Call For Review of Planning Inspectorate After Lucozade Sign Decision
Council leader says there is 'lack of consistency' regarding ads on Great West Road
Councillor Steve Curran, Leader of Hounslow Council, has penned an open letter to the Planning Inspectorate to complain about the removal of the iconic Lucozade advertisement at York House, Brentford.
He says he is concerned that there is "a lack of consistency with decisions for advertisements on the Great West Road" and wants to see an independent review of the training and decision-making process of the Planning Inspectorate, regarding advertisement appeals across the borough of Hounslow.
Over the Christmas holidays, JC Decaux installed an internally illuminated LED screen at York House, Brentford, to screen advertisements, removing the iconic copy of the 1920’s 'dripping bottle' Lucozade advertisement that many people associated with the area.
Hounslow Council planners had previously turned down permission for the LED advertisement screen, but it was given consent on appeal to the Planning Inspectorate, a situation that the Lead member described as "depressing".
Cllr Curran says in his letter, that removing the iconic sign has caused great upset in the local community and attracted considerable attention from the media.
"Overall, I am concerned there is a lack of consistency with decisions for advertisements on the Great West Road. I appreciate there is a real pressure from advertisers to locate here, as one of the most valuable stretches of land for advertisements in the country. But it is mainly a residential area and local people are not happy about the brightness of the LED screens, which is completely different to the old style illuminated advert hoardings."
"The Planning Inspectorate overriding the decisions of my planning officers, based on the Town and Country Planning (Control of Advertisements) Act 2007 and Local Plan policy, is depressing.
"However, there are inconsistencies as the Planning Inspectorate dismiss about eight applications for every one approved.
"I would like to see an independent review carried out of the training and decision making of the Planning Inspectors involved in decision making on advertisement appeals in LB Hounslow since the 2007 Act came in to force.
The replacement advertising hoarding (Picture: Brentford Heritage)
The Lucozade advert (or a similar version) has been situated on the building on the Great West Road since the fifties. It's much loved and seen by many returning from a long trip outside London giving the first indication that they are close to home.
The digital display ad that has replaced it is advertising Mercedes vans rather than energy drinks. A petition has been set up with change.org calling on the Prime Minister to: 'Bring back Brentford's iconic Lucozade sign. Remove the hideous digital advertising.'
JC Decaux has declined to comment on the removal of the sign.
Nina Meusberger, head of marketing at Lucozade Energy, said: "We're grateful for the public’s appreciation for the iconic Lucozade Energy sign which was displayed alongside the M4 in Brentford. We have preserved and stored the sign since the decision, which was beyond our control, was made to turn the space into a digital advertising board.
"We are considering various options of where to place it next."
January 20, 2016