A GRADE II-listed high street shop should remove a new window-filling ‘Grab & Grow’ advertising graphic of pizza, crisps and other foodstuffs, say town councillors.

Monmouth Town Council’s planning committee recommended refusal of listed building and advertising consent for a vinyl graphic on the One Stop Shop front window in Monmouth’s Monnow Street, saying it impacted on the character of the listed building, owned by supermarket giant Tesco, and the town centre Conservation Area.

The work has already been done to upgrade and replace an existing advert without permission, from a graphic of eggs to other foods, a town council meeting was told.

And they also heard that the original advert first installed eight years ago did not have planning permission from Monmouthshire Council.

A heritage statement on behalf of the application from One Stop Stores of Walsall said: “The advertisements are to replace existing window graphics which have become cracked and damaged - they cause no conflict with public safety and represent preservation to visual amenity.”

But Monmouth Civic Society, which first complained about the graphics in 2017, said: “We want to see shop windows with interesting displays of goods in our high street, not ugly advertising hoardings.”

And Monmouthshire Council’s heritage officer, “strongly objecting” to the application, has added: “There is no record of permission for installation of a vinyl and so should be considered unauthorised development.

“Graphic window displays which cover the majority of a shop window are generally considered unacceptable on listed buildings or within a conservation area, because this is not an authentic or traditional approach.

“It can turn shop fronts into oversized advertising hoarding... and detracts from the character of the area.”

Cllr Gail Brehany told the town council meeting: “It is an illegal replacement because planning was never applied for or granted, and therefore, if it was not applied for or granted, they cannot replace it, because they haven’t got permission for it.”

Town mayor Cllr Tom Kirton added: “It’s on the cusp of being a big advertising hoarding which isn’t permitted, and it’s been there since 2015 and the heritage officer doesn’t believe it was actually allowed in the first place.

“It was just done and just left to be there. Which is why they’ve then assumed, oh well, we can just replace it then, because it’s been there since 2015.”

But support for the application came from Cllr Sian Damon, who pointed to the “flash of green” on Specsavers next door and asked: “Why was that allowed? I don’t recall those being Georgian colours. It is as garish as what One Stop want to do.”

Cllr Kirton said the One Stop shop owners had given “no good reason or excuse” for covering their windows, and they could have used frosted glass.

He proposed recommending refusal on the grounds the vinyl blighted the listed building and conservation area.

Only Cllr Damon voted in support of the graphics, which will be ruled on by Monmouthshire’s planners.

One neighbour who slammed the graphic before it was replaced last week, has told planners: “The window and shopfront concerned are not in character now, and the proposed replacement does nothing to improve this.

“The shop frontage is an ugly blight as it is, and the replacement is equally objectionable, especially when one considers the requirements placed on local householders such as myself and my neighbours.

“The heritage statement provided (for the applicant) is formulaic nonsense. The building and town deserve better and deserve something in keeping with the town’s history and heritage.”