Planners are set to refuse permission for a prominent mural on a Richmond building, despite more than 2,700 people signing a petition for it to stay.
The mural was created by local artist Jackie Stubbs on the side of York House in Richmond Market Place.
It was created without planning permission and a retrospective application for the artwork has now been submitted to Richmondshire District Council.
However, planning officers are recommending the application is refused when councillors meet next Tuesday.
A report ahead of the meeting states: “The mural is considered to be overpowering in this prominent position on this important approach into the Market Place and alters the architectural interest of the listed building with its landmark qualities.
“In addition, the chosen cartoon aesthetic contrasts with the polite Georgian character of the building. From the corner of the property, the mural can be seen in context with the front elevation of the building.
“For these reasons, the mural is therefore not in-keeping with the building and is harmful to its overall significance.”
The report continues: “Other than stating there is a need to help promote shoppers to the high street and support independent local stores, there is simply no demonstrable evidence that the mural is essential in ensuring the economic viability of the business or town.
There is no clear or convincing justification as to how the harm caused by the mural is outweighed by any public benefits. Clearly, the mural does not relate to the building in any way, nor the retail operation within it.
“Therefore, the mural fails to preserve the Listed Building. There are no other public benefits or considerations that would outweigh this harm.”
Richmond Town Council has not objected to the mural.
Members of Richmond Business and Tourism Association were overwhelming in support of the artwork when a poll was taken.
However, the local civic society has objected
Its response to the district council, the society said it “felt strongly that this mural should not have been executed without planning permission”.
It added: “To grant it retrospective permission at this stage would be to create an alarming precedent for other property owners to produce quasi-public art that could deface the town.
“We recommend that retrospective permission is not granted and that the gable of the building is colour washed in an appropriate product and acceptable heritage colour.
“At that point, the applicant could re-apply in the correct way and consultees and planners be given the opportunity to assess the value and appropriateness of the proposal.”
A petition has been launched by the building’s owners asking for support for the mural to stay.
So far, more than 2,700 people have given their backing.
For more information on the application click here.
To see the petition supporting the mural click here.