A multinational advertising company which has been refused permission to install several digital display advertising boards on pavements in the Wanstead High Street Conservation Zone is appealing to Michael Gove to overrule Redbridge’s decision.
JC Decaux, reputedly the largest outdoor advertising corporation in the world, is appealing to Gove, the secretary of state, after being refused permission to put the boards in Wanstead earlier this year.
The application is for the boards to include defibrillators. There are however now several defibrillators on the High Street, and the Wanstead Society says it is part of an attempt to get advertising boards “by stealth”.
An unrelated application for another lit digital display board to replace the tatty and largely unused New World payphone outside Tesco has also been made.
The conservation zone on the High Street is an attempt to protect the village feel of Wanstead. One of the most prominent ways this is observed is in shops not being allowed to have “internally illuminated” signs – something which would become a nonsense if Gove overrules the Redbridge decision.
The original decision said the boards would be “at odds with local distinctiveness and character and appearance of the wider conservation area” and would “add to visual clutter which would further undermine the vibrancy of the district centre”.
A spokesman for the Wanstead Society told Wansteadium that if the appeal succeed it would make the conservation area “pretty pointless”.
“We objected when they were first proposed and we are doing so again. Essentially, these are advertising boards with ads-ons to make them more presentable. We feel they aren’t right for a conservation area – or needed. We hope the council will reject them on grounds that they aren’t needed, aren’t suitable for a conservation area and advertising boards by stealth.”