Got forwarded an email earlier, a chain of conversation from between Cllr Mark Wright and a council officer about the legalities of getting graf done on your own private property. The conversation wasn’t about the Stokes Croft issue, but was about another building in a conservation area across the city.
However, there’s relevance for this PRSC case. The upshot of the emails seems to be that a building being in a conservation area doesn’t actually require the owner to get council permission before getting their wall painted. Seemingly this means no permission is required if the building isn’t in a conservation area too.
Here’s the exact guidance;
Under schedule 2, part 2. Class C of the General Permitted Development Order, planning permission is not required for any application of colour to the exterior of a building unless the painting is for the purpose of advertisement, announcement or direction.
The same ‘permitted development’ right applies to buildings in conservation areas so in theory someone could choose to paint their house purple without the need for planning permission. In fact, if you look at some of the terraces in Cliftonwood you will see quite a range of colours.
If the building in question is listed as being of architectural or historic interest then the painting of its exterior may require listed building consent.
The Bristol Blogger’s already commented on this one in his own inimitable style, but this does seem to be an interesting turn up for the books, as the council’s graffiti policy seems to say the council can remove what they want when they want, and suggests you do need to apply for permission for a ‘mural’ being painted.
Of course, not requiring permission to get your wall painted is a different issue from whether the council has different laws with which they can remove it regardless of your permission. There have also been rumours of large pieces being removed under different laws, such as being a distraction to traffic (a Banksy freehand piece in Bristol was stopped or removed many many years ago on these grounds apparently).
But still, positive news really. Perhaps with the amount of people wanting to see their walls painted at the moment, what’s needed from the council isn’t just a policy in this area, but some plain english guidance that sets out the rules clearly. One for after the election no doubt…