SWASTIKAS on a county council building have been branded as upsetting to those who fought for their country in the Second World War.

But the authority said removing the symbols would need special permission and prove very costly to the tax payer.

An unknown member of the public submitted a Freedom of Information request to Essex County Council about the symbols, which are carved into County Hall in Chelmsford.

It is believed the Grade II listed building was constructed between 1929 and 1938.

The FOI request, submitted to the council recently, said: “This struck me as strange seeing as the Nazi party formed in 1933 and by March 1938 were beginning an invasion into Austria.

“I wondered if somebody could explain to me why it was still commissioned given the symbol's negative connotations (both at the time and currently)?“

Southend Standard:

It's potentially offensive and upsetting to those that lost loved ones in the war or those that fought for their country.”

A spokesman for the county council said: "Plans for the County Hall building were drawn up from 1908 and our records show that the architect was ordered to finalise the plans in October 1926.

"Given similar designs are featured on a number of other public buildings of similar age across the world, including churches and universities, it is important that the symbol is seen in its architectural context.

"This part of County Hall has Grade II listed status and any changes to this frontage could be extremely costly to the public purse and would have to be approved by English Heritage."