Proposals for Banksy pub submitted

Michael Hunt

Plans for the redevelopment of the Whitehouse pub on the corner of Berry Street and Duke Street in Liverpool city centre have been submitted by the new owners.

Sina Moradian, a nightclub owner, and his business partner and builder Billy Palmer, both from Kirkby, bought the Grade II-listed property at a Sutton Kersh auction in February for £114,000 from vendor Frenson.

The 200 year old building is known for its landmark Banksy artwork which features a giant rat holding a marker pen next to his red zig-zag doodles which have been a prominent attraction ever since on the property.

It is still unclear whether the artwork is being kept by the new owners. Palmer, who helped build the Funky Box nightclub in Liverpool and Warrington, said back in February that they "probably" will keep hold of the Banksy.

The Bristol-based graffiti artist was commissioned to create a piece in the Ropewalks area of the city for the 2004 Liverpool Biennial art festival.

After buying the property, the new owners said because it is a listed building they must go through Liverpool City Council for planning consent if they choose not to keep the artwork and paint over it.

Liverpool City Council told Place a planning application was submitted on 28 June but it was invalid because the "plans were not to scale".

The council added that a letter had been sent on 9 July to Moradian and agents EAD Solicitors giving them a deadline of three weeks for them to supply further information.

The council said plans included the ground to be used as a retail outlet and for the first and second floors to be converted into self-contained flats.

Place has been unable to contact Sina Moradian and Billy Palmer, while EAD Solicitors declined to comment.

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