Brighton venue loses appeal

Posted On 24 Aug 2010 at 7:04 am

A Brighton venue for voluntary organisations has been told it cannot carry advertising on the side of its building.

Community Base, in Queen’s Road, Brighton, appealed to Communities Secretary Eric Pickles after Brighton and Hove City Council refused to grant planning permission for a 30ft x 30ft hoarding.

But the Secretary of State has turned down the appeal on the advice of planning inspector John Chase.

Ironically, the council has even placed adverts on the building itself in the past.

Critics of the refusal to grant planning permission have questioned whether the decision is politically motivated – the council is now Conservative controlled while the Green Party is another former advertiser.

The council has also begun a review to identify opportunities to reap advertising revenues itself in public places such as the sides of municipally owned buildings.

If it were to target potential advertisers, Community Base would have been a rival in a prime location.

Critics also say that the refusal will add to the financial pressure faced by Community Base and the dozens of voluntary groups that use the building.

The council said: “An independent planning inspector has dismissed an appeal by Community Base against refusal of advertising consent.”

The council’s planning committee refused consent in February, saying that the hoarding would be too visually dominant and “detract from the visual amenities of the area”.

Councillor Lynda Hyde, chairman of the planning committee, said: “We are pleased the inspector has agreed with our decision.

“We considered the application on its merits and the decision was made on planning grounds.”

The council cited the Planning Inspectorate report, written by Mr Chase, as saying there was no justification for covering the wall with advertising material.

It would, he said, make it appear an incongruous and alien element of the street scene.

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