Hundreds of comments have been lodged against proposals to erect huge LED advertising boards in the centre of Brixton.
A planning application has been submitted to Lambeth council for the installation of ten LED advertising boards to the upper floors of 467 Brixton Road (above KFC).
The proposal had largely gone unnoticed until Sunday, January 25, when Brixton Buzz reported it, noting that the deadline for comments from neighbours was the end of January 26.
However, Brixton residents managed to get in over 400 objections in just over 24 hours. Many pointed out that the building was locally listed, while one explained that the plan “would completely cover up an attractive building, create light pollution and turn a major part of the centre of Brixton into an unattractive and intrusive advertising billboard.”
According to the planning application, the illuminated moving advertising across the upper floors of the Prince of Wales pub “has the potential to enhance the visibility of both the building and Brixton centre as a whole.”
Zeo Holdings, who have put in the proposal, say they are “long-term investors in Brixton town centre and have been for a number of years. This investment has included bringing Premier Inn to Brixton and works to secure this new hotel are now under way adjacent to this property.
“This application would also represent a substantial investment into Brixton that will further enliven what is already a bustling commercial centre. It should be remembered that Piccadilly Circus started somewhere. Under the current environment of various regulations and controls it would probably never happen today, yet it is known across the globe as one of the places to visit within London attracting people and stimulating the economy. This application would have a similar effect on Brixton and would benefit traders, businesses and those who frequent the town centre.
But the Brixton Society said: “the idea that a massive, garish illuminated advertising hoarding on the high street will somehow help put the area on the map is laughable. This dignified 1938 building sits well in this substantially Edwardian townscape. To turn this into a version of Piccadilly Circus, which the applicant openly intends, would be a travesty.”
Since the deluge of objections Jack Hopkins, Cabinet member for Jobs and Growth, has said Lambeth would now be taking comments via email until February 13.
He added that “The council is working hard to support job creation and ensure local people feel the benefits of the big changes the area is experiencing. The planning application will go through the town hall committee when all the factors, including residents’ comments and its location in a conservation area, will be taken into account before a decision is made.”
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