Petition to save ‘gaudy’ mural of Pittenweem witch councillors want covered up

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A petition has been started to save a ‘gaudy’ mural of a witch which councillors have ordered to be removed from the side of a pub in Pittenweem.

The painting was added to the gable end of the village’s Larachmor Tavern last year, but fell foul of planning last week when Fife Council’s North East planning committee ruled it must be covered up.

It will will be subject to enforcement powers after councillors rejected a planning application from the tavern for retrospective permission. Officers recommended refusal, calling the mural “not only inaccurate but also gaudy in its use of colour and stylization.”

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The council also objected because the mural covers the gable end wall of a 19th century Category C listed building overlooking the narrow School Wynd, and sits within the Pittenweem conservation area amongst a row of B and C listed properties. Thirteen objections were also lodged about the painting, but the decision has sparked an online petition to save the mural.

The mural on the side of the building was deemed 'gaudy' and will have to be removedThe mural on the side of the building was deemed 'gaudy' and will have to be removed
The mural on the side of the building was deemed 'gaudy' and will have to be removed

Organised on by Ryan Christie, said it was “appropriate” the artwork remained part of the town.

He said: “As a local of pittenweem, I and the rest of the village see thousands of tourists through the summer for Pittenweem Arts Festival. I see this painting as something that will only bring more influx of tourists to our small fishing village - this will be great for local businesses who have struggled through the last three years.

“Our town also has a very rich history in witches being the place where the last witch was deceased. I see only appropriate that this art remains and becomes part of the town.”

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Planning officers described the mural’s colours as “gaudy” and said: “The typical palette of colours along the harbour is fairly muted and neutral.”

Historic Environment Scotland also advised that the application of paint to unpainted historic walls can cause “considerable damage in the long term by preventing the evaporation of moisture from the underlying fabric.”

Councillor Fiona Corps (East Neuk and Landward, Lib-Dem) said: “Pittenweem is recognised for its picturesque nature. The mural is making a bit of a mockery of the village's history.”

The mural was unanimously refused permission by the committee and it will be subject to removal in due course.

Sign the petition here at – search fore Save the Larachmor Tavern’s witch