Hair of the Dog in Sunderland told to get planning permission for artwork

A DOG salon has been told it must obtain planning permission in order to keep a mural – but some residents have described it as a “humongous eyesore.”

Hair of the Dog has been ordered to obtain permission from Sunderland City Council after the artwork, which shows a dog in a bath, was deemed an advert.

The salon, on Durham Road, in Sunderland has been told to apply for permission by September 3 or face enforcement action for breaching regulations.

But speaking to The Northern Echo, the proprietor, who did not want to be named, defended the artwork as she said it “brightened up the area.”

She said: “We had this done during Covid – we got the money from the council’s small business fund and I thought to do the shop up.

“The wall was an absolute mess.

“I thought it brightened the place up, customers and people passing us everyday told us how much they love it. I’ve had texts from people saying they love it.

“There’s loads of murals around town, I’d be interested to know if they had planning permission.” 

The artwork was installed in May covering much of an end wall, which did not have a design prior, but was deemed an advert earlier this month.

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Under Town and Country Planning Regulations, any design resembling an advert must be less than 0.75 metres in height before planning permission is required.

This allows for members of the public to have their say on whether they agree with the size and nature of advert being installed.

But a resident told The Echo that the salon did not take into consideration the feelings of those living in the area, who are “waking up to it everyday.”

Mark Stephen, who has lived on Durham Road for the past thirteen years, said: “It is an absolutely humongous eyesore, it just brings down the whole area.
The Northern Echo:

“It’s an advert and we have to look at this every single day, wake up to it every single day.

“We haven’t been asked about it and we haven’t been able to give the salon our views, it just went up in one afternoon.”

Mr Stephen said other residents had complained about it and described it as an eyesore. 

“It just looks horrendous, it may look OK for people passing by but they aren’t looking at it every day,” he added.

The proprietor of Hair of the Dog said she would not challenge the final decision but claimed she had asked those directly opposite.

She said: “I showed the neighbours opposite the designs and they said yes that’s fine, everybody that lives opposite has been asked and shown.

“If I have to take it down, I will, but I am that upset I’ll put something else on the wall not related to the salon,” she added.

  • The Northern Echo contacted Sunderland City Council for comment but did not receive a response at time or publication. 

The Northern Echo | Durham