Tower Block Neon Signs Slammed

Chiswick residents' group opposed Boulton House signs


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A plan to put up LED/neon signs on Tower Block roofs would see the area " lit up like a brothel" according to a Chiswick resident's group.

Hounslow Council's Sustainable Development Committee approved the controversial plans for the top of Boulton House in Brentford, despite advice from planning officials. But Marie Rabouhans, vice-chairman of the West Chiswick and Gunnersbury Society said the decision had far-reaching implications.

"Brentford will soon be even more brilliant- lit up like a brothel" she commented.

The illuminated signage on Boulton House, one of the six 23-storey council-owned residential tower blocks in Green Dragon Lane will go ahead despite objections from several local residents' groups, English Heritage, the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew and the London Borough of Richmond.

"Paris is apparently the town planning role-model – the advert-strewn blocks of the northern approaches were invoked by the developer as an appropriate model for Brentford. I was not aware that the banlieue of northern Paris was known for engendering a sense of place. What next you may ask - why not an M4 by-pass snaking above the Thames from Kew to Windsor?

"Apparently the M4 and the Golden Mile are to be the defining features of our borough used to set the context and character of all neighbouring areas. Any building that can be seen by motorists travelling on the M4 is an “appropriate” site for placing illuminated advertising. Perhaps one of the six towers on Green Dragon Lane could advertise itself “Hounslow Homes –nice places to take Ad-vantage of”. It certainly gives a new meaning to Affordable Housing. If it is necessary in these difficult economic times to derive income from these towers, why not install solar panels – a truly sustainable solution? " she said.


Permitting illuminated signage on one or more of the tower blocks would do much harm to the character and visual amenity of sites within the borough and further afield.

These included sites of London-wide, national and international importance -including the World Heritage Site of The Royal Botanic Gardens Kew. Such signage would compromise the regeneration of Brentford and of Gunnersbury Park - two of the important regeneration projects currently being undertaken by the Council.

Ms. Rabouhans, who attended the meeting and spoke opposing the proposal, added

“The London Borough of Hounslow has the good fortune to enjoy a wealth of natural and architectural assets including those associated with the River Thames. This richness should be celebrated and the potential of these assets harnessed in order to retain and, wherever possible, increase the Borough’s attractiveness for residents, workers and visitors alike.

It is thus vital for the Borough to protect these assets from damage by inappropriate development.”

June 29, 2012

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