Supermarket bosses are facing a fight to keep an "excessively large" sign at the entrance to one of their newest stores.

Lidl has put up the sign along Bridge Street in Witham following the opening of its first shop in the town in September last year.

The new store, which is based at the site of the former Bramston Sports Centre, has proven a big hit with many in the town but its new illuminated sign has not proven to be so popular.

Lidl has yet to receive planning permission for the structure and is still awaiting a verdict on an application for it from Braintree Council.

The application has received 30 objections so far, including from the Heart of Witham Preservation Society, which has more than 1,000 members.

Witham Town Council has previously raised no objections to the application but has since changed its stance after seeing the sign put up.

Essex County Council's Historic Environment Team is also opposed to the application, which it says is inappropriate for the conservation area it is based in.

Their letter to Braintree Council states: "Throughout the conservation area there are few free-standing signs, therefore the proposed freestanding sign at the entrance to the site will be incredibly prominent.

"Coupled with the illumination of the sign, height, material and colour, this prominence will detract from the character of the Conservation Area, dominating the street scene."

Lidl itself insists the sign is a requirement for all of its stores.

The firms application also states all signs put up to advertise the shop will be respectful to the area.

Its planning statement adds: "The signage brings a fresh and vibrant look to the building, in keeping with its use as a retail store.

"All of the proposed signage will be in keeping with the character of the area and proportionate to the scale and size of the proposed building."

Braintree Council will have the final say on the signs future.

Should the authority refuse planning permission, Lidl will have to remove reapply for planning permission or remove the sign.

If the shop fails to do so it could face enforcement action from Braintree Council.