*More lovely UK news.*

A WOMAN who painted her idyllic cottage a subtle shade of blue has been ordered to repaint it bright yellow or face prosecution.

Sheila New decided to spruce up her 230-year-old property by splashing out on a new colour scheme.

But council officials say the blue paint she used breached planning regulations because the building is Grade II listed.

They have now warned her to return the house to its original garish colour or risk a fine of up to £1,000.

But defiant Sheila, 70, who has lived in the cottage for two-and-a-half years, is determined to fight the ruling.

She said: “This is like the Nazis. They had rules and forced people to do things they didn’t want to.

“I have spoken to dozens of people in the village and they all say how nice the cottage looks and how ridiculous the council is being.

“It’s such a dreary town I don’t know how they can stop anybody trying to bring a bit of colour to brighten it up. Common sense never comes into it with these council pen pushers. They just come along with their clipboards and tick boxes.”

Sheila paid £500 to have the front wall of her cottage in Crewkerne, Somerset, painted earlier this year. But six months later, Crewkerne Parish Council sent her a letter demanding she change it back again.

Sheila applied for retrospective planning permission but her bid was rejected.

In a report, planning inspector Colin Ball said the blue paint had caused “considerable detriment” to the historic home. He ordered that the cottage be returned to its original earthy colour in keeping with other Hamstone buildings in the village.

Sheila, who has now been threatened with an enforcement order, said: “I don’t think the blue paint takes away from the area at all. The colour is very pale and I’m sure it will fade in time anyway. The old yellow colour was horrible.”

But a spokesperson for South Somerset District Council said: “The colour doesn’t fit with local policies so we have to ensure it returns to the original yellow colour or the golden browns and beiges that characterise the local area.”



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