THERE are fears for the conservation of Altrincham town centre after plans emerged for 23 advertisement banners to be fitted on lamp posts in the area.
The banners, planned for Stamford New Road and Railway Street will, if approved, advertise various local events and attractions.
However, it is understood the primary purpose of the banners is to display advertisements unrelated to the town.
Local groups and organisations say the banners, applied for by lamp post banner specialists Bay Media, will not be in keeping with the Victorian and Edwardian scenery.
Members of Altrincham and Bowdon Civic Society have also said the banners will make the streets “look tatty”.
Three banners have been removed from the application after they were considered to be in particularly sensitive locations adjacent to three listed buildings.
On Thursday (June 14), Trafford Planning Committee will be considering the application for the 2.2m by 0.785m double-sided banners at the monthly meeting.
According to the planning report, the proposed banners would be relatively lightweight and it is hoped they will add colour and vibrancy to the street scene.
Observations made by the Planning Committee in the report say “it is not considered that such advertisements would be particularly out of place in a central commercial area and it is noted that the banners will be able to advertise local events in Altrincham which will increase interest and help to regenerate the area.”
The report goes on to say that although the banners will have some visual impact on the street scene, they would not be affixed to the building and so will not impair the views of adjacent buildings.
As well as the Civic Society, other groups including Bowdon Downs Residents’ Association and Bowdon Conservation Group have also objected to the banners.
Sue Nichols, speaking on behalf of those who have objected, said: “They will be primarily ordinary adverts unrelated to Altrincham, over which the Council will have no control. The advertising space has already been sold, so there will be no slots left to advertise Altrincham events.
“Even if they were to advertise local events, those would be far better placed on the outskirts of the town to pull people in.”
“We understand the owners and tenants of the buildings have not been notified of this application, so they will get a shock one morning when their light and view are blocked by a large banner and the facades of their buildings spoiled by them.”
She added: “If this application is permitted, it sets a very bad example, making it far more difficult to enforce removal or refuse applications for other inappropriate banners and adverts across the whole of Trafford, whether in Conservation Areas or not.”
Let us know your thoughts on the planned banners below, or on our Facebook page.
This Thursday’s meeting takes place at 6.30pm on the Ground Floor of Quay West, Trafford Wharf Road, Trafford Park, M17 1HH. For more information visit trafford.gov.uk