PLANS for plaques to celebrate a town's role in TV drama Midsomer Murders has been rejected.

Thame Town Council had asked South Oxfordshire District Council for permission to fix six red plaques on listed buildings to celebrate its role in the ITV ratings hit.

But the plan, unpopular with council officers, was formally rejected by councillors at a meeting on Wednesday.

The town council had backed a bid to place the plaques on Grade II and Grade II* listed buildings.

But council officers said they were worried the historical significance of them would have been reduced had they been allowed.

Oxford Mail:

A report prepared for Tuesday's meeting stated: "Whilst the visitor may wish to ‘arrive in Midsomer’, it is important to also recognise that Midsomer is not real and that the market town of Thame is historically significant in its own right and not as the set of a television programme.

“A number of opportunities exist to highlight the use of various buildings in the filming of the series, but officers do not consider the application of a physical marker on buildings to be an appropriate way to do this.”

The town council said it wanted to use the plaques on the Spread Eagle Hotel in Cornmarket Street and the Swan Hotel in Upper High Street. They are both are Grade II* listed.

Thame Town Hall and Thame Museum, both in High Street, Market House in North Street and Rumsey’s Chocolaterie in Upper High Street are all Grade II listed and would also have been used.

ITV has screened Midsomer Murders since 1997. John Nettles retired from the programme and his role as DC Tom Barnaby in 2011.

Neil Dudgeon replaced Mr Nettles in the leading role and now plays DCI John Barnaby in the show.

Several Oxfordshire spots have been used for the show, including Wallingford.