Anger over plans for Royal Mile advertising hoarding that will 'blight the memory' of visitors

The proposed advertising hoarding on the Royal Mile would be in place for 12 monthsThe proposed advertising hoarding on the Royal Mile would be in place for 12 months
The proposed advertising hoarding on the Royal Mile would be in place for 12 months
Community councillors are ‘vehemently objecting’ to plans to hoist a huge two-storey advertising board on the Royal Mile, which they say will ‘blight the memory’ of all who visit Old Town.

London-based firm blowUP Media, which is owned by German advertising giant Ströer, wants to construct a 15 metre by eight metre advertising billboard on the side of 329 High Street, opposite St Giles’ Cathedral.

The advertising hoarding will be fixed to the scaffolding that has been erected on the outside of the building to facilitate renovation works, and illuminated by six external flood lights.

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The application, submitted by blowUp media, asks for permission to leave the advertisement up for a whole year.

However, Edinburgh Old Town Council has lodged an objection to the plans, saying there is ‘no excuse’ for permitting the development: “This sort of advertising has absolutely no place in the World Heritage Site, of the Conservation Area, let alone here on such a prominent location on the Royal Mile.

“The elevation drawings disingenuously show the hoarding innocuously with the word ‘Royal Mile’ when in fact according to the documentation, it will carry commercial product advertising.

“There is absolutely no excuse for permitting this. It has no redeeming features. An extra income stream for the developer is absolutely not an acceptable reason at all.

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“That it is temporary is meaningless, apart from being there more than the three months usually considered temporary, it will be permanent in the memory of the thousands of visitors whose memory of the Old Town will be blighted forever.”

The application has so far attracted 35 letters of objection, and one letter of support from the Chris Stewart Group, which is undertaking the redevelopment of the building.

The letter, from the group’s acquisitions and developments manager Hugh Fraser, reads: “Following the success of the banner wrap put in place on CSG’s Love Loan development site, that sits directly opposite Glasgow City Chambers on the corner of George Square in Glasgow, we support the application for a banner to be put in place on our scaffolding.

“The banner will greatly improve the appearance of the scaffolding when in situ but also helps to drive awareness of the development, ultimately helping to improve the chances of success of the important regeneration project on the Royal Mile.”

Joseph Anderson Local Democracy Service

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