A CAFE is bidding to follow Basildon Council’s example and turn its lights back on.

Queenies Cafe, in Billericay High Street, has submitted an application for an illuminated 3D sign despite officers claiming the sign is already “garish and obtrusive” even without being lit up.

The cafe owners originally installed the illuminated sign without permission before being told by Basildon Council officers it must be removed.

More than 1,200 people signed a petition for it to remain but the owners agreed to turn it off.

At a meeting this week officers recommended the council take enforcement action to have the sign taken down completely.

But councillors deferred a final decision for five months for discussions with the owners to continue.

Now the cafe owners have applied not just for the sign to remain but the lights to go back on.

Speaking about the delay in enforcement action a spokesman for the cafe said: “We are satisfied with the decision as far as it gives us time for the current planning application to be considered.

“We have a petition signed by 1,200 people who are in support of the sign.

“We think the enforcement is disproportionate in that there should not be any enforcement at all.

“The new sign does not impact safety or High Street in any negative manner.

“We believe the council should take a proportionate approach when dealing with retailers and it is about striking a balance and we would welcome this.”

Councillor Derrick Fellowes, deputy chairman of Basildon Council’s planning committee said he is not in favour of the sign at the cafe.

He said: “It does state on the cafe sign that it is temporary.

“I do not like this sign, there are certain standards in the high street.

“We have agreed to enter into discussions with the cafe owner and this is a common sense approach.”

A council officer report which suggested the latest sign must be removed branded the sign as “garish and obtrusive” and inappropriate.