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Home   Tenterden   News   Article

Ashford Borough Council officials see red over landlord Rob Cowan's pink paint job at The Woolpack Hotel in Tenterden

31 July 2014
by Tricia Jamieson

A landlord who painted his historic Tenterden pub pink might have fallen foul of authorities.

Rob Cowan says he has had only favourable comments about the colour of the 15th century Woolpack Hotel in High Street.

But Ashford Borough Council says permission is needed to change the colour of listed buildings - and it has not received an application from him to do so.

Landlord Rob Cowan outside The Woolpack Hotel in Tenterden which he has painted pink

Landlord Rob Cowan outside The Woolpack Hotel in Tenterden which he has painted pink

The exterior of The Woolpack, next to the town hall, is a "delicate shade" of pink, which Mr Cowan said might have been used on the building in the past.

"We wanted to install a bit of colour in the High Street," he said. "The colour we have chosen is a vintage pink.

"A lot of old buildings which are now black and white would not have been that colour originally as there was no such thing as white paint..." - Woolpack landlord Rob Cowan

"A lot of old buildings which are now black and white would not have been that colour originally as there was no such thing as white paint.

"It would have been mixed with another colour, like pink. Black and white is fairly recent.

"We thought having seen other historic buildings were pink, we would give it a try.

"The exterior was looking a bit shabby so needed something doing to it."

Mr Cowan said that the new colour had been well received by customers.

"The views we have had have been favourable," he said.

"No one has said they don't like it. I am sure there are people who are not keen, but they have not sought me out to tell me."

Rob Cowan “I do not believe we have done anything that required permission.”

Landlord Rob Cowan claims he does not believe he needed permission

Although The Woolpack is a listed building, Mr Cowan said he did not think he had done anything wrong.

"I do not believe we have done anything that required permission," he said.

"As far as I am concerned, I did not need to contact Ashford Borough Council or English Heritage.

"I am sure the Woolpack has been several colours in the last 500 years."

But an Ashford Borough Council spokesman said: "Consent is required for changes of colour on the exterior of listed buildings.

"We have not yet received an application to alter the exterior colour of this building, and will investigate any changes accordingly."

Mr Cowan took over The Woolpack in 2012 and reopened it in June that year after it had been empty for 15 months.


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