South East Wales

Islamic sign deemed 'obtrusive advert' by Newport council

Image caption The Islamic creed sign blesses his house says owner Mahmood Ali

A man has been told to remove an Islamic sign from the front of his house by Newport council which claims it is an "obtrusive advert".

The Arabic symbols translate as "with the will/grace of God, may God grant him peace, there is no God but Allah and Mohammed is his messenger".

Homeowner Mahmood Ali, who wants to illuminate the sign, says the symbols are a blessing on his house in Chepstow Road.

An appeal will be heard next month.

The sign is bright green, plastic and 2m (6ft 7ins) long.

The council says the symbols have to be classed as an advert and breach the character of an historic conservation area.

The council said it breached the Newport Unitary Development Plan.

"Due to the prominent siting of the advertisement within the Kensington Place conservation area, its elevated position on the buildings and its use of modern and incongruous materials the proposal fails to preserve or enhance the architectural of historic character and appearance of the conservation area and the appearance of the building and represents an unduly dominant and obtrusive advertisement," the council said.

But Mr Ali said: "The symbols purely represent a religious tone and are primarily for the purpose of blessing the house. The symbols are not an advertisement in any sense of the words used in daily life.

"Certainly they are not advertisements in commercial sense."

He insisted the symbols would not be an obstruction or distraction.

A planning hearing will be held on 12 February.