A family is trying to find a compromise with Bristol City Council after they were ordered to take down the LGBTQ+ rainbow canopy from their home.
The Aylmer family has been told that their colourful canopy, which supports both the NHS and LGBTQ+ equality, is harmful to the historic city skyline.
Ken Aylmer tells The Independent that the decision to put up the colourful canopy was a “quick” one, inspired by his wife Illona’s successful cancer treatment by the NHS, and his daughter’s passionate advocacy for the LGBTQ+ community.
The Aylmer family has been told by Bristol City Council that their colourful canopy, which supports both the NHS and LGBTQ+ equality, is harmful to the historic city skyline. (Getty)
The family then sought a retrospective planning application for the rainbow awning from the Bristol City Council.
Despite their application receiving written support from a majority of 107, with just 34 voting against, the family were swiftly rejected.
In their rejection, the council explained that Historic England had determined the colours of the Aylmer’s canopy did a “modest degree of harm to the building heritage significance.”
The canopy, which stands on a row of grade II-listed properties, contrasts with the muted colour palette that has always decked Bristol’s conservation areas.
An official from the council noted that the Aylmer’s canopy would impact the character and appearance of conservation areas like Clifton, Hotwells and the city docks.
The canopy, which stands on a row of grade II-listed properties, contrasts with the muted colour palette that has always decked Bristol’s conservation areas. (Getty Images)
Before a planning application had even been lodged, one person reported the Aylmer’s LGBTQ+ canopy to the council, arguing that the “bright rainbow colours are completely inappropriate and fail to blend with the colours of neighbouring properties.”
Although Mr Aylmer notes that the rainbow canopy does have “quite vibrant colours that aren’t typically Georgian”, he told the publication that it had received “overwhelming support” from the community.
Now, he’s hoping to file a request for a new awning – something that might better fit the Georgian look – as a form of compromise with the city council.
“As it had such overwhelming support, it is important to people and it follows the thing about heritage evolving and being part of the culture … people also loved it.”
“If we can have some kind of compromise while maintaining the historic aspect, that’d be great – a bit more muted with a Georgian-approved palette.”
Of those who aren’t on board with the unique house design, Mr Aylmer says: “They say it detracts from the view, but I personally think it attracts to the view because people now look up and say, ‘Well, look at that’. It gives another reason to look up, and that whole view is amazing.”