Risque street artist’s octopus mural at Rare Cow restaurant in Sudbury criticised by heritage group

The octopus mural on the wall of the rare cow - which has attracted complaints from the Sudbury Soci

The octopus mural on the wall of the rare cow - which has attracted complaints from the Sudbury Society. - Credit: Gregg Brown

A bright colourful mural of sea creatures painted on a building in a conservation area in Sudbury has prompted a flurry of complaints from people, who have branded it “garish” and “more appropriate to a seaside promenade” than an historic market town.

The octopus mural on the wall of the rare cow - which has attracted complaints from the Sudbury Soci

The octopus mural on the wall of the rare cow - which has attracted complaints from the Sudbury Society. Pictured is deputy manager Deborah Bettell. - Credit: Gregg Brown

The view from Ballingdon Bridge, which spans the River Stour in Cross Street, has traditionally been one of weeping willow overhanging the water and colourful cottages against a backdrop of historic All Saints Church.

But the owners of the riverside Rare Cow restaurant, which opened last week, have commissioned a high profile street artist famed for his risqué graffiti, to paint a mural featuring a large blue octopus on the walls of an outbuilding.

This has altered the view – and not for the better according to members of the Sudbury Society.

Lorna Hoey, the group’s chair, said: “While the paintings of cows and sunsets on the main building are sufficiently far from the road so as not to be too obvious, the small building close to the entrance and the bridge, now unbelievably sports garish murals of a seaside nature – crabs, a starfish, an ice-cream cone and an octopus.

The octopus mural on the wall of the rare cow - which has attracted complaints from the Sudbury Soci

The octopus mural on the wall of the rare cow - which has attracted complaints from the Sudbury Society. - Credit: Gregg Brown


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“While we welcome new business to the town and wish the restaurant every success, the decoration of this out-building is surely more appropriate to a seaside promenade than inland Sudbury.

“Who decided that an octopus should welcome us at the southern gateway to our historic town?”

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Richie Lefcovitch, manager at the Rare Cow, defended the mural. He said: “While the main building will be used as a steak restaurant, the smaller building with the seaside mural will eventually be selling shellfish, ice-cream and picnics to people who might be out boating on the river – hence the beach theme.

“The murals have been painted by quite a famous artist and we think that they are a talking point.”

A Babergh District Council spokeswoman confirmed that the council had received a number of complaints regarding the murals.

She added: “Our planning enforcement team are currently investigating whether or not planning permission and/or advertisement consent is required for these murals.

“The owner of the murals and the complainants will be advised of the enforcement team’s findings when the investigation has been completed.”

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