Clifton homeowner seek planning permission for LGBTQ+ rainbow canopy

The colourful display was painted onto a property in The Paragon in Clifton. Credit: ITV News

A Bristol family has applied for retrospective planning application after painting their home's canopy with rainbow colours to represent the LGBTQ community.

The colourful display was painted onto a property in The Paragon in Clifton - part of the city's most famous view from the Suspension Bridge.

But according to some residents the bright rainbow colours are 'inappropriate' and 'fail to blend' with other properties in the neighbourhood.

It has lead to an enforcement notice being issued on the building following several complaints. The homeowner admits he never obtained planning permission for the project.

Speaking to the Telegraph Ken Aylmer, a 52-year-old businessman, said he painted the canopy in bright rainbow colours because his family are advocates of LGBTQ rights as well as to thank the NHS after a relative was treated for cancer.

The canopy decoration has been challenged as it is an 'architecturally important terrace' in a prominent position in the conservation area.

A member of Clifton & Hotwells Improvement Society said: “This garishly painted canopy was drawn to the society’s attention some months ago, as a result of which we reported the matter to planning enforcement.”

They said the canopy was attached to a listed house which forms part of an 'architecturally important terrace' in a prominent position in the conservation area.

“The bright rainbow colours are completely inappropriate and fail to blend with the colours of neighbouring properties. There is no evidence that such canopies were ever painted in anything other than monochrome.”

A Member of Clifton & Hotwells Improvement Society says the bright colours fail to blend with those of neighbouring properties. Credit: ITV News

Ken has now applied for a retrospective listed building application, which has so far generated 47 letters of support with five objections.

He said that while he understands he and his family should have sought planning permission, he thought the canopy might make people smile and said Georgian England was not a 'colourless, sombre place'.

He said: “Fair enough, I do understand we should have sought permission. We thought it might put a smile on people’s faces as they look up from the Cumberland Basin.

“We realise the canopy is in the iconic view of Bristol so we do need to think of the heritage of the building.

"Our research showed that the Georgians loved colour, often painting all sorts of lead work in different hues, using the most colourful pigments they had.

“They used it for clothes and decorations, the past is not a dull, colourless, sombre place.”

Mr Aylmer added: “Brunel wanted sphinxes on the Suspension Bridge for heaven’s sake. So we do have a precedent from the Georgians themselves.

"These buildings were always meant to be inspirational. If the canopy helps flag up Bristol’s modern social aspirations and values then we are all for it.”