A restaurant’s palm trees will have to be “felled”, by order of planning chiefs.

Glow-in-the-dark plastic palm trees were installed in the car park of Shama off the A62 Leeds Road at Heckmondwike.

But restaurant bosses never received planning permission to put the three trees up.

They applied for retrospective approval, claiming the illuminated palm trees were acting as car park lighting, but it was denied by Kirklees Council.

Shama appealed but it has now been ordered by the Planning Inspectorate to remove the trees.

Inspector, SJ Lee, noted the ‘trees’ were “not subtle features” in the street scene.

Shama restaurant at Heckmondwike has been ordered to remove these illuminated palm trees from its car park

The inspector said the brightly lit structures were “jarring”, and “unsympathetic” so were not appropriate for the location.

Restaurant owner, Ilyas Mohammad, said he and his staff were very disappointed with the decision.

He said the trees – which cost in the region of £3,000 – would stay up until the New Year while he decided what to do with them.

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He said: “We’ve tried to make not just the inside, but also the outside of the restaurant nice.

“Being on a main road can take its toll on the outside and we do try and paint the building every year.

Shama restaurant at Heckmondwike has been ordered to remove these illuminated palm trees from its car park

“But the car park had become a bit of an eyesore.

“We tried to tidy it up by putting some nice trees up; they were quite expensive.

“Regular customers commented that they liked them and our neighbours said they were okay.

“They’re not very bright, they’re no brighter than the street lights.”

Mr Mohammad said he would abide with the inspector’s decision, which orders the trees’ removal by February.

He said he didn’t know what he would do with them and hadn’t had time to think what could be put in their place.

“We’ll leave them up through Christmas,” he said.

Shama restaurant at Heckmondwike has been ordered to remove these illuminated palm trees from its car park

“We’ve always tried to work with the community.

“We’ve sponsored schools and done charity work.

“But I’m too busy to think about it now and we’ll look at it in the new year.”

In his report, inspector Lee said: “There is no pretence at all at the trees being seen as a realistic facsimile of a palm tree or seeking to blend into the environment.

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“The materials used, their bright colour and the fact they light up are all characteristics designed to draw the eye.

“As a result of their strident and striking colour and their overt artificial appearance, the trees are prominent features that create a jarring contrast with the nearby housing.

“As such, they are clearly incongruous and unsympathetic structures that are not appropriate in this location.”

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