Kebab shop makes Soham look like 'tacky seaside resort'
PUBLISHED: 15:16 11 July 2007 | UPDATED: 12:39 04 May 2010
SOHAM S brightly coloured Portuguese café and kebab and pizza take-away in the town centre have left some residents seeing red. They say the rainbow colours, which have brought the flavour of the Mediterranean to Red Lion Square, have left Soham resemblin
SOHAM'S brightly coloured Portuguese café and kebab and pizza take-away in the town centre have left some residents seeing red.
They say the rainbow colours, which have brought the flavour of the Mediterranean to Red Lion Square, have left Soham resembling a "tacky seaside town".
The blue door, red paintwork and buttercup yellow rendering of the Soham Kebab and Pizza House and the mustard yellow walls and black woodwork of the El Porto Café stand out against the historic war memorial and listed homes, they claim.
Residents wanted to see the colours toned down because they believe they clash with the conservation area.
But they have been told they are completely legal and they can stay until the shop owners decide otherwise.
Soham town councillor Julie Webb raised residents' concerns at a council planning meeting.
She said: "Residents had come to me saying it looked like a tacky seaside town. It was felt that in a conservation area the colours should be a little more sedate and in keeping with the town.
"It is quite an important area of the town with tourists coming in. It's a shame we can't do anything about it."
Town Cllr James Palmer said: "The colours don't sit right with the war memorial and Red Lion Square. But it is all a matter of personal taste and in some people's eyes it might be perfect.
"I don't want the country to be pale, insignificant and tepid but there ought to be some restrictions on how buildings can be painted in the conservation area."
The town council called in East Cambridgeshire Conservation Officer, Rosie Burton for advice and she said: "The colours are not to my taste but they are quite entitled in law to use them.
"These colours look lovely abroad because the light level is higher. But here they don't look so good. I'm hoping as time goes on they will repaint them."
Soham Kebab and Pizza House owner, Yusuf Bulmus, was unaware of all the fuss.
He said: "No-one has complained to me. People come into the shop and joke that the colours are too bright but I wasn't aware that they had upset anyone.
"My brother-in-law chose them and he's quite good at art. The colours make the shop stand out. The other buildings in the square are quite plain.
"I think the colours are nice. But if people don't like them I will repaint the shop.