A CITY neighbourhood is being turned into a “slum” by adverts, local councillors have claimed.
The row comes after the city council refused planning permission for advertising hoardings above a convenience store in Corstorphine Road to promote a completely different business.
Community councillors said the area – which has recently had thousands of pounds spent on pavements, shrubbery and other environmental improvements – is being dragged down by the increasing number of signs and adverts.
They branded the Western Corner area a “slum” following the appearance of adverts for Corstorphine Roofing & Building above the Best One convenience store.
Representatives for the firms today said that they would be consulting on a possible appeal against the council’s decision.
George McLeod, 74, a pensioner who lives next to the shop, said: “Between 2010 and 2011, the city spent many thousands of pounds improving Western Corner, putting in new pavements, and plants and trees, on a main tourist route in and out of the city. It’s also a residential area.
“Here’s a company which has no offices here, they’re not located here, and they’re putting up big industrial hoardings on the roof, and they went up without planning permission.
“The old Bank of Scotland unit opposite the shop is now a company that makes signs and it’s also covered in signs. It also has a second shop diagonally across the road with an illuminated sign that’s on 24 hours a day.
“All these signs are lowering the tone of a residential area.”
Walter Spence, of Murrayfield community council, said: “For this company to come along and put up the adverts that they have done is ridiculous after all the money that has been spent here.
“These adverts are bringing the area down. We’ve been doing our best to keep these adverts out of the way. I’m deeply concerned that we are being reduced to something that’s not acceptable.
“There are a number of houses being built in the area, so imagine trying to sell a house and then you look out of the window and you have all those advertisements looking backing at you?”
The objection to the adverts submitted by Murrayfield community council states: “The whole of Western Corner has recently undergone an improvement to its paving paid for by the city and yet the level of advertising on almost all the shops is ridiculous. The place is looking like a slum.”
John Bury, head of planning and building standards, said: “The high level signage located at the roof eaves significantly intrudes into the streetscape, harms visual amenity, and is contrary to non-statutory guidelines on commercial frontages.”
Brent Quinn, managing director of Cockburn’s Consultants, which is advising Best One and Corstorphine Roofing & Building, said: “Notwithstanding this decision, we believe that the application is reasonable and meets planning policy, and on that basis I will be recommending to my clients that they launch an appeal.”
A spokeswoman for the Scottish Government’s Directorate for Planning and Environmental Appeals said any appeal against a planning decision by the city council would be considered on its merits.