Cheltenham Borough Council have not ruled out placing a stop notice on a Grade II building in order to prevent a Banksy mural from being removed. It is currently in situ on a private white stuccoed house. English Heritage the maximum penalty for carrying out work to a listed building without listed building consent is “two years’ imprisonment or an unlimited fine”.
Spy Booth was painted by Banksy back in April but wasn’t authenticated by Pest Control, Banksy’s official body until last month. The work, shows men wiretapping a telephone box. It was painted on a building just three miles from the government communications headquarters, GCHQ.
Councillor Colin Hay, of Cheltenham Borough Council, said Q Scaffolding had been warned that listed building consent was required if work was being done to the fabric of the building on the corner of Fairview Road and Hewlett Road. He said: “If they breach that they’re in trouble. It’s quite a serious offence. If they’re making a hole then they’re removing the fabric of the building. “If you’re taking a large part of the wall out that would be a serious breach of listed building consent. It’s a criminal offence. “They can be given a stop notice if they’re carrying out some work, and then they really do have to stop.”
A photo showing a test hole in the wall was secretly taken yesterday at the premises. He said the artwork was due to be removed over the weekend, ahead of it going on show at a London gallery for a month on 4 July.
Photo: Courtesy Fairview Pub