Eyesore billboards removed

Published on 07 October 2015

TEN huge unsightly advertising hoardings close to Leicester city centre have been taken down after legal action to remove them.

Leicester City Council originally issued enforcement notices last year on the firms responsible for the billboards, which were in two sections on either side of St Peter’s Lane, just a stone’s throw from the Highcross shopping centre.

The landowners and advertising firms responsible for the hoardings - a mixture of national companies and private individuals - appealed to the Government against the notices, but were unsuccessful.

The government inspector dealing with the appeal agreed with the council’s original decision that the hoardings were out of scale with the conservation area and detrimental to its historic character as well as affecting views of important listed buildings including St Margaret’s Church.

All 10 giant advertising boards were within the Church Gate Conservation Area, close to the Great Meeting Chapel and former school, both of which are Grade II listed buildings.

The billboards were finally removed over this summer, with the last of the remaining structures taken down in September.

Leicester Assistant City Mayor Cllr Piara Singh Clair, whose portfolio includes conservation areas, said: “These huge billboards were completely out of scale to the surrounding area, and really spoiled the look of what is a conservation area close to the heart of the city.

“The Government inspector involved agreed with our view that these hoardings were unacceptable, and I'm glad to see that the enforcement action we've taken has resulted in those responsible removing the billboards.”

Those subject to the enforcement action included billboard firms J C Decaux UK Ltd, and Primesight Ltd, along with two private landowners based in Leicester.

Landowners and billboard firms who fail to comply with enforcement notices to clear hoardings can face prosecution including a fine of up to £2,500.