A SIGN hand-painted on the front of one of York's oldest buildings has got to go.

The Old York Tea Room opened back in February in Our Lady's Row in Goodramgate.

Run by Tony and Thomas Vickers, the pair have transformed what was a former candle shop into an inviting tea room with space for 14 customers on the first floor.

But the seemingly innocuous sign on the front of the building caused a stir and City of York Council has now denied retrospective planning application.

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On social media the business said: "This morning we were informed by the council that that our sign has lost its right to remain on the building.

"We are shocked that they would go against the residents of York in this matter.

"We will endeavour to contact them and we will now begin the appeal process.

"It’s a sad day for us but the sign will remain throughout the appeal process.

"We believe they have made the wrong decision."

York Press: Tony Vickers under the sign on The Old York Tea RoomTony Vickers under the sign on The Old York Tea Room

In refusing the sign Becky Eades the council's head of planning and development services said: "The painted signage applied to the rendered elevations of this Grade 1 listed building, due to the excessive scale and extent of the signage, and its role as precedent for further signage to the upper façade which cumulatively would dominate the front of the overall building, detracts from the buildings exceptionally fine architectural and historic character and its setting within the Central Historic Core Conservation Area."

The Ghost of William Etty - a group formed back in the 1990s to help save York stone pavements from being pulled up in city streets - objected to the sign saying it is vandalism of a Grade 1 listed building.

One of the group's founders, Gordon Campbell-Thomas, is on a mission to get the sign removed, saying the owners put it up without getting planning permission. He stage a protest back in August outside the tearoom.

He said: "The Ghost of William Etty has been fully vindicated. The decision shows that we were right and that the history and heritage of York has been protected by the city council.

"It was the correct decision."

Duncan Marks, the Civic Society Manager at York Civic Trust, has said previously: “This is one of the oldest buildings of its type, not only in York, but in the country.

“When you think how many of the hundreds and hundreds of people have occupied this building since it was built in 1317; we welcome the use of the building as a tearoom, but we can’t accept the signage as it is.”