Neon Adverts For Brentford Towers?

Speedy Consultation of Estate Residents Unsatisfactory


Meeting Notice


How to Object to Planning Applications

Brentford Community Council

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Hounslow Council and Hounslow Homes, the organisation responsible for managing council houses, are considering a proposal to construct large LED/neon signs on the Brentford Towers located near Kew Bridge in West London.

The attraction to the advertising agency is clear: the towers are 22 stories tall and have commanding views over the A4 and M4 coming into London from Heathrow, the A406 North Circular that circumnavigates London, and would be visible to all aircraft landing at Heathrow airport.

In a year in which the Olympics and Diamond Jubilee take place, an advertising board of sufficient size at this location would be one of the most viewed advertising plots in the UK.

Some residents are suspicious that the advertiser might be one that wishes to execute guerrilla advertising (see link for examples) during the Olympics, given the proximity of the official ORN (Olympic Route Network) from Heathrow to the Olympic Village and will be the primary route that international travellers will commute into London by road.

When asked for comments on the consultation, David Allum, Director of Corporate Services at Hounslow Homes, responded with the statement: "The consultation event was attended by only eight residents most but not all of whom were receptive to the proposal. ... The purpose of the meeting was to seek the views of residents on the concept.".

The only problem with this statement is that the notices for the consultation were put up a day prior to the consultation leaving very few residents with the opportunity to engage in the process. Additionally any residents who work in central London would not have had a good chance of commuting back in time for the consultation given the continuing congestion and travel issues caused by the closure of the Hammersmith flyover. This is before considering whether shift workers could've possibly attended.

Hounslow Homes very recently threatened tenants with high costs and evictions if they didn't immediately remove satellite dishes from the buildings, which they considered to be ugly. It is then more than a little surprising that they don't hold their own decision making to those standards when considered the blight that tall LED and neon signs would be upon the towers themselves and the London skyline.

David, resident of one of the tower blocks, commented "Looking out of the window of the 19th floor of Fraser House this morning I reflected on the fact that to the horizon West, North and East, there is not a single highly visible advertising sign. In an age in which other major world cities are introducing laws to reduce the visual pollution caused by advertising, Hounslow Council and Hounslow Homes seem eager to go against the flow. In doing so they not only seek to commodotise their council tenants housing, but will further reinforce the stereotype of tower block estates in the negative whilst establishing a new precedent for advertising which would have lasting effects on the London skyline."

January 13, 2012

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