Those of you who have followed this blog over a long period will be aware that from time to time I have published examples of shroud advertisements displayed on buildings that are undoubtedly major heritage assets in cities such as Venice, Paris and Brussels. The point of publishing these views is to demonstrate that our European friends do not share our squeamishness about erecting temporary shroud advertising around buildings that are undergoing major refurbishment.
I was in Paris again last week, and found several more examples of shroud advertising displayed on such buildings while major building works are being carried out. The first example is on the South Front of the Palais du Louvre.
Next, we have shroud advertisements displayed on the buildings facing onto the Place de la Concorde, and also on the return frontage to the Rue Royale.
Only a few metres further north, at the end of the Rue Royale, is the Church of the Madaleine, where this shroud advertising is displayed:
As it says on the advertisements themselves, En application de l’article L621-29-8 du code du patrimoine, les recettes perçues par le propriétaire du monument pour cet affichage sont affectées au financement des travaux, which seems an eminently sensible arrangement.
The essential point is that these shroud advertisements are purely temporary, and are displayed for only so long as the works continue. To take a previous example, on Wednesday, 16 April 2014, I illustrated a shroud advertisement at the north-east corner of the Place des Vosges.
The works covered by that shroud have long since been completed, and so this important historic building can now be seen in its fully restored state, after the advertisement had made a significant contribution to the restoration works. This is what it looked like last week (and no doubt for the past several years):
If such advertisements can be displayed on the shrouds around important historic buildings in World Heritage Sites like these while they are under repair, there is no reason whatsoever why we should not allow similar advertising in this country.
There was an encouraging example of an advertisement control appeal being allowed recently for precisely this type of advertising, but having to rely on obtaining advertisement control consent, possibly on appeal, is too chancy and too time-consuming for most advertisers to contemplate. What is required instead is an amendment of the Control of Advertisements Regulations to give deemed consent for this type of advertising. The deemed consent would be purely temporary, limited to the duration of the works or 12 months (whichever is shorter), and would be subject to the advertisement not being wider or higher than the building covered by the shroud. For the avoidance of doubt, it should perhaps be provided that this deemed consent would not authorise the erection of any separate hoarding or other structure, and the deemed consent would require the immediate removal of the advertisement upon the expiry of the temporary period of that consent. To avoid LPAs making difficulties, there should be no requirement for prior approval, nor should the subject matter or design of the advertisement or advertisements be subject to any control under the terms of this deemed consent.
So come on, Raab; let's get on with it! This government prides itself on sweeping away red tape, so let’s see an appropriate amendment to the Control of Advertisements Regulations to give deemed consent for shroud advertisements in these circumstances without further ado.
© MARTIN H GOODALL