Latest in a string of applications for advertising screens on building sites
A visualisation from the applicant of how the shroud might look
March 6, 2023
The site which once housed The Elk Bar on Fulham Broadway could be covered with an advertising shroud for almost a year while the building is redeveloped.
As we reported last September, the council has granted permission for the site, at 587- 591 Fulham Road, to be altered to create nine new flats above a bar, restaurant or possible commercial space on the ground floor.
Now, with building work due to start in the spring, a company called Maximus Maximise is applying to cover the scaffolding with an advertising shroud for 44 weeks, from May this year till March 2024.
Applications to install these shrouds, which include advertising space set within a replica of the building hidden behind, are becoming increasingly common. Maximus says in its brochure, titled Enhancing the Urban Landscape: “ Building sites don’t have to be an eyesore. With innovative solutions and bespoke tailoring, we turn unappealing development sites into well-designed urban spaces.
“ With an absolute respect for the architectural context of the building and its surroundings, we turn local building sites from a detraction into a local attraction, enhancing the visual amenity of the area for everyone.”
Hammersmith & Fulham Council, however, remains unconvinced, and most of these applications have been turned down. At The Elk site, a previous attempt to install an illuminated shroud advertisement measuring 8.9 by 6.2 metres was refused while the owners were in pre-application discussions with the council.
One of Blow Up Media's sites in Upper Street in Islington
Now the company is trying again with an application for an advertisement banner measuring 5 by 7 metres, saying that this unilluminated advertisement would be 37% smaller than the previous proposal and the reduced size and the fact that the commercial panel is to be unilluminated would significantly reduce its visual impact.
You can see the full application on the council website using the reference 2023/00317/ADV.
In the past, Maximus has also made repeated applications to install an advertising shroud over the Bank Buildings, a few yards further south on Fulham Broadway, only to have H&F Council say no.
A visualisation from an previous advertising shroud application in the Fulham area
The council's latest refusal, last August, stated that the shroud would be an “ incongruous and overdominant feature which would be harmful to visual amenity and harmful to the character and appearance of the Building of Merit and the Walham Green Conservation Area and harmful to the setting of adjacent listed buildings. “
However, Maximus has not given up and has now appealed to the Planning Inspectorate, arguing that the shroud would significantly improve the appearance of the building during refurbishment, rather than “crude and utilitarian” scaffolding.
A second company, Blow Up Media has also made a number of applications to install shrouds across the borough, with similar results.
At 284 -288 North End Road, which as we reported in January is set to become a 39 bedroom apart-hotel, Blow Up Media applied in December for advertisement consent to install an illuminated screen measuring 10.5 by 6.2 metres from this month till March 2024.
However, giving it the thumbs down, the council said: “ The proposed advertisement by reason of its height, size, prominent location in the streetscene and period of display would form an incongruous and overdominant feature which would be harmful to visual amenity and harmful to the character and appearance of the application site and surroundings, and to the setting of the adjacent Grade II Listed Building. The harm would not be outweighed by public benefits.”
Blow Up Media has now appealed to the Planning Inspectorate to overturn this decision.
This company has also made a number of applications for a shroud which would cover the front of Fulham Town Hall while it is being renovated. The most recent, made in June last year, envisaged an illuminated screen measuring 7 by 11.4 metres within an overall 1:1 image of the Victorian facade to be in place for a year.
At the time, Blow Up Media claimed this would add colour and interest to the street scene of its town centre location.
However, this application was subsequently withdrawn before planning officers had made a decision and no further applications have been made to date.
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