Off the wall

Perhaps an inspector wasn’t looking on the bright side when he denied advertisement consent for the retention of a painted sea lantern on the front of a tattoo parlour in Dorset, ruling that it harmed the grade II listed building (DCS Number 400-019-044).

The inspector observed that the artwork tricked the eye by making the first floor oriel window appear as part of a larger three-dimensional lantern. He held that the effect was to visually alter the shape of this architectural feature, detracting from its form. In addition, he noted that the painted chain cut across decorative brickwork below the parapet, making the architectural detailing on the building appear somewhat awkward, rather than being an integral part of the building design. He understood that the design was intended to represent the historic association of the town with the sea. However, whilst noting the quality of the artwork, and the fact that the works were all cosmetic, he decided that the design did not respect the features of historic and architectural interest that the host building possessed.

We might be on our own with this one, given the listed status of the building, but this was not a dead-of-night job by a wannabe street artist but a carefully executed embellishment of the appellant’s own premises. Maybe some art, some colour….some joy!…is just what is wanted to return some life to our ailing seaside resorts.

Further examples of appeal cases concerning advertisements affecting heritage assets can be found at section 30.0332 of DCP Online.