which has been erected without the consent of the local authority and is therefore illegal advertising.

“Therefore, it is in breach of advertising regulations and represents a criminal offence under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.

“The advertising in terms of its size, colour and design is considered to be inappropriate for the conservation area. “It introduces an obtrusive and garish element into the street scene which has a significant detrimental impact on the wider established historic character of the town.”

In August, Queenies owners said they were willing to compromise after the council said the owners of the Billericay coffee shop had installed an “inappropriate” sign.