Kapow!

We hesitate to contradict an inspector but we feel we must comment on a ruling involving three superheroes in Warwickshire. This appeal was against a listed building enforcement notice which required the removal of Batman, Superman and Spiderman from the front elevation of a bar and restaurant (DCS Number 400-018-962). Batman and Superman were standing on a recess above the fascia at first floor level and Spiderman was climbing up the wall.

The appellant claimed that the figures were a temporary installation which were occasionally put outside, but kept inside in poorer weather. The inspector ruled, however, that the installation of the three figures had entailed operations of lifting and fixing in position that should be considered as works to the listed building. He reasoned that in order to install the figures it would have been necessary to lift them into position, quite possibly needing the use of ladders, or even temporary scaffolding. He decided that they had a dramatic effect upon the appearance of the building. He therefore concluded that they had resulted in a significant alteration to the appearance of the listed building, and had affected its special architectural and historic interest.

We feel we must point out that it is only Batman who lacks superpowers, and would therefore have used conventional means to scale the building. Superman uses his personal mono-directional gravity field to propel himself through the air and Spiderman uses wrist-mounted devices to fire adhesive webbing.

Information concerning alterations to listed buildings can be found at section 27.2 of DCP Online.