Chichester’s street art is here to stay

A giant blue fox looks out over North Street, Chichester''Picture by Louise Adams C130629-8 Ent Street Art
A giant blue fox looks out over North Street, Chichester''Picture by Louise Adams C130629-8 Ent Street Art

AFTER a warm reception from the city’s residents, it has been revealed that Chichester’s street art can remain.

Chichester District Council confirmed this week it was up to individual landowners to decide whether to take it down, as the street art is not a planning issue.

Thierry Noir pictured by his Chichester art work that surrounds the Festival Theatre.

Thierry Noir pictured by his Chichester art work that surrounds the Festival Theatre.

“As planning permission is not required for the artworks, the council cannot use its planning enforcement powers in this instance,” a spokeswoman for the council said.

The pieces, which have caused a stir since they were put up a month ago, can stay permanently if the owner of the building wants it to stay – but just in case, the paint can be easily removed.

“All the artworks are temporary and have been carried out using special water-soluble paints so they can be completely removed,” said the council spokeswoman.

“The festival organisers have agreed to remove any artwork that causes particular offence. It is anticipated that removal will be by agreement with the organisers.”

The news comes weeks after an announcement that the festival may run again in 2014, because it went down so well this year.

Neil Lawson Baker, CEO of the Chichester-based National Open Art Competition, was behind the transformation of the city, and said: “Public opinion about it all is amazingly positive. Everybody likes it. But it doesn’t surprise me.”

Jane Barker, from Metro House, said she was ‘very pleased’ the street art will be a permanent fixture.

“We are intending to leave it there permanently,” she said. “I’ve spoken to Barry Sampson, who owns the building, and he said he was delighted to add to the vibrancy of our historic city.

“We have some wonderful pieces on this building, the cat breathing fire and a piece based on work by Peter Blake.”

“I think people thought it was going to be like graffiti, but the artists are incredibly talented.”

Chloe Barratt, from Henry Adams, said: “I think nearly everyone in the building loves it. I think, in terms of Henry Adams, we were quite lucky with our artist because we had a lovely picture of birds. It has been really great and really given us and Chichester a boost. I would really vote for it to stay.”

The artwork, by Phlegm, can be seen on Henry Adams estate agents, behind Baffins Hall.

Staff at Superdrug in East Street have welcomed the street art. One staff member said: “It was a really good idea – we’ve got the two people on the side of the wall and I walk past the wolf on my way to work. We want it to stay.”

If members of the public are concerned about a particular piece they can contact the council by email at contact@chichester.gov.uk or on 01243 785166.