Grapes - no more wrath

BUREAUCRATS have won the day in a "storm in a teacup" battle to have a pub's vividly painted woodwork toned down.The war of words between councillors at St Edmundsbury Borough Council and Bury St Edmunds brewers Greene King blew up earlier this month over the colour scheme at the town's Grade II listed Grapes pub.

BUREAUCRATS have won the day in a "storm in a teacup" battle to have a pub's vividly painted woodwork toned down.

The war of words between councillors at St Edmundsbury Borough Council and Bury St Edmunds brewers Greene King blew up earlier this month over the colour scheme at the town's Grade II listed Grapes pub.

The vivid blue which currently adorns the groundfloor window frames and doors caused uproar among certain members.

It prompted officers to serve an enforcement notice on Greene King forcing them to tone things down, which the brewers have now agreed to do.


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Mike Ames, who represents part of the historic core of Bury on the authority, described the colour as "completely out of keeping" with a building in the town's conservation area.

He said: "Certain colours are acceptable and permissible in a conservation area but not that particular colour.

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"You just can't come into a town like Bury and have a total disregard for its ambience and this is what has happened. Before the pub was nice and traditional but now it's just loud and looks like a semi-nightclub."

He said he was pleased with Greene King's decision to change the colours: "I'm grateful and I think we must all be grateful that Greene King is to comply with the law.

"Of course the council has a wide remit of important issues to deal. With but when you get historic town centres like Bury with hundreds of listed buildings it would be totally irresponsible for any authority not to have a mechanism in place to preserve our heritage."

However, councillor David Nettleton, said: "It's a storm in a teacup and the council should have better things to do. I have been walking past the pub for several months and not been bothered by the colour.

"Admittedly, it's not particularly attractive but I think we're being a bit Big Brother about it all. I think it was unnecessary and handled in a heavy-handed way.

Mr Nettleton called for a more even-handed approach and asked for clarification from the council on exactly what was acceptable and what was not acceptable.

A spokesman for Greene King said the firm had agreed to repaint the Grapes in more muted colours: "It was agreed that the stringcourses and cornice work will be painted a stone colour and the windows on the ground floor painted white to match the upstairs windows.

"The council gave Greene King a choice of colours for the doors and gates, which we are now considering. This colour should be decided soon and the firm will then ask for the council's approval. The repainting work will start following approval from the council and be carried out as one job to avoid disruption."

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