London SE1 website team

County Hall in advertising row

County Hall on the South Bank could soon be used as a giant advertising billboard

Shirayama, the Japanese property corporation that bought the complex when the GLC was abolished, is planning a major clean-up of the dirty facade and wants to sell giant "shroud" adverts to be hung on the scaffolding.

If the plan goes ahead, it will not be the first time that County Hall has been used to send messages. Ken Livingstone made use of the prime riverside position to further his publicity war against Margaret Thatcher.

English Heritage has made a rare concession that it will not object to advertising in principle if it helps pay the bill for the cleaning of the building. There is one stipulation – that any posters must be "in keeping with the historic area".

The final decision will rest with Lambeth Council.

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