Planners say controversial mural must go

Wirral’s planning officers have blown the whistle on the controversial Tranmere Rovers mural that appeared in the middle of Oxton village last month.

The owner was served with a Planning Contravention Notice after decorating the gable wall of Home café with the massive painting – right in the centre of Oxton’s conservation area.

Now, however, the Planning Enforcement Officer has determined that the mural is an advertisement under Section 336 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 and so needs planning consent.

The owner has been told to remove it entirely or to seek retrospective planning consent.

In an email sent to local Liberal Democrat councillors, the Council’s head of enforcement says:

Letters will be sent tomorrow to the owner of the land and to the Tranmere Rovers Trust (who have commissioned the painting) advising that the unauthorised display of an advertisement constitutes an offence (for which they are liable to prosecution in the Magistrates Court) and that they should either permanently remove the unauthorised advertisement or apply for retrospective advertisement consent.

If they fail to take one of those steps, the Council will consider the instigation of a prosecution.

In terms of timescales, we have requested that they take one of the steps outlined above within 21 days of the date of our letter. If we receive no response, we will send a final warning giving a further 7 days to carry out the steps.

If they contact us to confirm that they are willing to cooperate, we may be minded to offer a small extension to those deadlines if appropriate.

If they fail to take any steps to remedy the issue, we will instruct the Council’s Legal department to instigate a prosecution.”

Local councillor Allan Brame commented, “It is highly regrettable that the owner did not approach the Council or consult the local community before having this mural painted.

“I have received well over a hundred messages about the painting from local residents and, while some approve of it, the clear majority feel it should never have been allowed in a conservation area.”