Elephant & Castle rail bridge to be decorated with hand-painted ads

The abutment of the railway bridge above the New Kent Road at the Elephant & Castle is to be decorated with hand-painted advertiser-funded murals under plans approved by Southwark Council.

Elephant & Castle rail bridge to be decorated with hand-painted ads

Council officers have granted advertisement consent to a scheme by Network Rail and Global Street Art to paint the bridge abutment wall on the north side of New Kent Road between Metro Central Heights and Arch Street.

"It is considered that the current appearance of the application wall, with its peeling paint, tagging and untidy appearance, is uncharacteristically detrimental to what is an otherwise attractive environment," writes planning consultant Richard Jewkes in his application to the council.

The New Kent Road project is said to be "part of a UK-wide initiative to improve the visual appearance of publicly visible items of railway infrastructure, to the benefit of amenity in the localities which surround them."

"The project seeks to utilise walls and other infrastructure features for the display of street art led mural campaigns.

"It is envisaged that the incorporation of a limited amount of advertising content within some of these displays will enable the project to be self-funding, improving amenity for local communities and ensuring the repair and maintenance of the sites going forward, without the need for public funding."

Murals would be painted onto a film surface applied to the wall and would be changed after 28 days

"This proposal is concerned solely with providing vibrant and inclusive murals to enrich the character and vitality of the area, adding to the sense of place experienced on New Kent Road when passing or stopping nearby," added Mr Jewkes.

He goes on to claim that "expansive academic research has demonstrated that world class murals and street art have tangible positive impacts upon cultural and social cohesion within communities".

• For more information on the murals proposal see 22/AP/0294.

• A separate application to replace the current ad billboard on the corner of New Kent Road and Elephant Road with a digital screen has been submitted to the council under application 22/AP/0949

Tags: Planning & Development, Elephant & Castle, Transport, Southwark, Politics & local government

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