Weston-super-Mare spared seafront lamppost banners amid condom and McDonald’s advert fears

The banners will not be allowed either side of the Grand Pier on Weston-super-Mare seafront.

The banners will not be allowed either side of the Grand Pier on Weston-super-Mare seafront. - Credit: Archant

Advertising banners tied to lampposts will not be allowed on Weston seafront amid fears they could be used to promote condoms and fast food chains such as McDonald’s.

Planning permission was sought to allow businesses to put banners up on 14 lampposts from just north of the Grand Pier down towards the SeaQuarium.

Critics said they would be a tacky addition to the seafront after years of improvements and concerns were raised over which companies may advertise.

Cllr Felicity Baker said: “I think they could be very very attractive depending on what goes up.

“But I don’t want something going up advertising condoms or the golden arches (of McDonald’s).”

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North Somerset Council, as the owner of the lampposts, would have been able to veto any inappropriate designs, but would not be able to control who could advertise as it is Bommel UK’s scheme.

The firm’s planning application was backed by the council’s planning team, but opposition from councillors has seen the scheme blocked.

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Cllr Elfan Ap Rees was supportive of the idea, saying: “This is something that will cheer up the seafront in the summer season – I certainly don’t think it will lower the tone.

“I have no idea how much the council would make out of it, but personally I think they look very attractive.”

However many disagreed, with Cllr David Shopland saying it would be a damning indictment of the seafront if 14 coloured adverts was enough to help to ‘cheer’ the place up.

Cllr Mark Canniford argued similarly and said allowing them would ‘damage’ the seafront.

The adverts would have been in place from March to September at which point they, and their holders, would have been removed.

The council was insistent on the holders being taken down to ‘conserve the appearance and historic character of the beachfront’ and critics said if that was a real concern then no banners should be allowed at any point during the year.

The decision has pleased Weston Civic Society who objected to the plan.

Member David Agassiz said the banners could ‘discourage’ visitors from Weston and would ‘lower the tone of the seafront’.

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