A SHOP in Cirencester dubbed a "grey monstrosity" by several people has now been met with support by residents stepping forward to say they love the "beautiful" and "tasteful" design.

Last Thursday the Standard reported the views of several Ashcroft Road residents who said the new Vanessa Arbuthnott shop based opposite their homes was not in keeping with the conservation of Cirencester.

Benita Cegarra called the large building a "grey monstrosity" and said the dark blue/grey colour made her living room feel like the middle of winter. Original plans for the shop showed the building would have a light, wooden exterior.

Neighbour Vicky Sissons said she was outraged those living near the shop were not consulted about the "last minute" colour change. Cotswold District Council planners said residents were not consulted because the changes did not alter the height, scale, design or other features.

However, despite criticisms, supporters of the design have now come forward in their masses to give their compliments to Vanessa Arbuthnott, which opened in April this year.

"What about all those residents, visitors and passers by who find it a beautiful design both inside and out?" said Joey Casey. "I assure you we are many. I have visited the shop and every person in there loved the building."

Julie Luce said she found it worrying that people were complaining about something so trivial.

"We have just had all those poor Britons killed in Tunisia, and all they can worry about is what colour a building is painted," she said. "I walked past yesterday and think it is very tasteful."

And Moi Ryan-Ainslie added: "I think this building and tasteful landscaping is a big improvement on the previous occupant - an industrial car parts business. However, perhaps a subtle lighter Farrow and Ball colour would be more in keeping with the Cirencester street scene."

And a poll launched by the Standard, asking residents simply whether they liked the colour of the shop or not, showed that 66 per cent of the 136 surveyed favoured the building's colour. A total of 34 per cent said they did not.

Some residents came forward to show support of the Ashcroft Road neighbours, and explained why they found the building unattractive.

"This building in its size and colour is an affront to the town and totally out of keeping with the area," said Richard Dickinson. "For the district council to have permitted the change of colour is yet another example of discounting the views of affected residents. It is gloomy and a complete eyesore."

Alan Hughes added that he when he first saw the building, he thought it was not finished.

"Never did I imagine it was the completion and that it would stand so out of character with anything in Cirencester," he said. "I sympathise with the residents who look onto this hideous grey building even though CDC couldn't care less. Isn't it time they listened to the people they supposedly represent?"

And shop owner Vanessa Arbuthnott said she felt very sad some of her neighbours were angry about the colour of the building.

"It must be very difficult for them, every day looking out of their windows at something that makes them so unhappy," she said. "We would like to reassure them that the appearance of the blue facade will soften once the espalier fruit trees and climbing rose become established and when the box balls grow larger."

Click here to read Vanessa's full response.