A billboard company hoping to get permission for a billboard on a busy Brighton street has been accused of making a ‘misleading’ application.
Nicholas Mager of Abbey Commercial Limited is asking for approval for a billboard on a wall on the side of 56 Preston Street, on the corner of Stone Street.
The building is home to Pizza King, which is run by Samir Salama – who also owns the Fish and Chips restaurant further down Preston Street.
Mr Salama applied in 2003 for a billboard at the same location, which was refused.
The application says the board is currently displaying an advert for Wakehurst Place, and has submitted a picture showing that poster.
But the Regency Squares Committee says the picture is an “attempt to mislead” – and the application fails to mention the advert had to be painted over in July when the agency was told there was no planning permission for it.
The committee’s comment says: “The application document states there is an existing advertisement at the proposed site. This is a false statement.
The applicant provides a photograph of an advertisement purporting to show the site ‘as is today’- again this is an attempt to mislead.
“That sleight of hand is revealed by the applicant itself – a photograph truly showing ‘as is today’ is included in the applicant’s own drawing “Existing and Proposed Plan and Elevation”.
“It shows that the site today contains no advertisement whatsoever.
“An advertising agency Amplify first erected a hoarding advertisement at the site on 10th May 2023.
“The company was notified it had been displaying advertisements at the site illegally from that time to July 2023 and painted over the advertisement.
“The company has not removed the hoarding itself.”
The application – and the photograph of the Wakehurst poster – were submitted to the council on 5 July.
Further documents, including drawings and photographs of the existing signage, were submitted on 10 August.
Another commenter, whose name has been redacted by the council’s online portal, said: “I appose this planning application.
“The size of this advertising board is completely out of character for the conservation area and is on a an entirely residential street and has been put up with no thought whatsoever as to how it looks.
“The applicant has already had planning for this rejected and I believe an enforcement notice to remove it back in 2013 – BH2003/02827/AD.
“He has then gone one to ignore this and put the sign up again.
“He also has an enforcement notice on another property on Preston Street because he didn’t get planning permission for developments that have a detrimental effect to the appearance of the conservation area and look just plain awful.”
In April this year, Mr Salama was issued with an enforcement notice requiring him to remove a “garish and unsightly” tiled ramp and seating area outside Fish and Chips at 86-87 Preston Street.