Gorgie locals fury over 'unauthorised' advertising

AN ADVERTISING firm has been accused of attempting to “commercialise” a number of historic buildings by plastering them with posters.

Tuesday, 23rd July 2019, 3:29 pm
Locals in Gorgie are unhappy about the advertising boards being erected without permission.
Locals in Gorgie are unhappy about the advertising boards being erected without permission.

Residents group Gorgie Collective say creative agency Jack Arts put up the display on the side of a private tenement building near White Park without planning consent - just months after the same firm were ordered to remove “unauthorised” signage from the B-listed Caledonian Bridge.

The company has since lodged a retroactive bid for approval, but campaigners say the move sets a “dangerous precedent” for future applications, adding the space should be given over to community groups.

They now want the local authority to remove the signage, but council chiefs are unable to act until a decision is made on the current planning application.

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Chairwoman Katriona Gillespie told the Evening News: “This is a second completely inappropriate retrospective planning application for advertising boards here in Gorgie.”

“The first was an attempt to commercialise a B-listed monument. The agent in question has now moved on to trying to appropriate residential buildings to generate private profit against the wishes of local residents.

“This sets a very dangerous precedent. Our community would prefer to see public spaces in our area used for community notice boards or public art, not to generate revenue for outside interests.”

In documentation lodged with city planning chiefs, the company promises to “maintain the wall through the monitoring and obliteration of graffiti”.

Earlier this month, Jack Arts tore down posters on the Caledonian Bridge after dozens of objections to another late application.

The firm received no notes of support and the bid was later thrown out.

Ashley Graczyk, independent councillor for Sighthill and Gorgie added: “Local residents are furious that ads are being put up on listed buildings and private tenements without permission and no enforcement action is being taken until months later.”

“The planning process is currently biased in favour of private contractors and against local communities and we urgently need to change this.”

Jack Arts have been contacted for comment.