Why the King of Cats graffiti was removed

The Observer requested a list of complaints that led to the removal of the King of Cats street art in North Pallant.

Friday, 16th November 2018, 4:30 pm
Updated Monday, 19th November 2018, 7:21 am
The 'King of Cats' created by Belgian artists Joachim, next to JPS' 'Big Deal' behind Superdrug in East Street
The 'King of Cats' created by Belgian artists Joachim, next to JPS' 'Big Deal' behind Superdrug in East Street

A piece of street art depicting a cat, which was painted in Chichester last year, mysteriously disappeared causing many people to ask what had happened. Read the story here: Mystery surrounds disappearance of Chichester street art

Chichester District Council responded by saying it had removed the picture due following complaints that it attracted antisocial behaviour and was not appropriate for that part of Chichester. Read the story here: Chichester street art removed for 'attracting antisocial behaviour'

Following an enquiry by the Observer, the district council has now released the list of the complaints which had been sent planning enforcement in October and November last year including a petition of 62 signatures from residents.

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One complainant, who said the alleged breach had been taking place for two days, said: "This week graffiti has appeared depicting a nightmarish cat approx 20ft high x 25ft wide, on the rear wall of Superdrug in North Pallant.

"North Pallant is one of the Character Areas within the Chichester city centre. Within 48 hours it has attracted more graffiti 'RIP George Simmonds' on the opposite wall. The city seems to be accepting graffiti/ street with no planning permission."

A business owner had also raised the question of why the graffiti had been 'allowed' when signage had been refused for a nearby premises.

Another letter describes the street as 'vandalism' and said they trusted planning enforcement would take action.

The petition letter included the reasons:

1) I has been painted without authorisation from anyone

2) It is in a conservation zone, designated to protect the historic and architectural character of the area

3) The cat has drug connotations in its design

4) It has no artistic value

5) It is a disturbing portrayal of a much loved household pet

6) At night is has turned the outside of our building into a dark and ominous area

7) It attracts graffiti — within 48 house of its arrival, threatening graffiti appeared on our building

8) The Big Cat area is becoming a focal point for youths larking, intimidating and possibly exchanging drugs

All the responses seen by the Observer were stamped by the council in October and November last year.