How to win long-term advertisement consent in a city centre

Manchester City Council was overruled on its refusal of advertisement consent for a scaffold shroud advertisement measuring 20m by 10m screening the exposed side of a listed building in a central conservation area (DCS Number 400-010-560).

The council was concerned that the retention of the advertisement for a further 12 months, after already having been in place for over two years, could delay potential development of the adjacent site due to the income that would be generated from the advertisement, which would cause the site to remain vacant and undeveloped and cause the listed building to further deteriorate.

The inspector found it fanciful to presume that a landowner would forgo the opportunity of the capital value and revenue opportunities that could accrue from a new building on a prime city centre site simply in order to maintain an income stream from a scaffold shroud screen advertisement. He acknowledged that it was preferable that the site, which was vacant and derelict, should be re-developed to a suitably high standard in fairly short order. However, allowing the appeal, he decided that retention was a necessary and acceptable expedient in the short term.

Provided that the financial assumptions inherent in this decision are correct, negotiations concerning the redevelopment of the site might well see progress within the life of the consent. If, on the other hand, the greater economic benefit lies in the prolonged display of the advertisement, Manchester’s suspicions will be proven to be well-founded. And it will also send a signal to the advertising industry that there is gain to be had from perpetuating the dereliction of city centre sites.

The following DCP chapter is relevant: 30.0342

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