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King’s Reach Tower: "harmful and unsympathetic" giant ads blocked

Plans to turn a vacant high-rise office building on the South Bank into one of the biggest advertisement hoardings London has ever seen have been rejected by Southwark Council.

King’s Reach Tower:

In February we revealed the plan to cover King's Reach Tower in giant advertisements in a bid to cash in on the Olympics. The former IPC Media building is currently unoccupied with work due to start this year to convert much of the tower into luxury flats.

As well as immediate opposition from Cathedral ward councillor Adele Morris, the giant advert proposal also attracted objections from Bankside Residents' Forum, Coin Street Community Builders and Harvey Nichols Restaurants. The operators of the Oxo Tower Restaurant feared that corporate customers and wedding parties would not want a huge billboard as the backdrop for their special occasions.

Objections from residents of adjacent Rennie Court were dropped after the building's owners revised the proposals to reduce the impact on immediate neighbours.

This week Southwark Council planning officers refused to grant advertisement consent for the scheme.

"The proposed banner signage, by virtue of their prominent height, visibility, size and illumination would result in a harmful and unsympathetic development that would have a significant detrimental visual impact and would adversely impact on the Old Barge House Alley Conservation Area and also a number of conservation areas within Lambeth and Westminster," said planning officers in their decision notice.

Planners also said that the giant adverts would spoil the view from a number of protected "river prospects" including Hungerford Bridge, Blackfriars Bridge, Waterloo Bridge and Southwark Bridge Road.

The council is still considering a separate proposal to place a giant image of the Royal Family on nearby Sea Containers House to celebrate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.

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