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Bermondsey actor and artist on opposite sides of pink paint debate

A National Theatre actor and a Royal Academician artist have joined the debate on the "deep pink" colour scheme chosen by public relations firm The SPA Way for its Leathermarket Street offices.

Bermondsey actor and artist on opposite sides of pink paint debate

The SPA Way repainted the doors and window frames of its grade II listed building at 4 Leathermarket Street in June. Previously a sedate green, the new colour is a shade variously described as "deep pink", "bright cherry" or "cerise".

Soon afterwards, a Southwark Council planning enforcement officer visited the building to inform the company that the repainting had not received the required listed building consent.

The SPA Way has since appointed local architects Dinwiddie MacLaren to apply for the necessary permission.

"The colour of paint for the windows and doors of my building was not chosen without great consideration," says SPA Way chief executive Sara Pearson in a personal statement included with the planning application.

"One of the reasons I was first attracted to Bermondsey was the sheer vibrancy and diversity of colour displayed on buildings in the neighbourhood.

"I believe our newly repainted building adds greatly to the surrounding area."

She goes on to cite the support of a number of neighbours, including Royal Academician Norman Ackroyd, who she says have "all expressed pleasure in the choice and cheerfulness of the colour and its contribution to the uniqueness of the street".

Actor Rory Kinnear, who will next month play the title role in Hamlet at the National Theatre, says that the choice of colour is a "blatant and garish piece of self-promotion from this PR company".

In his objection to the planning application he says that the "shocking bright pink" is "totally at odds with the character of the immediate area".

Two other local residents have also submitted similar objections to the colour scheme, which was the subject of a spirited debate on the SE1 forum when it first appeared.

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