'Visual clutter': another Waterloo billboard vetoed

An illuminated billboard near the Waterloo bus stops at Tenison Way can't be reinstated because it would represent "visual clutter," a Government planning inspector has ruled.

'Visual clutter': another Waterloo billboard vetoed
The billboard has been removed but the supporting fixtures remain in place

Last August Lambeth Council refused an application by ad firm Global for the renewal of advertisement consent for a digital billboard mounted on the railway viaduct on Tenison Way.

According to Global, this section of wall has hosted an advertising billboard since at least 1971.

The council rejected the application citing "unsympathetic design and increase in visual clutter" that would be "a negative visual element resulting in less than substantial harm to the setting and approach to the Westminster World Heritage Site (WWHS)" as well as having "the potential to create significant distraction to drivers".

Global appealed Lambeth's decision and planning inspector Andre McGlone has now delivered his verdict, dismissing the appeal and backing the council.

Mr McGlone noted that the billboard "would be sited in the same location as previous advertisements, but the council is seeking to resist proposals to renew advertisement consents for existing large panel advertisements to enhance the environment".

He concluded that "... the area may be characterised by advertisements, both currently and historically, but the proposal would add additional visual clutter that I consider would have an unacceptable effect on the visual amenity of the area, including the setting of the conservation area".

The billboard in 2021 pictured on Google Street View

Mr McGlone added: "The IMAX building does have a large advertisement on its circular elevation that contributes to the area’s vibrant commercial character.

"However, this is an internal advertisement and I consider the proposal to be harmful regardless of the advertisement in the IMAX building."

The inspector did not support the council's finding that the billboard would represent a hazard to road safety, observing that "...the accident data, in overall terms, suggests that people have not become distracted by a digital advertisement in the proposed location, even with the traffic signals, different modes of travel, and a busy environment during the day and night".

Last week we reported on a separate planning appeal regarding a billboard at the other end of Waterloo Station:

Waterloo billboard ‘harmful to public safety’
An illuminated digital advertising billboard next to Waterloo Station is “substantially harmful to public safety,” a planning inspector has ruled.
Tags: Waterloo, Planning & Development, Lambeth

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