A landlord who painted his 18th century pub blue to make it look ‘more sophisticated’ says he is shocked after being told he will have to paint it back.

The White Hind pub had fallen into disrepair and was derelict for years before Richard Belam, 46 and his wife Tracey, 48, took it over.

The couple spent more than £1,000 changing the pub’s cream colour to blue as part of a makeover of the Grade Two listed building.

But just days later, Mr Belam received a letter from Newark and Sherwood District Council telling him the colour is ‘out of character’ with the area, describing it as ‘imposing’.

The pub is located in one of Newark-on-Trent’s conservation areas, which features rows of attractive Georgian Houses.

Slamming the council’s remarks as ‘potty’, Mr Belam said: ‘I bought the pub which was in a terrible state and decided to restore it back to its former glory.

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‘The cream paint looks grimy and unpleasant and the fumes from traffic creates black streaks on the walls.’

Mr and Mrs Belam said they chose ‘folk blue’ from the B&Q masonry paint range because it was ‘neutral’ and would make the Nottinghamshire pub look ‘classy’.

‘I’m shocked that the planners don’t like it because it looks a hell of a lot better and much more sophisticated than the tatty cream it was before,’ said Mr Belam.

Mr Belam took on a ten-year lease of the White Hind in January 2010.

The council’s letter said the paint job had ‘dramatically changed’ the building’s look and had ‘altered its architectural interest’ and said this had triggered the threshold for needing Listed Building Consent.

Planners added that the use of a paler shade on the top storey is ‘unusual’ and divides the facade of the building.

‘While there is nothing inherently unattractive about the blue shade, its use in this context and over such a large area is out of character and imposing,’ the letter added.

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Mr Belam claims there are other colorfully painted buildings in the area.

Matt Lamb, business manager for planning development at the council, said: ‘The newly painted colour is not in keeping with the colours normally permitted within the Conservation Area.

‘We are committed to preserving and maintaining the town’s heritage so we are working with the establishment to agree a new colour scheme.’

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