A shop front in an idyllic Cornish seaside town that was controversially painted blue has been repainted white after a series of complaints. 

Some residents in St Ives were furious at what was dubbed ‘the Smurf blue’ former camera shop on one of its main shopping streets. 

They say it was totally out of keeping for a town made famous for its white-painted houses and shops that give the area a unique charm. 

Some said the new owner should have stuck to magnolia and felt the much-loved tourist destination was ‘starting to look like Benidorm’. 

People called on St Ives Town Council to take immediate action and the building has now been repainted white – with a blue strip remaining at the bottom.

The property owner – apparently called Mr Blueberry – was said to be new to town and wanted to put his “own creative stamp on things”. 

The local authority also said he did not have the required planning permission to change the colour of buildings in the conservation area. 

A council statement said: “There has been much public debate over the painting of the frontage of 49 Fore Street a deep shade of royal blue. 

“Colour choices are subjective and strong views have been expressed within the community on the shades of blue, yellow, pink and even black, which can be seen within the town. 

“But, the role of policy makers, such as Cornwall Council as planning authority or St Ives Town Council, is to try to ensure that, whatever the colour, the approach followed is lawful and fair for everyone. As 49 Fore Street is within the conservation area (and is part of a listed building), making changes including repainting or new signage need planning and listed building consents, which the owner hasn’t yet obtained. 

“A planning application gives an opportunity for wider public debate about whether a particular paint colour has a detrimental impact on the building or conservation area or not. “

Councillor Johnnie Wells, Mayor of St Ives, added before the building was repainted: “Town councillors have met with the new tenant and had a very positive dialogue. As a designer, their intention was to put their own creative stamp on the frontage, but they are also keen to respond positively to local concern and views. As a result, they have confirmed that they will be repainting the frontage white. Now that the planning constraints on this area of St Ives are more fully understood, any future changes will be subject to a planning approval.”

Cornwall Council and St Ives town councillor Andrew Mitchell concluded: “The council welcomes the positive engagement and thanks the new tenant of 49 Fore Street for working with us on an amicable solution.”