Help block illegal billboards in Bristol

Billboards have been popping up under railway bridges overnight… and locals are not impressed.

Full instructions on how to object below. Deadline is 20th April.

London-based advertising company Build Hollywood have been accused of illegally putting up billboards under railway bridges across Bristol, nailing wooden frames into the brickwork without planning permission. Placing two boards in St Werburgh’s was a mistake, however – this neighbourhood has a strong community history of standing up to advertisers and local residents were immediately on the case. Following multiple complaints, Network Rail have instructed Build Hollywood to remove the billboards.

Job done? Not yet.

The company has now applied for planning permission for two billboards on Glenfrome Road and Muller Road, following what is allegedly their trademark tactic: put up a billboard, wait until it’s noticed and then retrospectively apply for planning permission – turning a revenue from clients all the while.

These applications are for ‘paper and paste’ billboards rather than digital screens so we’ll need plenty of objections to get them rejected. You know the drill – grab a cuppa and take five minutes to visit Bristol Council’s Planning Portal to have your say!

Full instructions on how to object below. Deadline is 20th April.

Yes it is.

Illegal billboard under the bridge on Glenfrome Rd.
Illegal billboard under the bridge on Muller Rd.

How to object:

1. Go to planningonline.bristol.gov.uk/search and enter code: 22/01173/A (Muller Rd) and 22/01172/A (Glenfrome Rd)

2. Click ‘Make a Comment’. 

3. Write as much as you’d like about your objections. Below are some points you could include, but make sure to make it personal to you:

Bear in mind your comments will be publicly available and may be read and quoted by anyone, including journalists.

Glenfrome Rd (22/01172/A )

Amenity

·      This billboard would detract from the amenity of the area because it is next to an entirely residential area, a nursery school and a park. It is visible from some houses on St Werburghs Park and in the faces of children walking to and from local schools.

·      Two other billboards (one of which was also illegal) were already removed from this arch in recent years as part of the campaign to get rid of billboards in the area. The statement from the applicants suggesting that the hoardings are for community purposes  should be disregarded. Other sites managed by the applicant display a mixture of posters most of which are commercial in nature. There has been no request from the local community for boards to be placed at those venues for community use. There is no way that, once allowed, it would be possible to ensure that they were only used for community purposes.

·      The company asserts that “the advertising board is an important part of community advertising in this district and can be essential to local arts and organisations and local business”; however, Build Hollywood’s clients include Netflix and Tik Tok which is hardly local.

·      The area has undergone neighbourhood renewal with improvements to the park, commercial buildings converted to residential and successful popular local schools. Billboards are an eyesore, are out of character in the local area, and do not belong here.

·      Billboards in the area attract fly tipping and tagging and damage the local visual and natural environment. This billboard, put in place illegally by the company, has already attracted significant graffiti which is likely to continue.

·      Any new, renewal or replacement hoarding is a development and should be considered in the light of the policies contained under the section “Quality Urban Design Policy BCS21.“ New development in Bristol should deliver high quality urban design. Development in Bristol will be expected to:

“ Contribute positively to an area’s character and identity, creating or reinforcing local distinctiveness.” 

The hoardings do not relate to the character or identity of the area in any way. They introduce a shape and function onto the site which detracts from the shape of the bridge itself. The commercial nature of advertising in this site has a negative impact on the local amenity and does not create or reinforce local distinctiveness but has exactly the opposite effect.

“ Deliver a coherently structured, integrated and efficient built form that clearly defines public and private space.

This is very much a public space where people walk, cycle, scoot or drive under the bridge. The hoarding forces the agenda of private concerns into this space. As such it is totally intrusive and not structured to compliment the space in any way.

Road Safety

·      Billboards increase the risk of road accidents because they are aimed at distracting attention. They would be a risk to pedestrians reading the boards and stepping into speeding traffic, as well as cyclists and other road users who are distracted while navigating a section of road that has two pedestrian crossing points, and constitutes a change from a two-way to a single one-way lane of traffic going through the bridge.

·      According to crashmap.co.uk, among several traffic incidents there was a serious incident at this site in 2018 which caused 2 casualties. Adding an extra distraction to this location causes an unacceptable risk to road safety since the location is 20m away from a primary school entrance, and 5m away from a pedestrian crossing which traverses the road between the school and a park, meaning there are often children and families passing under the bridge and across the crossing.

Illegal

·      This company put up this board without consultation. If Bristol City Council approves this application it will set a precedent for a rash of new billboards throughout the city, erected by semi-legal advertising companies with no respect for neighbourhoods.

Muller Rd (22/01173/A )

Amenity

·      This billboard would detract from the amenity of the area. Any new, renewal or replacement hoarding is a development and should be considered in the light of the policies contained under the section “Quality Urban Design Policy BCS21.“ New development in Bristol should deliver high quality urban design. Development in Bristol will be expected to:

“ Contribute positively to an area’s character and identity, creating or reinforcing local distinctiveness.” 

The hoardings do not relate to the character or identity of the area in any way. They introduce a shape and function onto the site which detracts from the shape of the bridge itself. The commercial nature of advertising in this site has a negative impact on the local amenity and does not create or reinforce local distinctiveness but has exactly the opposite effect.

“ Deliver a coherently structured, integrated and efficient built form that clearly defines public and private space.

This is very much a public space where people walk, cycle, scoot or drive under the bridge. The hoarding forces the agenda of private concerns into this space. As such it is totally intrusive and not structured to compliment the space in any way. Billboards attract fly tipping and tagging and damage the local visual environment. This billboard, put in place illegally by the company, has already attracted significant graffiti which is likely to continue.

Road Safety

·      This billboard could lead to an increase in risk of traffic accidents as it is placed at a spot used by many children and elderly people due to its proximity to the local Ashley Down allotments

·      The development is designed to attract attention and anything which serves to distract drivers, cyclists and crossing pedestrians at this point, in a narrow bridge on a hill with pedestrian crossings to the north and south of the bridge, should be considered a safety hazard. The images themselves will be designed to attract attention from road and pavement users. This is a busy road already and adding any further distraction in that location would be detrimental to road safety.

Illegal

·      This company put up this board without consultation. If Bristol City Council approves this application it will set a precedent for a rash of new billboards throughout the city, erected by semi-legal advertising companies with no respect for neighbourhoods.

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