Illegal Ads Removed from Fulham Streets

Residents complained hoardings were unsightly and dangerous

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Hammersmith and Fulham Environment and Planning Department

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The plug has been pulled on unsighly illegal adverts after complaints from local residents.

Advertising companies King Media, which owns an advertising board on 632 Fulham Road, and Clear Channel which owns a digital advert on 112-114 Fulham Palace Road near Charing Cross Hospital, were served with direct action notices earlier this year.

Both were told to take down their hoardings within 21 days or Hammersmith & Fulham Council would remove and destroy them. 

Advertisements have to have the proper planning consent but King Media put an illuminated display board up without asking the council.

Although the Clear Channel site had been used for static adverts for many years, in April last year it changed to a larger advert showing digital pictures, without consent from the council. The ads drew complaints from residents, who claimed the new hoardings were unsightly and a distraction that could lead to accidents.

King Media eventually removed their sign after sustained pressure from the council but Clear Channel refused and instead took the matter to the High Court in a judicial review, claiming that the advert was lawful.

The review took place on February 26 at the High Court of Justice, and Mr Justice Stephen Irwin agreed with the council and ruled that the advert was in fact illegal. Clear Channel is now looking to appeal this decision at the Appeal Court.

Councillor Greg Smith, cabinet member for crime and street scene, says: “We cannot just give in to advertising companies and allow them to do what they want, where they want, without giving any thought to residents who might be affected by these adverts.

“No one is above the law and this is a victory for common sense.”

22nd April 2009