A LANDLORD in Leamington has been ordered to take down the ‘iconic’ superhero statues hanging above his grade II listed bar.
Kevin Murphy, owner of Murphy’s Bar, has lost an appeal to keep statues of Batman, Spiderman and Superman hanging above the premises on Regent Street.
Mr Murphy – who has owned the business for 25 years – was told by Warwick District Council to remove the statues earlier this year, but appealed the decision.
But his appeal was dismissed and he has now been told he must remove the life-size comic book characters – which he said are a huge hit with punters.
He says he is now allowed to have them outside on the street, but not on the wall of the historic building.
Mr Murphy told the Observer: “The superheroes on the wall outside makes the bar stand out. They’re iconic. Ever since it’s been announced I have to take them down everyone has said what a shame.
“Everyday there’s people taking pictures of them, it adds character to the area not takes it away.
“It will still look good having them outside they just looked great being out the front all lit up.
“There’s so many other issues in this town the council could focus on instead of this. It’s been an absolute waste of council money.”
Along with Murphy’s Bar, the council also dismissed an appeal for tapas bar Tartine – which is on the opposite side of the road.
The owner had painted the bar a dark grey colour but has now been told he must revert it to its original brown exterior.
District council development spokesman Alan Rhead said: “Leamington’s iconic regency buildings are the essence of the heritage of our beautiful town, not only now but for the future.
“We have to move with the times, however alterations, made in a conservation area without listed building consent, could destroy the character of Leamington forever.”
Mr Murphy will be holding a superhero-themed party when he first brings the character’s off the wall.
On Sunday July 1 from 4pm people are invited to wear superhero fancy dress and have their photo taken with the characters in return for a donation, which will then go to the council’s charity of choice.
Anyone who wears fancy dress will also receive free refreshments.