Upminster traders angry over proposed advertising banners

A COUNCILLOR sparked fury from traders at a planning meeting after telling them that they could see an end to their businesses if they did not embrace proposals for advertising banners in Upminster.

Cllr Jeff Brace (Con, Hylands) told the committee at the Regulatory Services meeting on Thursday October 28 that the installation of 29 non illuminated PVC banner signs would be a good thing for the area.

He said: “I am amazed that none of you are actually embracing these ideas because someone is thinking about putting up advertising banners that would help your businesses.

“This is exactly the reason that lots of small shops close down and fast food stores move in. “If you don’t move into the 21st century then you will not be able to survive and this is exactly one of the problems with old towns.”

As part of the proposals it would see 29 banners hung on the lamp posts in Upminster Town Centre, Corbets Tey Road and St Mary’s Lane, which would be available to local businesses and companies wishing to advertise.

But the traders argue that they would not be able to advertise on the banners.

One trader said: “Improvements have been made to the town centre over the years these plans would only allow all this good work to go down the drain.

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“The signs would be expensive and the only people able to afford them would be big shopping centres like Lakeside so it would just be a detriment to the borough.”

The council also heard objections from other councillors who argued that it would just add to the street clutter on the roads.

Cllr Ron Ower (Residents’ Group, Upminster) said: “This planning application is part of a programme throughout the borough but Upminster is just being used as a guinea pig.”

Cllr Ower also went on to slam the committee for not reporting in the meetings’ agenda about a financial gain to the council.

He said: “There is no mention of a financial reward to the council, which I think puts you all in a different situation.”

But the council’s legal advisers said that although funds would be coming into the council, they could still be objective.

The committee also heard that 134 letters had been received objecting to the plans.

After a vote for refusal was lost, the committee voted to defer the application so that they could gather more information about how the banners would affect CCTV cameras in the area.