In March 2021 a planning application ( reference 21/0668/ADV ) was submitted to Barnet Council for planning permission for the erection of series of large and permanent advertising banners on lampposts in the High Road running through Whetstone. The application was one of a series being submitted by an outdoor advertising company for locations throughout the borough.
There would be up to 41 banners, each 2.2 m. high and 0.785 m. deep, the lowest part of each banner would be 2.8 m. above the ground. A location plan can be accessed here – 21_0668_ADV-THE_LOCATION_PLAN
and a copy of the drawing showing the design of the banners here –21_0668_ADV-BANNER_DETAILS
The planning legislation does not allow the Council to restrict the type of advertisements that could be displayed on the banners (except in the interest of amenity or public safety).
As of 30th March there were 28 public comments about the application on the Council planning website- all of them objecting to the application. One of these was from FBWRA. We objected on the grounds that the banners would be a distraction for drivers and so would not be in the interests of public safety (Advertising banners are – obviously – erected with the object of attracting attention of those passing by, including drivers) and also on the basis that the number, positions, size, design and appearance of the banners would result in a proliferation and clutter of signs that would have an adverse impact on the street scene and visual amenity of the locality of the area.
Unlike planning applications for development such as the construction of a new building, “advertising consents” are not required to be notified to neighbours, so FBWRA decided to let our members know about the application so that members could , if they wished, post a comment ( whether for, against or even neutral) on the Council planning website for consideration by Councillors and planning officers. We alerted our members by email and notices were also posted on social media, including Next Door. Soon the number of public comments on the Council planning website increased dramatically, and now stands at 111, of which 109 are objections. Further public comments can no longer be submitted to the Council website ( although they can be submitted by email to firstname.lastname@example.org until a decision on the application is made).
As of 10 May the application is “pending consideration” by the Council. Given the number of objections the application will either be refused by a planning officer under delegated powers, or will be considered by a planning committee of Councillors, who may refuse or grant the application. Similar applications affecting roads in Mill Hill and East Barnet have recently been refused by Councillors.