‘Superpowered’ sheepdog mural allowed to stay in Yorkshire antiques shop after outpouring of public support
Richmondshire District Council’s Planning Committee has voted to approve a retrospective planning application for artist Jackie Stubbs’ painting of a sheepdog behind a drystone wall and sheep in a meadow on York Antiques Grade II listed house on Frenchgate corner of Richmond Market Place.
The meeting heard officers explain how 3,100 people had signed a petition supporting the mural’s retention before highlighting the 18th-century building’s significance in the largely Georgian city centre.
Officers stressed that it was the responsibility of the planning authority to protect the city’s heritage.
Councilors were told while any decision they made should seek to preserve any listed building and its setting, planners had concluded that the mural “cannot enhance the historic significance of the building”. However, Christine Swift, owner of York House Antiques, said her store was ‘a true destination shop, one that Richmondshire should be proud of’ and the mural had made a ‘very dull entrance’ to the town center more welcoming and a magnet for tourists.
She added: “With a huge retail park and the largest garden center in the country planned for Scotch Corner, Richmond needs everything it can to attract tourists to our city.”
Sheepdog mural painted on Yorkshire antiques shop may be removed after…
Responding to criticism that the artwork was unrelated to Richmond, artist Jackie Stubbs recounted how sheepskin traders played a key role in the town’s development by becoming a center important for the wool trade.
The meeting heard passions were running high among some residents after the Richmond District Civic Society claimed that granting permission would set an “alarming precedent for other landowners to produce quasi-public art that could disfigure the city”.
Nonetheless, Richmond councilors said that if Richmond’s heritage is to be preserved, the city’s buildings and businesses must be given leeway to adapt sensitively to the future rather than pretending to be still there. Georgian era.
They said the mural was clearly in the public interest, highlighting how much joy it had brought since it was painted nearly three years ago.
Councilors also questioned why the council was targeting a mural when the signs of multinational companies had been allowed to circulate unchallenged in the market square.
Councilor Philip Wicks said: “There seems to be a whiff of double standards at play here.”
Before the mural was passed, the meeting heard councilors discuss whether such a step would have been taken had street artist Banksy been responsible for the mural.