Planning committee give green light to advertising banners in Upminster

OBJECTIONS from more than 360 residents were not enough to convince councillors to scrap plans to install 29 advertising banners on lamp posts in Upminster.

At the regulatory services committee meeting on Thursday December 2, the committee gave the go ahead for the PVC lamp post banner signs to be placed in Station Road, St Mary’s Lane and Corbets Tey Road, Upminster.

At the end of the meeting, Resident and trader Lou Ridgeron said: “Its difficult because Upminster like lots of other towns are struggling in the current economic climate and we have made efforts to keep its orginal character but this is just going to make the town look awful.”

The decision means that the advertising banners will be available to let to businesses and other companies who wish to advertise for a certain period of time.

But earlier councillors heard objections from residents and traders in Upminster who argued that they would not be able to afford to advertise on the banners and it would have an adverse affect on ther business.

Lou said: “To have banners facing all directions in our high street would just make the town look really tacky and I think these signs would just be detrimental to Upminster.

“The banners also distract drivers and is a big distraction in terms of highway safety.”

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There were also a number of other objections from councillors including Residents’ Group Cllr Ron Ower who argued that the proposals would just be a step backwards.

He said: “Over the years the council has spent lots of money on enhancing the town centre and I think Upminster is a fantastic place to live but by pushing through these proposals we are just going to degrade our shopping centre.”

Cllr Linda Hawthorn (Residents’ Group, Upminster) salso voiced her fury against the application arguing that it would affect people living above the shops.

She said: “Many of the shops have flats above them and for many of those people living there it will just cause a loss of visuals.”

Earlier the committee were shown images of similar banners that had been installed in Leicester but it sparked fury from residents and councillors because they argued that Leicester could not be compared to a Edwardian town like Upminster.

Cllr Ower (Residents’ Group, Upminster) said: “I have been a visitor to Leicester for over 40 years and they are made up of different communities and the council have installed these banners to try to encourage more people to speak english.

“The officers’ report also fails to mention that other councils that have these banners used for advertising j are now taking it down, but here we are doing the opposite.”

The application was previously deferred from the last regulatory services committee meeting so that councillors could get more information about the banners.