This giant banner advert for Adidas football boots appeared without warning in front of the Hackney Marshes Centre a couple of weeks ago with zero regard for the landscape or its statutory and planning policy protections.
Five years ago Hackney Council's planning consultants Firstplan were proud of overcoming the 'restrictive policy designation' of Metropolitan Open Land and getting planning consent for the ridiculously oversized HMC, now doubling as commercial advertising site.
With another intrusive pavilion and sprawling car park planned for North Marsh, this lyrical post A Song of Open Space explains why this creeping commandeering and urbanising of our open green space must be challenged wherever it appears.
The complaint below has been sent to the Council itemising its failings.
7 October 2014
Dear London Borough of Hackney
This complaint concerns the commercial display of the 38m x 7.5m Adidas advertisement currently mounted on a scaffolding structure erected for the purpose, adjacent to the Hackney Marshes Centre facing the open space of Hackney Marsh Common.
It is an urban feature overbearing in scale and incongruous in design and location, visually damaging to the landscape of open grassland surrounded by trees which it dominates.
It has been imposed without consultation or warning on the users of Hackney Marsh who value the common for its openness and contrast to its urban surroundings, and its impact is not lessened by the claim that it is temporary.
Unlawfulness of construction on Common Land
The scaffolding and wrap forms an inclosure preventing access to the circa 75 square metres of the Common on which it stands. It has been erected without Planning Inspectorate consent and would therefore appear to be unlawful under Section 38 of the Commons Act 2006.
It follows that the Council were complicit in entering into a licence agreement for the use of the site for an unlawful purpose.
Maladministration of Advertising Consent
The advertisement is clearly harmful to visual amenity and inappropriate in its setting. On the evidence of the Officer's Report for the application (2014/2740) the assessment of impact on amenity was flawed and the decision to grant consent was not properly made for the following reasons:
For the reasons above the installation should be removed immediately.
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