A developer hoping to see “mega” LED ad towers built next to the Woolwich Road flyover in east Greenwich has appealed to planning inspectors after his original application was refused – even though the council says it owns the land.
Robert Bordi applied for permission to build the 22-metre hoardings either side of the Blackwall Tunnel Southern Approach last October, but his application was rejected by Greenwich Council in January. Objectors included Transport for London, which said the hoardings would be too bright, the council’s highways and conservation teams, local councillor Stephen Brain and the Greenwich Green Party.
Now he is taking his case to the Planning Inspectorate, which is due to rule within eight weeks. A Robert Bordi is listed as the sole director of Greenfurb Ltd, a company said to specialise in “high impact outdoor media”. The most recent Companies House filing, made last May, showed that it had £35,000 in assets. The registered address of Greenfurb is a residential house in Hanwell, west London.
The double-sided “Mega 6” towers would have be placed either side of the roundabout beneath the flyover, beaming six ads per minute to drivers on the A102 above. While such towers are familiar sights for drivers who regularly use TfL’s main road network in London, these would have been placed in a residential area and close to the Grade II-listed former East Greenwich fire station.
Bordi’s agent, ASM Chartered Surveyors, which submitted the application to the council, said its plans would “fit in comfortably with the commercial character of the surroundings and are sensitively located and do not appear intrusive within the street scene”.
However, a report by Greenwich Council officers maintained that the land was actually owned by the council. “Although it has been indicated on the application form that the applicant owns the land or buildings, the land in question is under council ownership and no prior agreement has been sought to propose to install the advertisements,” the report says.
While this website has been unable to independently verify the land ownership, the western tower appears to be on the site of a stretch of Horn Lane that was stopped up in the late 1970s when the current roundabout was installed.
The appeal is reference APP/E5330/Z/22/3294646 with the Planning Inspectorate, however, as the case is deemed a commercial appeal there is no opportunity for residents to restate their objections.
Update: The appeal was rejected, with the planning inspector stating that the towers would “unacceptably harm public safety for road users, cyclists and pedestrians using the area under and around the flyover”.
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